October is the month for weekend drives to see leaves change to their autumn colors. Now, an artist who drew pictures of leaves.
Minnie Ellsworth Bartlett was born on June 29, 1890, in Seymour, Indiana. Her father, John E. Bartlett, was a sign painter. Minnie would carry on in that mix of art and business in her own working life. In 1907 he graduated from Shields High School in Seymour, an edifice surrounded by trees and once bordering a tract of forestland. From 1909 to 1911, she studied at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. Her instructors were Clifton Wheeler, Otto Stark, and William Forsyth. In her last year at Herron, Minnie landed a plum assignment providing 133 illustrations for the Eleventh Annual Report of the State Board of Forestry, 1911 (1912). Her drawings were of the trees of Indiana, a botanical key that proved to be the life's work of Charles C. Deam (1865-1953), a self-taught botanist and the first Indiana state forester. The Trees of Indiana was issued in book form in 1919. According to one source, Minnie Ellsworth Bartlett's drawings were used in that edition as well. I have the first revision of The Trees of Indiana from 1932. That book is illustrated with photographs.
Minnie Ellsworth Bartlett was listed as an artist in Indianapolis city directories for many years. Later she was employed as a stenographer and in other positions in business. I don't know her date or place of death, but I have found reference to an obituary for a Minnie Ellsworth, age seventy-three, in the Terre Haute Tribune, February 25, 1963, page 2. If anyone can find a copy of that obituary, I would very much like to see it.
|Sassafras is far more colorful in the fall, turning fiery orange and red. The fruits are also colorful. The stalk or peduncle is bright red, the fruit a strongly contrasting dark blue. The Latin name is now Sassafras albidum.|
|Sugar maple is the king of the fall forest in brilliant, almost luminous, yellow and orange hues. We are nearing peak season for autumn colors. Go out and see them before they are gone.|
Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley