|Some of Verner’s pencil sketches were made into postcards depicting
mid-20th century Charleston from its streets.
O’Neill Verner was a well-known artist and writer, as well as a popular
lecturer. She was
awarded honorary degrees “for her artistic and literary achievements that
have enriched the cultural heritage” by both the University of North
Carolina and the University of South Carolina.
Elizabeth O’Neill in Charleston, South Carolina in 1883 she studied at the
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1907 she
married Pettigrew Verner. The Verner
family had a strong connection to Transylvania County. They had
purchased property south of Brevard in 1890where the family spent much of
As a wife
and mother of two children her art work consisted mainly of oil painting. After
learning etching in 1922 she began producing more works. When
Pettigrew Verner died in 1925 she became a professional artist and created a
large body of etchings. Later she
made drypoint plates and worked with pastels.
also an accomplished writer. Her first
book, “Prints and Impressions of Charleston” published in 1939
featured etchings from 1925 through the 1930s. This volume,
as well as Mrs. Verner’s other two books are in the North Carolina reference
collection at the Transylvania County Library. “Mellowed
by Time” explores life in Charleston and includes 16 pencil sketches. “Other
Places” includes drawings and prints from after World War II and an
autobiographical essay showing Verner’s travels and life beyond the Carolinas.
career grew, Verner, her children, and later grandchildren would continue to
spend several months each summer at their mountain home. This, she
claimed, “is the only place I can rest.” She spend
many hours designing and working on the property’s landscaping. Verner’s
descendants still maintain the family’s mountain home outside of Brevard.
talents were in great demand for commissions as well. Her artwork
has been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston Art
Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and many other institutions. In addition,
Elizabeth Verner was a leading force and founding member of the Preservation
Society of Charleston. Elizabeth
Verner died on April 17, 1979 in Charleston.
information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit
the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about
our history and see additional photographs.
For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected] or