Beatrice Edgerly Macpherson (1898-1973)
October, undated. Pen and ink

Beatrice Edgerly Macpherson (1898-1973)
Pen and ink
Mystic Museum of Art Permanent Collection
Donated by Gladys Edgerly Bates

Beatrice Edgerly Macpherson was a successful magazine illustrator, known for her decorative pen work in periodicals such as McCall’s, Christian Herald, Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, and Better Homes and Gardens.

The younger sister of Gladys Edgerly Bates, Beatrice was born in New Jersey in 1898. Like her older sister, Beatrice attended the Corcoran School of Art—at the age of eleven, she was the youngest student to have been enrolled—as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Trenton School of Industrial Arts.

Beatrice married landscape painter John Havard Macpherson in 1922, had two sons, and briefly lived in the Mystic area in the mid-1920s before moving to Bushkill, Pennsylvania. In 1937 the family relocated again, this time to Tucson, Arizona, where Beatrice, John, and Charles Golden founded the Southern Arizona School of Art in 1947—the same year Beatrice earned her pilot’s license. She would fly in six Powder Puff Derbies.

Her husband and both boys served in the Navy during WWII, while Beatrice set aside her art interests and worked as a grey lady at Davis-Monthan Field and was part of the search and rescue team and originated and managed the hospital newspaper, Pill Box Review.

After the war, she devoted much of her time to the Arizona School of Art, serving as co-director from 1947 to 1964. For many years she wrote for the Tucson Sun newspaper, with an art column in the society section. She was a major activist in the women’s rights movement, and was Art Editor and Columnist for the Arizona Daily Star newspaper 1954 to 1963.