Mary Elizabeth Grinnell Post

Mary Elizabeth Grinnell Post

1923 – 1983

Mary Post at work, c. 1980. Photograph from the Sakonnet Times.

Watercolorist M. E. Post was born Mary Elizabeth Grinnell on October 8, 1923, in Newport, RI.  She was the youngest of five children born to Charles Leroy and Mary Elizabeth (nee Peckham) Grinnell, both scions of old Newport County families.  Mary showed an early interest in art, encouraged by her aunt Elizabeth Morrissey, who also painted.  She attended grade schools in Newport, Providence and Tiverton, RI;  graduated from Fort Barton School in Tiverton in 1938, and graduated from Rogers High School in Newport in 1942.  Afterwards she attended the Rhode Island School of Design during WWII, leaving to work for the war effort at the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport.  After the war she married Homer D. Eckhardt and settled in Massachusetts.  She had four children by Eckhardt; they divorced in 1967.  She remarried to Benjamin F. Post, and the couple and Mrs. Post’s two sons settled in Little Compton in 1971.  All during this time she continued her pursuit of art, watercolors especially.  She was a student of Foster Nystrom of Lincoln, MA, and later of Stephen F. Olszewski of Portsmouth, RI.  Along with other former members of Olszewski’s class, Post painted as part of “the Thursday Painters,”  an informal group that gathered each week to paint local scenes.  She became an active member of the Providence Art Club, the Providence Watercolor Club, the Newport Art Association and the Westport Art Group, and was a founding member of the Little Compton Art Association.  Her work, displaying the beauties of her beloved Newport County, RI, and nearby Massachusetts, was shown across the region and beloved by many.  She died suddenly on December 21, 1983.  But her legacy survives in her descendants, among whom are an architect, a watercolorist, a printer, an illustrator and an art therapist.

Wibur’s Store, c. 1975 by M.E. Post. Courtesy of Janice Gomez.

Jason Eckhardt, Son


from Little Compton Historical Society’s 2017 exhibit : Little Compton 20th Century Artists

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