Adelaide Deming’s Impressionist Paintings Made Her Nationally Known for Her Depictions of Litchfield
By Gavi Klein
Photo credit: Collection of the Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield, Connecticut
Today, Litchfield’s breathtaking natural surroundings attract artists of all sorts. The same was true back in 1864, when Adelaide Deming (1864-1956) was born to William Deming and Mary Benton Deming, and went on to become a nationally recognized artist. Deming is known for her stunning oil landscapes, ensconcing the natural beauty of Litchfield on canvas for generations to come. Even before her artistic skill was known, Deming’s commitment to community engagement made her an active and valued member of the town. Throughout her life, she was a leader in education reform and in the suffrage movement, acting as a member of Litchfield’s school board as well as the president of the Women’s Forum. Of course, Deming’s paintings are her true claim to fame, both in Litchfield, and across the country; Booker T. Washington reportedly wrote to her asking to contribute her work to the Tuskegee Institute. In her late 30s and early 40s, Deming worked as a professor at the Pratt Institute in New York, and was also a member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, along with other local and nation-wide art organizations. Her work currently resides at institutions such as the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, as well as the Litchfield Historical Society. She died in 1956.
Adelaide Deming collection (1954-46-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759