Harriet Kirkpatrick: An Artist’s Life


7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Grandview Heights Public Library

1685 W. 1st Ave., Columbus, OH 43212

(614) 486-2951

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Tri-Village residents Pete Diehl and Sally Kriska discuss the life of their grandmother, early Grandview Heights resident Harriet Kirkpatrick.

Hear stories from her early life in 1900s Columbus and her later adventures as an artist - from growing up next door to George Bellows and down the street from James Thurber to becoming a founding member of the Ohio Art League and the Ohio Watercolor Society. Her work is included in the Columbus Museum of Art collection.  

See her paintings on display at the library in April. 

Presented by the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Arts Council.  

(Columbus Dispatch photo by Arthur Greenspan) 

Harriet Kirkpatrick, an early Grandview resident (1911), was the grandmother of Tri-Village residents Pete Diehl and Sally Kriska. Art defined her life. She studied at the Columbus Art School (Columbus Museum of Art’s school) with fellow student Alice Schille and later as a student of Charles Hawthorne, John Carlson, Ernest Thurn, and Hans Hofmann. She was an active member of the Provincetown, Massachusetts, art colony from 1934-1940s and a founding member of the Columbus Art League and Ohio Watercolor Society. In addition, Mrs. Kirkpatrick was head of the art department at the Columbus School for Girls and art director of the Ohio State Fair from 1921-1927. 

Over the years of her life, her locations, styles, and palette changed radically beginning with her early dark, small realism in 1910 and ending in bright, large abstracts late in life. When asked in her 80s why she changed styles so often, she said “ If you don’t change, you get old.” “Mrs. Kirk,” as she was known by her students, stayed young and vibrant though out her life. 

Her work was shown in exhibitions at the American Watercolor Society, New York Watercolor Club, Philadelphia Art Alliance (1944), Ohio University (one person, 1943) and the Columbus Art League (1922/prize, 1931/prize and 1936/prize). The art of Harriet Kirkpatrick is included in the collection of the Columbus Museum of Art.