Elizabeth Vila Taylor Watson (American, 1863-1949)

Elizabeth Vila Taylor Watson, a portrait painter was often professionally referred to as E.V.T. Watson. She was born as Elizabeth Vila Taylor in Westfield, NJ. She died in 1949. She graduated from The Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, now called The School of the Museum Fine Arts, Boston. Elizabeth exhibited her paintings for 50 years in Boston.

Elizabeth was primarily known as a portrait painter, both full size and miniature. She moved to the Boston area and joined the ranks of the best Boston artists of the Boston School of painters. She studied with Edmund Tarbell and Walter DeCamp and had a studio at Harcourt Studios, until it perished in a fire, and then Fenway Studio for most of the years that she flourished as a painter. Fenway Studios is still in existence today, in its same role, providing artist’s studios. Fenway Studios in one of the most famous surviving Arts and Crafts architectural buildings in Boston. Some of the best Boston School painters attended the School of the Musuem of Fine Arts and had studios at Fenway Studios.

Her portrait subjects were primarily of academic, artistic, political, civic, religious and social leading figures. The grand figure shown on this site is a life-size portrait of opera singer, Madame Marie Conde. This was her stage name, while her real name was Erestine Cobern Byer. Elizabeth’s portraits included those of Judge Anderson of the Circuit Court of Appeals; Dr. Henry Norris Russell, director at Princeton Observatory; Grace Moore, opera singer; and Judge Emma Fall Scholfield.

After she married Mortimer Watson, Elizabeth summered on Clarks Island off of the coast of Massachusetts. The island is owned by, in part by the Watsons. The rest of the year she was a resident of Fenway Studios. She was buried at Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston with her family.