Collection

The Helen Pearson Drawings

A series of drawings created between 1908-1913 by local artist and Portsmouth native, Helen Pearson.

In 1993, Ray Brighton called Helen Pearson “…one of the best artists Portsmouth ever produced whose talent has been largely forgotten.” Born in Portsmouth on Nov. 13, 1870, Pearson was trained as a concert pianist and attended Boston’s Cowles Art School. She played piano with the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra in New York but was most recognized throughout the Seacoast for her pen and ink drawings in local publications. Her “Open Door” drawing especially, was used for many years in Portsmouth publicity pamphlets. This collection includes 14 original Helen Pearson drawings, 12 of which were created for her 1913 volume Vignettes of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in collaboration with Harold Hotchkiss Bennett.

The collection was gifted to the Portsmouth Public Library by Helen Pearson as a bequest from her estate. Each item underwent evaluation and conservation in 1992 and are permanently housed in the vault of the Portsmouth Public Library Special Collections. The digital images are available here for research and public view.