In the early 20th century, three women illustrators: Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Violet Oakley lived and flourished together in a shared space above the Red Rose Inn. As their careers blossomed, they were called “The Red Rose Girls”. At a time where society and the illustration profession was male dominated, the Red Rose Girls painted their own path and succeeded—an example which we dare to follow.
In 1996 three women illustrators: Grace Lin, Anna Alter and Linda Wingerter forged a bond via the internet. Relying on eachother, the seeds of their children's book careers began to take root; and they named themselves "The Blue Rose Girls," as an homage to the friendship of Red Rose Girls before them. As their work bloomed, they sent out runners and authors Libby Koponen, Meghan McCarthy, editor Alvina Ling, and former librarian/poet Elaine Magliaro soon found themselves planted.
While we don’t all live together in a shared studio space, we do, like the Red Rose Girls, depend and feed off each other for inspiration and support. Welcome to the Blue Rose Garden, we hope it is as captivating for you as it is for us.
"But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.”-Oliver Wendell Holmes