Constance Forsyth


Constance Forsyth
Constance E. Forsyth (Aug. 18, 1903–Jan. 22, 1987) was the second daughter of William and Alice Forsyth. Like her parents, Constance possessed a strong interest in art from a young age and is most noted for her lithographs and etchings. She also painted in watercolors and oils. A member of several arts organizations, she exhibited widely and her work won recognition in Indiana and throughout the country. Constance attended Butler and graduated with a B.A. degree in Chemistry in 1925. Afterwards she studied art at the John Herron Art Institute and received a diploma in 1929. While at Herron she won a scholarship to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the late 1920s. It was there that her enthusiasm for printmaking began. Her summers of 1932 and 1934 were spent at the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado where she perfected her lithographic skills. She taught art at the John Herron Art Institute from 1931 to 1935 and took education courses at Butler University in 1937. After this she taught art at Western College in Oxford, Ohio. In 1940 she was the first woman hired in the art department at the University of Texas in Austin. She established a printmaking program there and taught until she retired as Professor Emeritus of Art in 1973. While at the University of Texas she supervised graduate students and served on committees, gave lectures and demonstrations on printmaking outside the university, and served on art juries. Her style is characterized by semiabstract forms found in nature such as waves, mountains, and clouds. Her watercolors were painted with bright earthy colors. Early on her prints were primarily lithographs but by the 1940s she combined aquatint, dry point, and lithographic processes to achieve a variety in the textures and tones. In her later work she experimented with collage using torn, colored paper, combined with paint. Always close to her family she spent vacations with them in Irvington. After the death of her mother Alice and sister Dorothy she vacationed with her sister Evelyn and Robert Selby at their home in New Jersey. After Robert Selby retired in 1975 the couple and Constance built a home together in Austin, Texas. Sources:Materials in the collectionInternet Resources: The Handbook of Texas Online: Forsyth, Constance Newton, Judith Vale. Skirting the issue: stories of Indiana’s historical women artists. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press, 2004.General Collection: N6530.I6 N5 2004,h_400,c_fill/10nc0gz23cl5b96hqnrr.jpg