C. Yarnall Abbott

C. Yarnall Abbott (1870 – 1938) was a lawyer, photographer, painter, author, and musician. He was born in 1870 and raised in Philadelphia. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and, for ten years practiced law with his father. During this time, he developed a serious interest in photography. Though he later abandoned photography for painting, he was acclaimed Best Amateur Photographer in the United States.

In 1900, he left the practice of law to study art with Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. It is there that he probably met Elenore Plaisted, who would later become his wife. He continued his studies in Paris at the Academie Colarossi with Gustave Courtois and Raphael Collin.

He came to Rose Valley and designed a unique home for his future wife Elenore Plaisted Abbott. It had two artist studios and common living areas. By 1913, he had set up a studio in Philadelphia, but for painting rather than photography. He became very active in the Philadelphia art community.

Yarnall Abbott summered in Rockport, Massachusetts, and painted much of his extant work there. He was instrumental in the founding of the Rockport Art Association, and helped to draft its constitution and by-laws. He was also a member of the North Shore Artists Association.

Yarnall Abbott exhibited annually at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibitions from 1916 until his death. He was a member of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Chairman of the Circulating Picture Club. He was a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club (and later the President) and the American Federation of the Arts. From 1936-1938 he was the President of the Philadelphia Art Alliance. He exhibited at the Society of Independent Artists. He has shows between 1924 and 1931 at the Art Institute of Chicago, and from 1928 to 1935 at the Corcoran Gallery. He wrote and published articles for a variety of art magazines, including two articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica. He also lectured on art appreciation. Yarnall Abbott died June 24, 1938.


Sources for this biography:
History of Rose Valley, Vol 1
Catalogue: Exhibition of Rose Valley Art and Handicrafts 2001