""I Think I Hear Someone Coming Upstairs" "   Lot no. 4398

Add to Want List

By Ellen Pyle (1876 - 1936)

1903 (Estimated)
11 1/4 x 7 1/4 in. Framed: 19 3/8 x 15 3/8 x 1 in.
oil en grisaille on paper laid down to illustratio
Signed Bottom Center



Click any of the images above for additional views.

Story illustration for Brenda's Bargain: A Story for Girls by Helen Leah Reed, published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1903. 

Captioned "I think I hear some one coming upstairs," the illustration appears in "Chapter VII: In Difficulties"

Explore related art collections: Magazine Stories / Family / Women Artists / $5,000 - $20,000 / Brandywine School / Women as Subjects / Newly Researched

See all original artwork by Ellen Pyle



Ellen Bernard Thompson, born November 11, 1876 in Philadelphia, PA.

Ellen Bernard Thompson was a student in Howard Pyle's art school in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. At this school, Ellen met Howard's brother, Walter. At the time they met, Walter was married and had a small son. As fate would have it, Ellen and Walter fell in love, but when her parents found out, they forbade Ellen to return to art school or to see Walter Pyle. Ellen spent the next two years pursuing an art career from her home in Philadelphia. In 1903, Walter was widowed, and, in 1904, he and Ellen married.

After their marriage, they lived in Wilmington where Walter and his brother ran the family leather business. Ellen gave up her art to care for her growing family: Walter, Jr., Ellen Bernard Thompson, Katharine, and Caroline Ashton. In the 1910s, they moved to a beautiful farm outside of Wilmington called West Brae where they led an idyllic life.

Tragically, in 1918, Walter was taken suddenly ill with the same kidney ailment which had stricken his brother, Howard. The illness very quickly led to his death, and Ellen was left with no resources and four young children to raise. She was determined not to lose their way of life at West Brae, and she turned to her art as a way to earn an income. For the next 20 years, she supported her family and became a well recognized illustrator. Her art work appeared on the covers of many popular magazines, including the "Saturday Evening Post" (40 covers from 1922-1936) and "Parents Magazine". She also did advertising art, book covers and magazine and book illustrations. She died on August 1, 1936, at home.




- The following is courtesy Katharine Smith: "Below are some biographical notes about Ellen B T Pyle (my great grandmother) as written by my cousin, Alice Abrash".

- Biography from the Archives of askART