Elizabeth Godshalk Burger, Still Life

Elizabeth Godshalk Burger: Still Life (1940) Oil on board
Still Life
Oil on board
Credit Line
Gift of Bill Scott in memory of Florence Powell Scott, 1995

Elizabeth Godshalk Burger painted this cheerful still life, with its vivid blues and greens and bright, candy-colored pinks, as a student at Arthur B. Carles's Chestnut Street studio. After graduating from the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts), Burger enrolled in Carles's private classes on the recommendation of teacher Morris Blackburn. She recalls, "Fortunately, Carles did accept me [into his class, but] after seeing the painting I had brought [to show him], he said, ‘You haven't painted yet, but I think you can.' My art education from this extraordinary man began, mostly with few but remarkably effective words. The first of these was the admonition to ‘Let yourself go.'

The result was a real improvement in my painting, a first glimpse into the creative process. Later he told me to ‘Look at your palette and then at your painting. Which do you like better?' And again, 'Make your painting sing!'

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