The Fitchburg Art Museum is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.For thefirst time in this museum's history, there is a gallery reflecting it's founder's passions. The art that is now on exhibit is that of Eleanor Norcross. These pieces are from Norcross's own collection and long term loans from museums and private collections. This is one of the exhibits that launches a look at pioneering American artists of the 19th century. Norcross's exhibit is titled, " Norcross: Character is Everything." Other permanent exhibits at the Fitchburg Art Museum are that of; Egyptian art and artifacts, European and American paintings and graphics, decorative art, and contemporary American and regional artists.
The selections of paintings shown at the Fitchburg exhibit are only a small portion of her entire collection. After her father died in 1898, she had always wished of establishing an art museum in Fitchburg. She began exhibiting her work in the spring of 1886, when she showed a portrait of her father in the National Academy of design in New York, as well as in a Paris salon. She continued to show fairly regularly after that. She displayed her work mostly in French exhibitions. Until 1905 she painted mainly portraits and views of the interior of her studio.
While she was living in Washington, she began attending classes at the Art Student League in New York, in either the fall of 1878 or spring of 1879. She spent the winters with her father in Washington and her summers in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She continued living like this for five years, as she was traveling frequently between Washington, Fitchburg, and New York.
In June of 1883, Norcross made the decision to reside in Paris. In the late fall of 1883, she entered the Paris studio of Alfred Stevens. Stevens was a prominent Belgian-born painter who taught a class for women. She remained a student of Alfred Stevens for two years.As a stud…


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