In the Presbyterian section of the cemetery at St. Luke’s Church there is a simple stone which is easily missed because it has toppled from its base. The stone’s inscription reads, “Alice Judson 1867-1948”
Alice Judson was an accomplished Beacon artist who specialized in landscapes of Dutchess County and seascapes of Gloucester, Massachusetts. In the 1920s and 1930s, when her fame was at its peak, Judson was considered by critics as one of America’s foremost women painters in marine studies.
Miss Judson received her training at the Art Students League in New York under the tutelage of John Henry Twachtman. She further perfected her craft with frequent trips to Europe in the early years of the twentieth century—primarily in Paris, France—all in all, studying art for 16 years in this country and abroad. Judson became an instructor at the Pittsburgh School of Art in the 1920s, and by the 1930s, she had frequent one-woman shows of her oils and watercolors in New York City galleries.
Older Beacon residents best remember seeing Alice Judson painting scenes of Fountain Square near her home on Leonard Street, or visiting her “Forge Studio” on Tioronda Avenue near the Howland Cultural Center to view one of her exhibits. Some of her best work was painted locally: paintings such as “The Pond at Gayhead,” “Haystacks at Glenham,” and “Lengthening Shadows” at Cold Spring.
For the last 30 years of her life, she also maintained a studio in New York City at West 37th Street. Alice Judson died on April 3, 1948, and is buried at St.Luke’s Episcopal Church Cemetery in Beacon.
The Beacon Historical Society has several of her paintings and they are on display in the society’s office.
It will cost about $500.00 to repair Judson’s headstone. One of her paintings, “The Porch” is being raffled off to raise funds; you can purchase tickets at the Riverwinds Gallery or at the Beacon Historical Society. Tickets cost $5.00 for one ticket or three for $10.00.
The winning ticket will be pulled at a reception at Riverwinds on Saturday September 27, 2014.