The Rose Valley Museum & Historical Society
| The Artists post 1911 |
Go directly to one of
these Rose Valley artists
by clicking on their name:

Elenore Abbott
C. Yarnall Abbott
Frederick Drinker
Katharine Hayes
Mary Townsend Mason
F. Townsend Morgan
Margaret Scott Oliver
Hiram Parker
William (Billy) Webb Price
Claude Richards  
Maurice and Adele Scott Saul
Robert Saul  
D. Owen Stephens

Elenore Plaisted Abbott was a nationally known illustrator, scenic designer, and artist (both landscape and portrait). She was born in Lincoln, Maine. She studied at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She also studied in Paris, where her work was exhibited at the Academie des Beaux Arts. Upon her return in 1899 she enrolled at the Drexel Institute, where she studied with Howard Pyle. Sometime later (between 1916 and 1919), Elenore wrote to Pyle’s secretary that the only work she was glad to have done was under Mr. Pyle.

She gained a strong reputation as an illustrator. She would take photographs for later oil paintings, something illustrators were known to do. Her work appeared in many magazines, such as Scribner’s, Saturday Evening Post, and Harper’s Magazine. She also did illustrations for many books, including Kidnapped and Treasure Island (Robert Lewis Stevenson), Swiss Family Robinson (Johann David Wyss), Old Fashioned Girl (Louisa May Alcott) and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Evan Nagel Wolf, in the 1919 supplement of International Studio, wrote “Elenore Abbott loves her fairy tales, and no child who receives such a book will be disappointed... Elenore Abbott is not on the surface a clever artist; her active, vigorous yet idealist’s mind is brought into subjection and guides the long sensitive fingers that hold the water color brush.”

She married C.Yarnall Abbott and in 1907, they had one child, a daughter, Marjorie “Peggy” Abbott, who later married Robert Harvey. Marjorie Abbott Harvey went on to become a well-known author of cookbooks. Elenore came to Rose Valley in 1911. She is reputed to have painted her house on Possum Hollow road a Bermuda pink - quite unusual for the day! Elenore’s sister, Marjorie, married Petrus van Santen Kolff and they moved to Rose Valley in 1910. After Marjorie’s death, October 15, 1919, Elenore took in her two daughters, Sonya and Elenore, who were frequently models for her.

Elenore Abbott also did the scene design for the original theater group at what is now Hedgerow Theatre. She created the skrims for The Emperor Jones, which were used by Hedgerow for many years. She also helped to establish the Rose Valley swimming pool by donating land, and in 1928 she sold several of her paintings to finance the construction of the pool.

She was a member of the Philadelphia Water Color Club and the Plastic Club of Philadelphia. Her work is in collection at the Brandywine Museum in Brandywine, Pennsylvania.

Sources for this biography:
The Hedgerow Theatre: An Historical Study, by J.C. Wentz, Published 1970.
Catalogue: Exhibition of Rose Valley Art and Handicrafts 2001

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

Frederick Drinker a writer and cabinetmaker. He came to Rose Valley in 1911. He made many pieces of furniture in the arts and crafts style.

Sources for this biography:
Catalogue: Exhibition of Rose Valley Art and Handicrafts 2001

Katherine Hayes was an artist with a special interest in portraits, and an illustrator. She lived in the Guest House during the 1920’s. She taught art for many years. She was a great friend of Alice Barber Stephens. She is the mother of Katherine Hayes Porter, a current Rose Valley artist.

Sources for this biography:
Catalogue: Exhibition of Rose Valley Art and Handicrafts 2001

Mary Townsend Mason has left artwork, however we have no information to share as of yet...

F. Townsend Morgan was a nationally known etcher and artist. He came to Rose Valley in 1920. He create posters, scenery, and programs for performances of the Rose Valley Chorus and other dramatic groups. During the depression, he worked for the WPA, which sent him to record in etchings community life. He went to Annapolis, St. Thomas USVI, and Key West. While in Key West, he founded the Key West Art Center. His work is in many museums and private collections, including those of Harry Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Margaret Scott Oliver (1879-1930)
Margaret Hunter Scott was born in Scotland August 5, 1879. Her parents came to the US when she was three. Her husband, L. Stauffer Oliver was born November 29, 1879. They married May 22, 1909. They had three children: Ruth, born in Philadelphia, April 16, 1910; Margaret (Peggy Oliver Shays), born in Rose Valley, May 4, 1912, and Stephen, born in Rose Valley February 6, 1916. Margaret died on March 16, 1930 and her husband died March 4, 1966.

At the time Peggy was born, the family was living in the middle section of the Guest House. Peter and Marjorie Kolff (Elenore Abbott’s sister) were living in the right-hand section (as you face the Guest House), and Elenore and Yarnall Abbott were living in the left-hand section. The Oliver family later lived in the house above the quarry behind the Guest House when their Stephen was born, and finally, family moved to Oliver Oaks while Stephen was still a baby (1916-17).

Margaret was an actress and playwright. She was active first with the Rose Valley Players and then with Jasper Deeter’s Hedgerow Theatre. Her husband, Stauffer Oliver, owned the Guild Hall at that time. Margaret went on to act in many plays. She even acted on Broadway. Margaret wrote the script for the Hedgerow production of Alice in Wonderland, in which Peggy, her daughter, starred for 6 years, from the age of 13 to 19.

Hedgerow Theater, at that time, was called Guild Hall. The Hall was used by residents of the Valley for all their social events, as well as the many theatrical and vocal recitals and productions. Margaret, however, was very interested in having a professional theater and professional director in Rose Valley. Much to the dismay of some Valley residents, her husband, Stauffer Oliver, decided to give the use of the theater to Jasper Deeter to the exclusion of other Valley events. As a result, the Folk had no home until the 20’s when Maurice Saul rebuilt the Old Mill. When Jasper Deeter arrived, he directed Candida with some residents in the cast.

Margaret wrote several plays and also poetry, some of which was published in literary magazines of the time. She also was a an avid gardener and wrote many articles about gardening. At one point she even ran a greenhouse out of her home at Oliver Oaks.

Sources for this biography: based on a letter from Peggy Oliver Shays in June 2003

Hiram Parker was known universally as “Daddy” Parker. He lived in “Apple Bough”, Nathan Kite’s cabin in the orchard up on Vernon Lane from the 1920’s until his death in the 1950’s. He was burgess, or mayor, of Rose Valley from 1926 to 1957. He was also treasurer of The Aquarium Society of Philadelphia, and wrote at least one tract on growing water lilies in containers. His name also appears as the arranger on the RV Christmas carol book.

William (Billy) Webb Price (1892-1962) was the only son of William L. Price. Although he followed in the footsteps of his father as an architect, his professional career alternated between architecture and teaching. Upon graduation from Swarthmore College he joined his father’s firm of Price McLanahan in 1914. Will Price died in 1916 and Billy abandoned architecture for the newly formed American Friends Service Committee in France.

After the war he taught in the Swarthmore schools for ten years, before renewing his interest in architecture. He then joined his uncle, Walter Price, and cousin, Will Walton, in the firm of Price & Walton, and during this period designed several houses in the Rose Valley area. When Price & Walton dissolved during the depression, Billy returned to teaching, this time in Friends’ schools. Ironically, it was during this time that he made his most important contribution to Rose Valley architecture with the design, with Will Walton, of the Old Mill and its picturesque tower. In 1947 he returned to architecture as the Price in Price & Dickey, designing private homes and several buildings at Lincoln University in Oxford, Pa. with his partner, John Dickey.

Billy Price, true son of Rose Valley’s creative beginnings, was also an artist and promoter of the arts. He was widely known in the Philadelphia area as an actor, having cut his teeth with the Rose Valley Players during the teens, spending many years in summer stock, moving on to Broadway for some time and appearing so frequently at Hedgerow Theatre, the Swarthmore Players Club, Arden and other local theaters that one Philadelphia critic called him “the ubiquitous Mr. Price” (History of Rose Valley, p.43, 1973.)

William Webb Price was a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Pennsylvania Society of Architects, Rose Valley Borough Council, Media Rotary’s board of directors, Swarthmore Players’ board of governors, Actors’ Equity, president and chairman of the board of the Wallingford Arts Center, and director of Nantucket’s Annual Art Exhibit. At his death in 1962 the Media Fellowship House added a wing as a memorial to his involvement with social justice.

Claude Richards has left artwork, however we have no information to share as of yet...

Maurice and Adele Scott Saul came to Rose Valley in 1911. An attorney and an artist, he was one of the people most responsible for organizing the Borough of Rose Valley in 1923. The decision to include only those landowners who wished to be included resulted in the strange configuration of the Borough boundaries. He was President of the Rose Valley Borough Council for twenty-three years. He and Marshall Smith wrote and directed the Rose Valley Vanities for many years. Adele was also an artist and always involved in Rose Valley activities.

Robert Saul was born on June 27, 1913. He was killed in World War II in the Pacific, listed as Missing in Action on March 27, 1944. He was the only known resident of Rose Valley ever killed in a war. He studied photography with Tomas Bouchard.

D. Owen Stephens came to Rose Valley in 1905 with his parents, Charles H. and Alice Barber Stephens, when he was 10 years old. He was an only child. As a teenager, he and his friends Margaret and Billy Price were assigned by the Rose Valley Folk to keep a record of their activities, which today gives us an invaluable glimpse into the early life of the community.

He was an artist who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Afterwards, he lived in Chaddsford for a year, while he studied with N.C.Wyeth. He painted many of the sets for the Rose Valley Players and the Rose Valley Chorus. He became a draftsman for the architect, Charles Klauder.

From childhood his passion was for astronomy - his parents added an observatory to their house for him - and he used his talent as a painter to depict night skies, correct in all astronomical detail. In 1937 he was sent by the Museum of Natural History in New York to paint the total eclipse in Peru. His paintings of that eclipse hang in various planetariums around the country, including the Museum of Natural History in New York and the Buell Planetarium in Pittsburgh. He died suddenly on his way home from Peru.

He married Margaret Price’s college friend, Lucie Logan. They were two of the twelve incorporators of the School in Rose Valley in 1929. His works are in the collection at the Brandywine Museum.

The Sauls
(from left to right)
Elenore Abbot, Christopher Saul, Dudley Saul M.D, Adel Saul, Maurice Saul, Carla Wellendorf, Barbara Saul. All of the Sauls are related. Dudley is Maurice’s brother. Adele is Maurice’s wife.
Barbara is their daughter.
Not present in this picture was their son, Christopher (deceased.)
in St. Paul de Vance, France
in 1932
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The Rose Valley Museum & Historical Society