Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Persis Robertson was an American painter and printmaker. Robertson was the daughter of attorney James B. Weaver and sculptor and woodcarver Fayette Atkins Weaver.
Robertson studied French, theater, and literature at Wells College, in Aurora, New York. She graduated in 1917. In 1932 and 1933, Robertson attended the Stone City Art Colony, organized by Regionalist artist Grant Wood. While there, two members of the colony, Lowell Houser and Adrian Dornbush, taught her lithography. Robertson also studied printmaking at the Art Students Workshop in Des Moines later in that decade.
Robertson’s lithograph, Alone, All All Alone, seems influenced by Wood’s prints for the Associated American Artists late in his career. Wood’s calendar series lithographs were inspired by the seasons as experienced in a rural setting. Those he created for the winter months seem especially bleak and filled with foreboding, as this Robertson lithographs does.
Robertson married Albert J. Robertson in 1918. They lived in Des Moines until 1953, when Albert received a position in the Eisenhower administration and the couple moved to Washington, D.C. Persis gradually left lithography behind, but she continued in creative pursuits, taking up paper cutting later in life. After her husband’s death, she relocated to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where she was living at the time of her death.
Robertson participated in numerous group shows during her career, including at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Print Club, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She presented work in solo exhibitions as well, and often won prizes at the art salon of the Iowa State Fair. She was also active with her husband in artistic circles in Des Moines; the two sat on the planning committee for the Des Moines Art Center, and she started the Art Students Workshop at the public library with Florence Cowles Kruidenier.