Charlotte Howard Porter, Herself, 1947. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 in. Courtesy Jim’s of Lambertville, Lambertville, NJ.
Charlotte Howard Porter, Allegory #1, ca. 1950s. Etching, 18 x 11 3/8 in. The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, Gift of the Artist 1991.
Charlotte Howard Porter, Allegory #5, 1956. Etching, 11 5/8 x 17 3/8 in. The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, Gift of the Artist 1991.

74. Charlotte Howard Porter

Life Datesca. 1932-1960
Place of BirthZwolle, LA, USA
Place of DeathWashington, DC, USA
Birth NameCharlotte Howard

Charlotte Howard was born in New York City on December 9, 1919. Her parents, William Howard and Ida Henderickx, were immigrants from England and Belgium, respectively. Not much is known about her upbringing, except that her mother died very young in 1926 and, by the 1930 census, Charlotte was living with her maternal aunt’s family in New York City.1 In January 1946, Howard married Cyrus Porter, and the couple resided in Greenwich Village at 31 West Eleventh Street.2 Details about Howard Porter’s artistic training and career are sparse, but auction records and extant paintings and prints suggest she worked in a representational mode, producing brightly colored cityscapes and landscapes populated by animals, insects and other fauna. The Grippe student ledger book includes Howard Porter, and her time at the studio spanned from fall 1952 until spring 1954.3 Based on collections the artist donated to the Butler Art Institute in Youngstown, Ohio, her etchings show the strong influence of surrealism in several allegorical scenes set in fantastical cave-like settings. Howard Porter’s exhibition history is yet to be uncovered, and it would be quite revealing to know where she showed her Atelier 17 prints. Nothing further is known about the artist’s life or career, except that her estate bequeathed grants to several cultural institutions, including the New York Public Library and a scholarship to the Art Students League, where she studied from 1956 until late 1970s.4 Based on government death records, Charlotte Howard Porter may have married a second time to a man with the surname Paterno, but details of this marriage are not yet confirmed.5


  1. These facts come from the 1930 census: Manhattan, New York; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0457; FHL microfilm: 2341292. Further genealogical details courtesy of her relative William Hendrickx, email to Christina Weyl, October 22, 2018.
  2. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-1995. Lehi, UT: Operations, Inc., 2017.
  3. Student ledger book, p. 62, Allentown Art Museum/Grippe Collection, Allentown, Penn.
  4. Student registration card, Art Students League of New York.
  5. See Social Security Death Index for Charlotte Louise Howard (December 9, 1919–November 14, 1998) in U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Provo, UT: Operations, Inc., 2015.