Catherine Tharp Altvater

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Catherine Tharp Altvater
Born (1907-07-26)July 26, 1907
Little Rock, Arkansas
Died October 9, 1984(1984-10-09) (aged 77)
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Education National Academy of Design School, Grand Central School of Contemporary Arts, Art League of Long Island
Known for Watercolor and oil painting
Awards Emily Lowe Memorial Award, Audubon Artists

Catherine Tharp Altvater (1907–1984) was an American oil painter and watercolorist. Her watercolor paintings hang in the Museum of Modern Art and many other museums. Altvater was the first woman to hold office in the American Watercolor Society.[1][2]


She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1907. She was married to Wellington Scott and Fredrick Lang Altvater.[3] She lived in the Hudson River Valley, New York and Long Island, New York most of her professional life.

Altvater painted in both watercolor and oils and, from 1947 through 1967, won more than fifty awards, including first prize in watercolors at the National Arts Club in New York for 1969. Altvater was best known for her colorful floral still-life paintings (White Lilies in the Rain, Hymn to the Sun), landscapes (Golden Dawn), and architectural scenes. Altvater’s work was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Academy of Fine Arts, National Arts Club, Audubon Artists Royal Watercolor Society (London), Parrish Museum (New York), and the Mexico City Museum of Art. Her paintings were included in the American Watercolor Society’s traveling exhibitions.[4]

She founded the Mid-Southern Watercolorists in Little Rock in 1970, with artists Doris Williamson Mapes, Bruce R. Anderson, Josephine Graham, and Edwin C. Brewer. She lived outside of Scott, Arkansas in Lonoke County for ten years.[4]

She retired to New Smyrna Beach, Florida and died there October 9, 1984.[4]



  1. "BIOGRAPHIES OF THE FABULOUS WOMEN IN ARKANSAS". 2001-08-24. Retrieved 2013-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Artists, Actresses, and Writers". Retrieved 2013-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Antiques & Fine Art - Catherine Tharp (Mrs. Fred L.) Altvater". Retrieved 2013-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Teeter, Thomas A (2012-02-05). "Catherine Tharp Altvater (1907–1984)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2013-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Weathersby, Isabel. "Cathy Altvater, Nationally-Known Artist, Is Planning to Return to Her Native State." Arkansas Gazette, April 20, 1969, p. 6E.
  • White, Ray. "She Paints with Watercolor at Her ‘Hideaway’ in Scott." Arkansas Democrat Magazine, March 8, 1970, p. 2.

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