LOCAL Houston | The City Guide August 2017 - Page 62

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE Her works are included in the permanent collections of the Society of Civil Engineers in New York, the Denver Art Association, the Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin, the San Antonio Art League, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and in public libraries Emma Richardson Cherry, artist and preservationist, was born in Aurora, Illinois, on February 28, 1859. At the age of 18, to finance her art educa- tion, she taught art at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln for three years THE STORY OF HOUSTON EMMA RICHARDSON CHERRY By Margaret Swett Henson Images courtesy of The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston, Texas, Houston Public Library, Houston, Texas before going to New York for advanced study at the Art Students League. She married Dillon Brooke Cherry in Nebraska before she went to Paris for further lessons. The Cherrys moved from Denver to Houston about 1893 and later bought the home of William Marsh Rice. At least one version of the story says that Mrs. Cherry bid $25 for the ornate front door and perhaps some interior rails and, as the sole bidder, acquired the entire house; other versions say that her husband engineered the purchase through a sealed bid. Either way, preservation of the Rice house is due to Emma Cherry. The residence was eventually sold to The Heritage Society in 1954. Since 1959 it has been open to the public in Downtown’s Sam Houston Park. One of the earliest professional women artists in Houston, Emma Cherry worked in oils, watercolors, pastels, pencil and charcoal. She painted a number of traditional portraits while living in Houston and experimented with a variety of styles. Cherry was known for her paintings of flowers and in 1937 did a study of oleanders