She was born Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle on January 8, 1863.
If you are a lover of vintage graphics like I am, then no doubt you are aware of the amazing artwork created by Ellen Clapsaddle's hand.
Like many artists of her day, and especially so because she was a woman, her life was full of many tragic turns.
Miss Ellen graduate from Richfield Springs Seminary in Richfield Springs, New York in 1882 and went on to further her art education at the Cooper Institute in New York City. Later she returned home to South Colombia where she began offering painting lessons in her home.
After the death of her father in 1891, Ellen and her mother moved in with an uant who lived back in Richfield Springs. For many years she continued to give art lessons, painted, made endless illustrations and even did some freelance artwork. She went on to spend several years in Germany working for International Art Company.
After retourning to New York around 1906, Ellen was hired by the Wolf Brothers ( a sub - company of International Art Company) as an illustrator. Ellen invested heavily in German postcard firms and later traveled there to work with their engravers. Her mother passed away while overseas.
Ellen found herself far from USA, penniless and alone.
In August 1914, during the outbreak of Worl War I, Ellen was still in German. The factories were destroyed, including most all her original paintings, drawings and prints.
Because of the War, the Wolf Brothers closed their business.
When war ended, one of the brothers traveled to Europe in shearch of Ellen. She was finally found six months later wandering the streets. She was hungry, very ill, and only 55 years old.
She was brought to New York, but she was no longer capable to earning a living.
Mr. Wolf, her caregiver, died penniless himself only a few years after retourning with Ellen to America.
Alone and mentally incapacitated, she entered The Peabody Home min New York City in January 1932. She passed away about two years later.