Rokeby Museum’s 2021 season exhibit explores the career of Rachael Robinson Elmer (1878–1919) and her early twentieth-century success as a professional illustrator.
Exhibiting artistic talent at an early age, she was at first trained by her parents and then, as a teenager, enrolled in a correspondence course to further her skills. She later studied at Goddard College and the Art Students League of New York. During that time she began her career as an illustrator, producing drawings for her father’s books and works for periodicals such as Forest and Stream and The Youth Companion. From the turn of the twentieth century until her death in 1919, Rachael built a career producing commercial art for major publishers across the United States. From children’s books and advertisements to her popular postcard series, Rachael Robinson Elmer was a modern artist navigating the expanding profession of commercial art.