Caroline Van Hook Bean Binyon, 101, an impressionist painter of portraits and city landscapes who also was known locally for her restoration of Georgetown houses, died Wednesday at Georgetown University Hospital after a stroke.
Mrs. Binyon had lived at the Washington Home since 1978, where she had remained active as an artist.
A native Washingtonian and the daughter of Dr. Tarleton H. Bean, an icthyologist (authority on fish) for the Smithsonian Institution, she used her maiden name professionally. It was at her father's Smithsonian office that she began painting, on wrapping paper, at the age of 5.
When she was in her early teens, her father became director of the New York Aquarium and the family moved to New York. A couple of years later, because of her artistic ability, she was taken to Paris by her parents to study painting. She also studied the masters by copying their paintings at the Louvre.
During this time, she wrote and illustrated fashion features, which she sold to American newspapers.
Returning to this country at the turn of the century to attend Smith College, she graduated in 1903 and soon returned to Europe. In London, she became a student of the American watercolorist, John Singer Sargent, who she later recalled as a "tall, shy man with a very small nose, a beard, and eyes that were slightly popped."
She also studied in Holland and Italy before returning to New York and establishing a studio.
During World War I, she produced her most successful work, a series of drawings of "New York in War Time," which critics called "brilliant and joyous". All of the paintings, which were included in her latest one-man show in New York in 1970, were sold, mostly to bankers such as J. P. Morgan, who bought three.
Mrs. Binyon had a number of one-man shows and exhibits at U.S. galleries and museums, such as the Corcoran Gallery here and the Chicago Institute of Art. She also had a successful career as a portraitist and had received commissions from the DuPonts, Fords, Posts and Kiplingers.
She subsequently settled in Washington and developed a side interest in remodeling homes. In 1934, she won first prize in The Evening Star Better Homes contest for modernizing an old Georgetown house. She later built two houses from the ground up, serving as architect, obtaining her own city permits, letting her own contracts and hunting for building materials. After remodeling or building a home, she painted it on canvas.
Mrs. Binyon was married to an English aviation-automotive engineer, Algernon H. Binyon, who worked for the Bureau of Standards here. He died in the 1940s.
Her grandfather, John Van Hook, helped lay out the original plans for Anacostia in southeast Washington.
She leaves no immediate survivors.