The Weavers of Selma

This small focused exhibition comprises 10 works by Clara Weaver Parrish, Rose Pettus Weaver, and…


This small focused exhibition comprises 10 works by Clara Weaver Parrish, Rose Pettus Weaver, and Rosalind Tarver Lipscomb. The story of this multi-generational family of women artists began in Selma, Alabama.

Most famous among the Weavers is Clara Weaver Parrish (1861-1925), who was born at Emerald Place Plantation in Dallas County, Alabama, and raised in Selma. Her parents, William and Lucia Weaver, encouraged Clara and her siblings to develop their artistic talents. In the 1880s, Clara was sent to New York to study art at the Art Students League, where her teachers included William Merritt Chase, Henry Siddons Mowbray, and Julian Alden Weir. By the 1890s, Clara, now married to William Peck Parrish of Selma, was exhibiting widely, showing her work at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the Paris Exposition of 1900. In 1910, she exhibited at both the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy in London. Clara Weaver Parrish also achieved fame as a designer of stained glass windows for Louis Comfort Tiffany, and her work can be seen in churches in Alabama, as well as in New York City.

While Clara Weaver Parrish pursued a career as a painter, her sister Rose Pettus Weaver (1863-1954) honed her skills as a sculptor, excelling at carving wood in the Beaux-Arts style. The intricate panels she carved for a staircase in her family’s Selma home are a testament to her exceptional talent. A niece, Anne Weaver Norton (1905-1982), would find early success as an illustrator of children’s books, but would become best known as an abstract sculptor. The grounds of her West Palm Beach, Florida, home are now open to the public as the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens.

Clara Weaver Parrish’s great-niece, Rosalind Tarver Lipscomb (1920-), continues the artistic legacy established by her forebearers. Raised in Americus, Georgia, and now a resident of Huntsville, Alabama, Rosalind Tarver Lipscomb is an accomplished painter of portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. The Birmingham Museum of Art is grateful to her for entrusting treasured heirlooms to their care in order to tell the story of this important family of Alabama artists.