Nourse was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she began studying art formally at age 15 at the
McMicken School of Design. She continued her studies at the New York Art
Students League; and, in 1887, she sailed to Paris to continue her studies at the Académie Julian. She became a
successful painter of peasant themes, especially of peasant women engaged in
humble acts of devotion & motherhood & everyday chores. She exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Paris Salon, and many other venues. Her works are in the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum, The National Gallery, Luxembourg Museum & the Detroit Art Institute. She
traveled widely in search of regional folk themes, but bustling, sophisticated Paris remained her home
for the rest of her life.