Sarah Whiting Talcott

Sarah Whiting Talcott

Sarah Whiting Talcott (April 21, 1852 - July 21, 1936) was an artist in Elmwood and a founding member of the Sarah Whitman Hooker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which was named for her great-grandmother, Sarah Whitman Hooker. Her father, Henry Talcott, was a prominent member of the education system in West Hartford.

Life and Death Edit

Sarah Whiting Talcott was born on April 21, 1852 in West Hartford, Connecticut to Henry Talcott and Elizabeth Whiting. She and her sisters grew up in a home, which was built in 1773, on the north side of New Britain Avenue in Elmwood. Talcott graduated from Vassar College in 1875 at the age of 23. Talcott then embarked on a journey to study art with some of the most noted artists of the time.

Her education took place in France and in New York. In France, Talcott studied with Jules Joseph Lefebvre (b. 1836), who taught artists at the L'ecole des Beaux Arts. Talcott also got the instruction from the father and son instructors, Joseph and Tony Robert-Fleury. When Sarah studied in New York, she studied with a younger man named Kenyon Cox. After his return from Paris to New York in 1882, he taught artists about portrait painting. While in New York, Talcott also studied with William Merritt Chase, who became a teacher at New York's Art Students League in 1878.

Sarah Whiting Talcott (art)

Talcott's landscape painting of the Trout Brook bridge on South Quaker Lane in Elmwood, c. 1900

As an artist, Talcott was known to paint portraits and landscapes, echoing the education of her teachers. In 1888, with her education believed finished, she went to Atchison, Kansas for a year to give instruction in painting and drawing. Her father died that same year. After her time in Kansas, she returned to her Elmwood home on New Britain Avenue. After her mother died in 1913, she continued to live in the home with her sisters, Emmeline and Elizabeth. Despite the usual occupation for women at that time, neither Sarah nor her sisters ever got married. She taught art lessons and sold antiques out of a small room on the side of her house, an addition constructed after 1900.

Sarah Whiting Talcott (1951)

Sarah Whiting Talcott's home and art studio, April 1951

Talcott was also good friends with Julia Faxon, the namesake of the Faxon Library in Elmwood. Faxon, along with the Talcott sisters, created the Elmwood Literary Society, which later became the public library. Sarah was a very active member of the West Hartford community as one of the founding members of the Sarah Whitman Hooker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which was named for her great-grandmother,Sarah Whitman Hooker. From the inception of the chapter in 1906 to 1912, Sarah served as Regent. When the Elmwood Community Church was established in 1921, she became a member. She was also a part of the Hartford Art Club.

At the age of 84, Sarah Whiting Talcott died on July 21, 1936. The home she had lived in on New Britain Avenue since her birth was rolled down the street to its present location at 1168 New Briatin Avenue across from Somerset Street in 1955 to make room for the shopping center that contained the Elmwood Bakery.

In the photo above Sarah Whiting Talcott was dressed as her great grandmother would have dressed, no doubt due to her interest in colonial history.