In a letter to Richard Lykes, Cornelia Greenough recalled that Pyle had his students draw from the clothed model, instead of the nude which was standard teaching procedure in art schools of the period. She wrote:
“Howard Pyle’s ideas of instruction were far removed from the usual long
months and often years spent in life class work.”
According to her, Pyle argued: “The human family having worn clothes for generations, their clothes are a part of them; it is like taking feathers off a bird before you draw or paint it.” As an illustrator, Pyle must have felt obliged to stress this point because most of his students had had the traditional academic training, the epitome of which was painting from the nude. He was fully aware that late nineteenth-century magazine articles rarely called for the depiction of nude and that the costumed figure was of much greater value to budding illustrators.
Cornelia Greenough’s illustrations ap eared in books and magazines during the early 1900s. She also exhibite I her work in the annual exhibitior – at the Pennsylvania Academy and served on a committee there that administered the Thouron Fund to aid need artists. She was active in church and charitable work. She established a memorial prize for the outstanding public school student in mechanical drawing in honor of her brother, Grafton Greenough, who was vice-president of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. She lived in Philadelphia until her death in 1949.