One Woman’s Work: The Visual Art of Celia Laighton Thaxter by Sharon Paiva Stephan


One Woman’s Work: The Visual Art of Celia Laighton Thaxter by Sharon Paiva Stephan allows you to discover a new and unexplored dimension of the life of popular nineteenth-century gardener, poet, and personality, Celia Laighton Thaxter, in a visual feast of her hand-illustrated books, watercolors, and painted china.

Several friends who are also “Shoalers” and love Star Island and the Isles of Shoals have asked us to offer their Star Island / Isles of Shoals titles. Many are not currently in print.

Much attention has been focused on Celia Laighton Thaxter’s poetry and on her life as a literary figure and artist whose family maintained a resort hotel on the Isles of Shoals in the nineteenth century. Here is a focus on a relatively unexplored facet of Celia’s gifts. For the first time this celebrated author’s visual art has been surveyed and collected into an exhibit by curator/author Sharon Stephan. This book contains 250, full color, images of Celia’s art. It serves as a catalogue for the exhibition as well as a unique resource.

The hotel on Appledore Island became an artist, including Childe Hassam, retreat of sorts, during the glorious summer seasons . Celia Thaxter’s artistic inspiration was drawn from the natural objects she was surrounded by while growing up on the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Portsmouth, NH. Her historic gardens are maintained today by dedicated gardeners at the original site on Appledore Island. She also created hand painted china and illustrated poems, in order to earn much needed financial support for her family.

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