are favorites of many,
she published more than three thousand signed postcards and designed
countless more unsigned pictures. Over half of her
illustrations are of children, and the rest are more general scenes.
was born the year the Civil War ended, an only child, attended a
country school and graduated from Richfield Springs Seminary, New York,
1882. A self-taught artist, she gave private painting lessons
she attended Cooper Institute in New York City. There, she
contracted to work for the International Art Company (IAC), and
Germany to design articles as diverse as porcelain, calendars and
greeting cards. She returned to the U.S. in 1906 to become
principal artist for the Wolf Company, a subsidiary of IAC.
She was a
very prolific artist, and her designs
reflect the entire spectrum of seasonal and holiday themes, drawing
upon folklore, traditions, games and nursery rhymes.
other artists whose illustrations were adapted for postcards,
designed specifically for the medium.
During the height of
her career with IAC, she invested her earnings in
the booming German postcard industry. While on a business trip to
Germany in August of 1914, World War I broke out. In the
confusion and destruction, Clapsaddle became stranded and ultimately
destitute. One of the Wolf Company partners went to Germany
and, after a six month search, found her in poor health.
She returned safely to the U.S., but
her health declined and she lost the ability to work. She
died thirteen years later at the Peabody Home in New York.