December 24 2006

Press Release: Historical Society to Release Docudrama on Local Artist

Jennie Brownscombe’s “The First Thanksgiving,” is probably the Honesdale-born artist’s most famous painting.

Jennie Brownscombe

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Historical Society will release a DVD of a docudrama on local artist Jennie Brownscombe, “She Painted The The Life Of Jennie Brownscombe,” in time for the society’s annual holiday open house on Saturday, November 25, from 00 to 7:00 p.m.

Jennie Brownscombe (1850-1936) was an artist born in Honesdale. She studied at the Cooper Union in New York and in Europe and was one of the very few females to make a living from her art in the 19th century.

Brownscombe’s most famous painting is probably "The First Thanksgiving,” but she created many other paintings and drawings of historical events and individuals, as well as calendar art and other commercial art. Her widowed mother lived in Honesdale and Brownscombe always returned from her travels to visit friends and display her work in local stores. She is buried in Glen Dyberry Cemetery in Honesdale.

The DVD, which costs $15, was written, directed and edited by Ian Pugh, The River Reporter’s film critic, and produced by his father, Donald Pugh. They received help from a variety of sources including the Wayne Highlands School District and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Pugh writes, “It's a piece that, I hope, illustrates the importance of a local artist who broke into the art world-at-large; furthermore, as filmmaking is wont to do, its creation over time gave me a better appreciation for film as an art form.”

The DVD will be given to the school district as part of an instructional "teacher's packet" on Brownscombe.