Susan Merrill Ketcham
New York City, NY
- Marion County
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Susan Merrill Ketcham was born in Indianapolis in 1841 to a prominent family that had shaped the city’s political landscape, including the state’s first treasurer. Susan helped found the Art Association of Indianapolis and collected artwork for its first show and hired faculty for the school the association planned to open. These efforts would eventually become the basis of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Herron School of Art many years later.
In addition to acting as a respected organizer for the Indianapolis art community, Susan was an accomplished painter in her own right. After studying at the Indiana School of Art and, later, in Europe, Susan enrolled in the Arts Student League of New York in 1888. While there, she studied with William Merritt Chase, a longtime friend of hers from her Art Association days. She also served as vice president of the League on four different occasions, all the while maintaining an active exhibition schedule around the East Coast and abroad.
In 1898, Susan began teaching privately out of her home studio, a practice she continued for nearly thirty years. Late in her late, she began to concentrate on marine scenes, painted at her summer studio in Ogunquit, Maine alongside Charles H. Woodbury. In 1927, Susan returned home to Indianapolis where she spent her few remaining years.
Source: Skirting the Issue, by Newton and Weiss