Portrait, genre and still life painter
was an American portrait, genre and still life painter. Known for his attention to detail, he was also an inventor of a machine for braiding horsewhips. Spending most of his life in Ashfield, Massachusetts, Elmer is best known for his painting Mourning Picture. This 1890 family portrait depicts the artist, his wife, and their daughter Effie who had died shortly before it was painted. The painting is noted for its intricate detail and the contrast between the mourning family, who sits in relative darkness, and the dead daughter, who is bathed in sunlight. It was first displayed in a local post office in 1890, then disappeared until the 1950's.