Adventures in genius - Virginia Berresford

Virginia Berresford


Virginia Berresford (1902-1995)

Virginia Berresford was born on 11 October 1902 in New Rochelle, New York, US. She started painting at an early age and attended Wellesley College in 1921. She then attended Teachers College Columbia University in 1923 where she studied under another prominent artist Charles Martin.

Virginia would travel to Athens, Venice, and from 1925-1930, she was in Paris at Académie Moderne, where she met Amédée Ozenfant, a co-founder of Purism. Virginia would be known for different styles of painting such as abstract sea-landscape and still life painting, as well as Magic Realism which became popular in the United States in the 1930’s and 1940’s. She was also a part of many exhibitions, a majority of those being solo. Virginia’s first exhibit at Dudensing Gallery in New York is where she met and befriended Frank Crowninshield. He admired her work and bought several paintings, as well as publishing one on the cover of Vanity Fair.

On 20 July 1933, Virginia married writer Benedict “Bob” Thielen. They would spend most of their marriage living in New York but would summer in Martha’s Vineyard and spend winters in Key West.

In 1954, Virignia opened the first art gallery in Edgartown at Martha’s Vineyard. She wanted to display her own works as well as that of other artists. She also worked as a private instructor in Menemsha, Maryland and in 1989, she published her autobiography, Virginia's Journal an Autobiography of an Artist.

Sadly on 20 August 1995, in Martha’s Vineyard, Virginia Berresford passed away.

In UPEI’s Provenance collection the book, Adventures in Genius by Will Durant, has Virginia’s signature.


Virginia Berresford Biography | Annex Galleries Fine Prints. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Virginia Berresford (1904-1996) United States. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Thielen, Benedict 1903-1965 | (2019). Retrieved from

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, June 9). Virginia Berresford - Wikipedia. Retrieved from


Wikipedia contributors. (2018, June 9). Virginia Berresford - Wikipedia. Retrieved from

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