Back to Main


By Patricia Likos Ricci

Works by Violet Oakley

Oakley, Violet. Cathedral of Compassion: Dramatic Outline of the Life of Jane Addams, 1860–1935. Philadelphia: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1955.

———. “The Vision of William Penn: Mural Paintings in the Capitol of Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Magazine 20, no. 4 (1953): 316–38.

———. The Holy Experiment, Our Heritage from William Penn; Series of Mural Paintings in the Governor’s Reception Room, in the Senate Chamber, and in the Supreme Courtroom of the State Capital at Harrisburg, PA. Philadelphia: Cogslea Studio Publications, 1950.

———. Great Women of the Bible. Philadelphia: Eldon Press, 1949.

———. Christ My Refuge: One of Seven Hymns by Mary Baker Eddy. Boston: Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy, 1939.

———. Samuel F. B. Morse: A Dramatic Outline of the Life of the Father of Telegraphy and the Founder of the National Academy of Design. Philadelphia: Cogslea Studio Publications, 1939.

———. La Presence Divine á La Société Des Nations. Geneva: Albert Kundig, 1937.

———. Law Triumphant: Containing the Opening of the Book of the Law and the Miracle of Geneva. Philadelphia: Cogslea Studio Publications, 1933.

———. “The Romance of the Red Rose,” handwritten autobiography. Violet Oakley Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, c. 1931.

———. The Great Wonder: A Vision of the Apocalypse, 1923.

———. The Holy Experiment: A Message to the World from Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Cogslea Studio 
Publications, 1922.

———. “Art as a Stimulus to Civic Righteousness,” Philadelphia Forum 1 (August 1922): 11–12, 25, 33.

———. “Memorials in Painting,” American Magazine of Art 10 (May 1919): 274, 424.

———. The Book of the Words: Westchester County Historical Pageant: 1614–1846. Philadelphia?, 1909. 

General Bibliography

Agler, Raymond H. “William Swain, Portrait Painter.” Antiques 120 (July 1981): 124–33.

Armstrong, Regina. “Representative Women Illustrators: The Decorative Workers,” The Critic 36 (June 1900): 520–29.

Blashfield, Edwin Howland. Mural Painting in America. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913.

Brooklyn Museum. The American Renaissance: 1876–1917. Brooklyn, NY, 1979.

Brown, Ann Barton. Howard Pyle, A Teacher: The Formal Years 1894–1905. Chadds Ford: Brandywine River Museum, 1980.

Buck, Carol. Violet Oakley, American Artist, Modern Day Activist. MA thesis, Pennsylvania State University, 2012.

Burns, Sarah. Inventing the Modern Artist: Art and Culture in Gilded Age America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.

Caffin, Charles H. “Violet Oakley and Her Vision of Life: A Sympathetic Sketch of an American Painter who has achieved the Greatest Success in Mural and Decorative Art.” Good Housekeeping Magazine 54 (April 1912): 470–77.

———. Handbook of the New Capitol of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: Mount Pleasant Press, 1906.
Carter, Alice A. The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2000.

Clark, Eliot. History of the National Academy of Design: 1825–1953. New York: Columbia University Press, 1954.

Coleman, Caryl. “An Appreciation,” Architectural Record 22 (1907): 455–68.

Corn, Wanda et al. Women Building History: Public Art at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.

Coyle, Heather Campbell, ed. Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered. Wilmington: Delaware Art Museum, 2011.

Cozzolino, Robert. “Homecomings, Haunting, Returns,” World War I and American Art. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016. 117–18; 282.

Day, Frank Miles. “Cogslea: The Home of Four Artists,” Country Life in America (July 1910): 329–32.

Earle, Mary Tracy. “The Red Rose,” The Lamp 26 (May 1903): 275–84.

Emerson, Edith. “Violet Oakley 1874–1961,” part 1, Germantown Crier 13 (December 1961): 7–9, 19–26; part 2, Germantown Crier 14 (March 1962): 13–15.

———. “Observations from the Gallery at Geneva: An Artist Sees the Human Side of the League of Nations,” The Republican Woman (April 1930): 6.

———. “Splendid Spain,” American Magazine of Art 15 (March 1924): 113–22.

———. “The Philadelphia Award,” American Magazine of Art 13 (May 1922): 156–58.

Faulkner, Charles Draper. Christian Science Church Edifices. Chicago, 1946.

Farnsworth, Jean, Carmen R. Croce, and Joseph F. Chorpenning. Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA: Saint Joseph’s University Press, 2002.

Foster, Kathleen A. American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent. Philadelphia and New Haven: Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2017.

Gilbert, Suzanne. “The Pilgrimage of an Artist: Violet Oakley’s Experience at the United Nations,” The Promise of Peace: Violet Oakley’s United Nations Portraits. Philadelphia: Woodmere Art Museum, 2013.

Goodman, Helen. “Women Illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration,” Woman’s Art Journal 8.1 (1987): 13–20.

———. “The Plastic Club,” Arts Magazine 59 (1985): 100–03.

———. “Violet Oakley,” Arts Magazine 54 (1979): 70.

Grafly, Dorothy. “In Philadelphia,” American Magazine of Art 17 (September 1926): 496.

Greer, Germaine. The Obstacle Race: The Fortune of Women Painters and Their Works. New York: Farrar Straus, 1979.

Heller, Jules and Nancy G. Heller. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Routledge, 2013.
Henry, Jean. Drexel’s Great School of American Illustration: Violet Oakley and Her Contemporaries. Philadelphia, PA: Drexel University Museum, 1985.

Herzog, Charlotte. “A Rose by Any Other Name: Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith and Elizabeth Shippen Green.” Woman’s Art Journal 14 (1994): 11–16.

Hoeber, Arthur. “Pennsylvania Academy Exhibition,” Art Bulletin 4, no. 15 (February 4, 1905).

Huber, Christine. The Pennsylvania Academy and Its Women: 1850–1920. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1973.

Hudson River Museum, The Artists of Bronxville: 1890–1930. Yonkers, 1989.

Ivey, Paul Eli. Prayers in Stone: Christian Science Architecture in the United States, 1894–1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999.

Jennings, Martha Huff. “Women of the Bible: Violet Oakley’s Murals in the First Presbyterian Church,” Germantown Crier 4 (December 1952): 7–9.

Keebler, Patricia L. H. The Life and Work of Frank Miles Day. PhD dissertation, University of Delaware, 1980.

Jackson, Joseph. “Violet Oakley, Master Genius of American Mural Art,” Public Ledger, June 12, 1913.

King, Pauline. American Mural Painting: A Study of the Important Decorations by Distinguished Artists in the United States. Boston, 1902.

Likos, Patricia. “Violet Oakley: Lady Mural Painter,” Pennsylvania Heritage 14 (Fall 1988): 14–21.

———. “The Red Rose Inn: La Vita Nuova,” The Tiller 1, no. 3 (1983): 23–26.

———. “Violet Oakley (1874–1961),” Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin 75, no. 325 (June 1979): 1–32.

———. “For Myself and For My Sisters,” Arts Exchange (1978): 6–9, 56–57.

———. “The Ladies of the Red Rose,” Feminist Art Journal 13 (1976): 11–15, 43.

Mason, Clara R. “Violet Oakley’s Latest Work,” American Magazine of Art 21 (1930): 130–38.

May, Jill P. and Robert E. May. Howard Pyle: Imagining an American School of Art. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011.

Mayer, Anne E. Women Artists in the Howard Pyle Tradition. Chadds Ford: Brandywine River Museum, 1975.

Mills, Sally. Violet Oakley: The Decoration of the Alumnae House Living Room. Poughkeepsie: Vassar College Art Gallery, 1984.

Morris, Harrison S. “A New Motive in Decoration: Miss Violet Oakley’s Paintings for a Private House,” Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine 81 (March 1911): 734–38.

———. “Miss Violet Oakley’s Mural Decorations,” Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine 70 (June 1905): 265–68.

———. “Violet Oakley,” The Book Buyer 24 (June 1902): 294–99.

New York Times. “‘Mosaic for All Angels’: Chancel Decorations by Miss Violet Oakley for the Church on West End Avenue.” December 31, 1901.

North, S. Kennedy. “Miss Violet Oakley and Mural Decoration,” Drawing and Design (July 1923): 507–9.

Oakley, Hester Caldwell. As Having Nothing. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898.

Oberholtzer, Ellis Paxson. The Book of the Pageant. Philadelphia: George Jacobs and Company, 1908.

Palm, Regina Megan. “Violet Oakley, Mural Painter: Rethinking Woman Artists and Masculine Genres.” MA thesis, San Jose State University, 2005.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The Unbroken Line: A Suite of Exhibitions Celebrating the Centennial of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Philadelphia, 1997.

Petersen, Karen and J. J. Wilson. Women Artists: Recognition and Reappraisal from the Early Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. New York: New York University Press, 1976.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia: Three Centuries of American Art. Philadelphia, 1976.

Pitz, Henry C. Howard Pyle: Writer, Illustrator, Founder of the Brandywine School. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1975.

———. The Brandywine Tradition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968.

Ricci, Patricia Likos. A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance. Philadelphia: Woodmere Art Museum, 2017.

———. “The State as a Work of Art: Design, Technology and Social Reform, 1876–1917,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 126 (April 2002): 163–83.

———. “Violet Oakley: American Renaissance Woman,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 126 (April 2002): 217–48.

Richardson, Jane DuPree. A Response to War: Violet Oakley’s World War II Triptychs. Apalachicola, FL: Gray Oaks Books, 2019.

Rubinstein, Charlotte Streifer. American Women Artists: From Early Indian Times to the Present. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982.

Scanlan, Patricia Smith. “God’s Gifted Girls;” Women Illustrators, Gender, Class, and Commerce in American Visual Culture 1825–1925. PhD dissertation, University of Indiana, 2010.

Schaefer, Frances B. “The Red Rose at Villanova: Three Artists and Their Beautiful Country Home,” Art Interchange 64 (1902): 106–9.

Schnessel, Michael. Jessie Willcox Smith. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1977.

Smith, Martha C. “The Founding of the State of Liberty Spiritual: A Mural Frieze in the Governor’s Reception Room of the Pennsylvania State Capitol at Harrisburg (1902–06) by Violet Oakley N.A.” MA thesis, Indiana University, 1994.

Steffensen, Ingrid. “Toward an Iconography of a State Capitol,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 126” (April 2002): 185–216.

Sturgis, Russell. “Miss Oakley’s Pictures in the Harrisburg State-House,” Scribner’s Magazine 41 (May 1907): 637–40.

Stryker, Catherine Connell. The Studios at Cogslea. Wilmington: Delaware Art Museum, 1976.

Swinth, Kirsten. Painting Professionals: Women Artists and the Development of Modern American Art, 1870–1930. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

James P. Townsend. “Pennsylvania Academy Exhibition,” American Art News, January 1905.

Van Hook, Bailey. Violet Oakley: An Artist’s Life. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

———. The Virgin and the Dynamo: Public Murals in American Architecture, 1893–1917. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2003.

———. Angels of Art: Women and Art in American Society, 1876–1914. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 1997.

W.,F. “In the Galleries: ‘33 Moderns’ and Violet Oakley,” The Arts 16 (1930): 424.

Weimann, Jeanne M. The Fair Woman: The Story of the Woman’s Building, World’s Columbian Exposition. Chicago: Academy Chicago: 1981.
Wilson, Jason and Ruthann Hubbert-Kemper, ed., A Sacred Challenge: Violet Oakley and the Pennsylvania Capitol. Harrisburg: Capitol Preservation Committee, 2003.
Wingerson, Amber L. “‘Glass That Decorates:’ The History, Designers, and Stained-Glass of the Church Glass and Decorating Company of New York.” MA thesis, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, 2017.

Young, Mahonri Sharp. “Violet Oakley: A Message to the World,” American Art and Antiques 1 (July–August 1978): 50–57.

Zieget, Irene, Trina Vaux, and Penny Balkin Bach. History of the Sanctuary and the Samuel S. Art Memorial. Philadelphia, 1995.

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. To ensure security, performance, and full functionality, please upgrade to an up-to-date browser.