From Springfield, MA, Sutton played a crucial role in the growth of the artist colony on Nantucket.
In the 1920’s she studied art at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts in Philadelphia and at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City. In the 1930’s she attended the Art Students League of New York. She was also active in the Springfield Artists Guild, the Springfield Art League, and helped found the Boston Printmakers.
On Nantucket, she studied under Frank Swift Chase. Sutton began summering on island in 1924, and in 1943 she purchased a number of properties on Commercial Wharf that had been refurbished into artist studios by Florence Lang. After modernizing them, she rented the others to members of the island’s artist colony. In 1950 she remodeled the Candle House Studio into a home and adjoining studio for herself.
In addition to providing housing for artists, Sutton encouraged the growth of exhibition opportunities on the island; an ardent supporter of the Nantucket annual summer Sidewalk Art Show.
In 1947 Sutton journeyed through Central America and Antigua, Guatemala, and several of her travel sketches reside in the PC. Also a number of Florida sketches from a 1940s trip.
Four photographs of Sutton in PC:
1 Sutton advertising the Sidewalk Art Show on a 1941 4th of July parade float sponsored by Island Service (see images).
2 Louis Davidson image of her sketching by a picket fence.
3 Springfield newspaper (her hometown) shot of her sketching near her South Beach cottage.
4 Sutton on Postcard, the card mentioned in her article “Waterfront Studios” in a 1958 issue of the NHA’s Historic Nantucket; here she’s sketching on the lawn by the bulkhead of the Easy Street Gallery.