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Elsie Palmer was born in San Antonio, Texas on September 9, 1884.  The Palmer family moved to California in 1886.  Elsie grew up in Oakland and graduated high school in San Francisco.  After studying locally at the Best Art School, she worked as a commercial artist.  Her work took her to Chicago where she married artist Edgar Payne in 1912.  The couple took several trips to California in the intervening years before settling in Laguna Beach in 1917,  The Paynes exhibited throughout Europe from 1922-1924, and while there, her work was highly praised by the French critics.  Maintaining residence in Laguna Beach, she established the Elsie Palmer Payne Art School in 1934.  Working in watercolor, oil, tempera and gouache  she produced florals, landscapes and portraits in an illustrative style.  Elsie moved to her daughter's home in Minneapolis in 1969 and died there on June 17, 1971.