Margaret Triplett

Masterful Middle-Century watercolors by an important American female painter.

Biography, Margaret Triplett


Triplett began teaching at the Norwich Art School in 1929 and became director from 1944 to 1970. An artist herself, she obtained a Masters in Art at Yale in 1942, and studied with Grant Wood, Robert Brackman and Hans Hoffman among others, developing an abstract style in watercolors.

She was born in South Dakota and grew up in Iowa, where her interest in art developed.  She earned a B. A. from
the State University of Iowa and continued her studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1927-1929, receiving a Master of Arts Degree from Yale University in 1942.


While studying at the Museum School, Triplett was approached by Charlotte Fuller Eastman, then director of the Norwich Art School (NAS) who was searching for a teacher to complete the semester of a departing faculty member. That led to a career at NAS spanning over forty years.  She was an art instructor from 1929 until 1944
and then served as NAS’s Director from 1944 to 1970.

A prolific painter, she studied during the summer at art colonies with such artists as George Bridgeman, Grant Wood, Hans Hoffman, Robert Brackman and Kimon Nicolaides and attended the Art Students League in New York for workshops. 

The artist’s extensive travels throughout the United States and abroad influenced her work greatly.  She kept detailed journals and diaries in sketchbooks as she traveled.  Her first one-person show was at the Morton Galleries in New York in 1939. She was a trustee of the Hartford Art School, now of the University of Hartford, a member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society, Active Artist Member of the Mystic Art Association (now called the Mystic Arts Center) and served as president of the Connecticut Arts Association and the Gamma Chapter of  Delta Kappa Gamma International.


She had several one-person shows in New York and New England including a retrospect of fifty years of work, held at Eastern Connecticut State University in 1985. Her watercolor Shadow, is painted in the style of the American scene, a depression era-inspired movement that would later be called Regionalism or Midwest Regionalism and Social Realism. The American scene was a naturalist style prominent from the 1920s through 1940s in the U. S.  


After World War I, many American artists rejected modern styles like impressionism, fauvism, and cubism that arose from the fabled New York Armory Show of 1913. Like Margaret Triplett,  they adopted an academic realism, depicting urban and rural scenes, celebrating and romanticizing everyday American life.*


Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich, CT

*Source:  Slater Memorial Museum Newsletter "The Muse", Winter 2008.