Painter. Born in San Antonio, TX on September 9, 1884, the daughter of English immigrants, William and Amelia Palmer. The Palmer family moved to California in 1886. Elsie grew up in Oakland and graduated from high school in San Francisco. After studying locally at the Best Art School, she worked as a commercial artist. He work took her to Chicago where she married artist Edgar Payne in 1912. The couple made several trips to California in the intervening years before settling in Laguna Beach in November 1917. The Paynes traveled and exhibited throughout Europe (1922-24) and, while there, her work was highly praised by the French critics. The Paynes permanently moved to Beverly Hills in 1932 and separated the following year. Maintaining residences in Laguna and Los Angeles, Elsie established the Elsie Palmer Art School in Beverly Hills in 1934. Working with watercolor, oil and tempera, she produced florals, landscapes and portraits in a flat illustrative style. Mrs. Payne moved to her daughter’s home in Minneapolis, MN in 1969 and died there on June 17, 1971.
Studied : Best’s Art School, San Francisco; Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
Member : Laguna Beach art Association ( a founder); Women Painters of the West ( a founder); California Art Club; California Watercolor Society; Artists of the Southwest; Society for Sanity in Art; National Society of Arts and Letters; American Artists Professional League.
Exhibited : Art Institute of Chicago, 1913, 1916; Paris, 1925; National Association of Women Artists, 1930; National Academy of Design, 1930; Ebell Club, Los Angeles, 1932-42, 1943 (prize); California Watercolor Society; Riverside Museum, 1941-43, 1944; Laguna Beach Art Association, 1951 (prize); Los Angeles county Museum of Art, 1941, 1942 (prize), 1943, 1944 (prize); California Art Club, 1943 (prize); Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, 1948 (prize), 1949 (prize); Pasadena Art Institute, 1950 (prize); Laguna Beach Art Festival, 1952 (prize).
Works held : public schools in Laguna Beach and Los Angeles; bronze plaque, entrance to Laguna Beach Art Gallery.
Sources : WW59; WW47; Hughes, Artists of California, 428; Trenton, ed. Independent Spirits.