Doane Beal & Ames

160 West Main Street, Hyannis, MA


Elizabeth Bishop Mumford

December 29, 1949September 13, 2020

Artist Elizabeth Bishop Mumford passed away on September 13th, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. She was 70 years old.

Liz was raised on a farm in Griffin, Indiana, the only girl in the middle of five brothers. After discovering a love of art in the 3rd grade, she began developing her own distinctive style by capturing scenes of her hometown and life on her family’s farm. Liz’s early education began in Griffin, before she left for boarding school at Kingswood School in Michigan. She attended Sweet Briar College and Smith College. After graduating from Smith, Liz began her teaching career at Seabury Hall School on Maui, where she taught art and history for four years, followed by five years teaching at Evansville Day School in Indiana. She continued her education at Tulane University in New Orleans, where she received a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Liz was a renowned artist whose style developed throughout the years. Influenced by American folk art, her work features mermaids, maritime trade, and everyday life in historically significant locations. Her paintings are typically framed by a black border with gold-leaf scallop shells in the corners and a red lettered quote, such as, “If you follow your star, you will reach a glorious harbor.”

She showed at many galleries from Florida to New England, including the Maritime Art Gallery at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT; Christina Gallery in Edgartown, MA; and Tree’s Place in Orleans, MA. After her second cancer diagnosis in 2016, she transitioned from oil paints to acrylics and watercolors, before returning to oils in the last few months of her life. She also taught art and art history on the Cape, both through private group lessons and at Cape Cod Community College as an adjunct professor. Liz supported a number of local and national charities with donations of art for auction. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including a retrospective of her work at the Cahoon Gallery in Cotuit, MA in 2018.

Growing up, Liz spent her summers at her grandmother’s house in Hyannis Port, MA. She loved Hyannis Port and became a year-round resident in the early 1980s and a fixture in the community. Outside of painting, Liz had a wide variety of interests. She loved to be around her friends, both old and new, always regaling them with stories of her life as a teacher in Hawaii or back on the farm. She loved her gardens, including the front raised bed garden inspired by the gardens in Williamsburg, VA. She was also an accomplished chef and an invitation to dinner at her house was always a treat. An avid singer, she belonged to the choirs of St. Mary’s in Barnstable, MA and St. Peters in Osterville, MA, including traveling to England on choral trips. She was active in the vestry at St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in Hyannis Port, where she was senior warden. A staunch Republican whose loyalty never wavered, she showed that same loyalty to her friends of all political persuasions. She was an active member of National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, Cape and Islands United Way, Town of Barnstable Historical Commission, Mystic Seaport Museum PILOTS, Hyannisport Club, Hyannis Port Yacht Club, West Beach Club, Hyannis Yacht Club, and Chilton Club.

Liz is survived by her son, Sam Wilson, of Hyannis Port, MA; her brothers Tom (Nancy) of Olympia, WA; Dick (Jan) of Hyannis Port, MA; Chris (Maggie) of Holderness, NH; Mike (Sandy) of Griffin, IN; and Bishop (Liz) of Griffin, IN; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, and her dog, Lucy.

Liz may be gone, but we are grateful that her art will always remain.

Due to COVID-19, the family will be holding a private funeral service and internment. A celebration of Liz’s life will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Andrew's-by-the- Sea, P.O. Box 832, Hyannis Port, MA O2647, or Cape and Islands United Way, PO Box 367, Centerville, MA 02632.


  • Sam Wilson, Son
  • Tom ((Nancy)), Brother
  • Dick ((Jan)), Brother
  • Chris ((Maggie)), Brother
  • Mike ((Sandy)), Brother
  • Bishop (Liz) ((Liz)), Brother
  • Liz is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, and her dog, Lucy.

Learn more about the Mumford name


  • St. Andrew's-by-the- Sea
  • Cape and Islands United Way
  • Evansville Day School


  • Due to COVID-19, the family will be holding a private funeral service and internment. A celebration of Liz’s life will be planned at a later date.


Elizabeth Bishop Mumford

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dawn Ariola

September 17, 2020

My daughter,Julia, and Sam started dating during the Covid pandemic. Sam and Liz invited my husband and I for dinner in their Hyannis Port home. It was the first time I’d met Liz and seen her art work . Once the conversation started I felt like I’d known her for ever. We talked at length about her love of art and the evolution of her paintings, and she was engaged in my stories of nursing and anesthesia. I feel honored to have met her and saddened that our time together was so short.Liz will live on through Sam. I will cherish every moment that I get to spend with Sam and Julia. My heart felt condolences to Liz’s family.

Lisa Purdy

September 16, 2020

Such sad news. Liz and I were close at Kingswood but I lost track of her after. While at Kingswood she invited me to her house in Indiana and to her Grandmothers house in Hyannis Port. While in Indiana her 5 brothers and I had such fun swinging from ropes over deep canyons, Tarzan-style and I had my first experience shooting a 10 gauge shotgun for mistletoe. At Hyannis Port, I have fond memories of beach parties that included the Kennedy kids and were my introduction to clam bakes. Recently she wrote to express her gratitude for all the meals she had at our house when she was a boarder. Evidently that was a special treat for those living at Kingswood - something I didn’t know at the time. I knew she didn’t come to the reunion because of her illness, but I had the impression she would be getting over it. So sorry to hear this as we had so much to catch up on. Actually I always loved her paintings on the Cape Cod potato chip bags! Didn’t know she was so famous.

julie wagner

September 16, 2020

Liz Mumford has been a companion of mine through most of my adult life, despite the fact that we met and became friends only a year and a half ago. Although it was her art that was always in the background of my memories, I quickly realized that Liz was her art, and her art was Liz. The friend I came to love always seemed so familiar because it was the twinkle in her eye that was so beguiling in the paintings that graced my walls. It was her devilish humor that was always evident in her clever sayings and the smallest of details hidden in her charming scenes. Liz always knew who she was, and what she wanted, I am thankful her strong convictions, centered around her art and her surroundings, because I know she will forever be here. Rest peacefully my friend.

Judy Sconyers

September 15, 2020

Liz was a friend from our Seabury Hall days on Maui, Hawaii. I have two of her oil paintings from our time on Maui: one that is a view from Seabury looking towards the West Maui Mountains and another that is looking towards Haleakala. I have always treasured them and our friendship. One great memory of her is when she took Tahitian dancing lessons and the wonderful Tahitian costume she had. She had all the moves! She wore her hair to her waist and it went well with the dancing. Liz had such enthusiasm about art and inspired even the least talented of her students with the unusual projects she had them do. We continued our friendship after we both had returned to the mainland, especially the two years I lived in Massachusetts, but distance between Cape Cod and where I settled in West Virginia meant that we eventually were Christmas card friends (her cards were treasures).

Donna Fitzmaurice

September 15, 2020

She was an amazing woman! We would gather at her home for classes then wrap up with a gourmet treat and wine in her kitchen seated at the island to share whatever popped up in conversation. I felt so blessed for the opportunity to learn from her...she wasn’t afraid to ‘share information’ in her teachings. My deepest sympathy to her son and family...celebrate her life!

Kate Lyon

September 15, 2020

So sorry to hear of Liz's passing and thinking of Sam and the Mumford family. Have so many fond memories of Liz and her family in Hyannisport from my younger years - caroling at Christmas, singing in the choir at St Mary's and the Children's Sing A Longs she and my mom would host at St Andrew's, summers spent with Sam, and of course her beautiful artwork that has traveled with me throughout my life. She was a very special person who touched many.

Carolyn Russett

September 15, 2020

"the best cure is a good nurse". One year, many years ago, Elizabeth made this print available for sale to some nurses at CCH for a very reasonable price. There were a few of us that took advantage of this offer and never regretted it. It still is on the wall in my kitchen along with three mermaids drinking wine on the beach. Every time I look at these prints I smile. And that's what Elizabeths art makes you do -- appreciate the whimsy, appreciate the history, and smile. The world has lost a wonderful artist but will never be forgotten as long as the art exists. Condolences to her family -- my thoughts and prayers are with you


Learn more about the Mumford name