Constance Gordon-Cumming

Constance Gordon-Cumming

Constance Gordon-Cumming

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Constance Frederica “Eka” Gordon-Cumming (26 May 1837 – 4 September 1924) was a travel writer and painter. She was born on 26 May 1837 at Altyre, near Forres in Scotland, the 12th child of a wealthy family. Her parents were Sir William Gordon-Cumming, 2nd Baronet, and Elizabeth Maria (Campbell) Cumming. She was the aunt of Sir William Gordon-Cumming, 4th Baronet. She grew up in Northumberland, and was educated at Fulham, London. She taught herself how to paint, and had help from artists visiting her home, including one of Queen Victoria's favorite painters, Sir Edwin Landseer. After spending a year in India in 1867, she became interested in travel.

Gordon-Cumming was a prolific travel writer and landscape painter who traveled the world, mostly in Asia and the Pacific. She has painted over a thousand watercolors. Places she visited include Australia, New Zealand, America, China, and Japan. She arrived in Hilo, Hawaii in October 1879, and was among the first artists to paint the active volcanoes. Severson, Don R. Finding Paradise: Island Art in Private Collections, University of Hawaii Press, 2002, p. 93 Her Hawaii travelogue, Fire Fountains: The Kingdom of Hawaii, was published in Edinburgh in 1883. Severson, Don R. Finding Paradise: Island Art in Private Collections, University of Hawaii Press, 2002, p. 93

Her best known books are At Home in Fiji and A Lady's Cruise on a French Man-of-War. The latter book resulted from an...
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