She became best known for her realist genre pastels and etchings from everyday life of the city of Charleston at the time achieving note for her ennobled portraits of African American subjects.
A native of Charleston, she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia with noted instructor, Thomas Anshutz, a disciple of Thomas Eakins, founder of the American School of Painting. She learned etching at the Central School of Art in London, and in 1937 visited Japan where she learned sumi brush painting. She began working in pastel after seeing an exhibition in Boston of the floral pastels of Laura Coombs Hills.
A founder of the Charleston Society of Etchers and the Southern States Art League, she was the guiding force behind the Charleston Renaissance, along with Alfred Hutty, Anna Heyward Taylor, and Alice Ravenel Huger Smith.
Due to her contributions to the history of art, the State of South Carolina named their prestigious annual art award after Verner, the highest honor the state gives in the arts. Her works are represented in the collections of national institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as leading museums across the Southeast.
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