Born in Leamington, Sarah was the eldest of four sisters (Daisy, Jeannie and Louise), all of whom were artists. She was an early member of the St Ives Arts Club, along with her three sisters (Three Misses Whitehouse, a painting by their father, is illustrated in Whybrow). They travelled widely and together, painting scenes from the many countries in Europe that they visited. In 1893 Sarah was awarded the bronze medal for painting at the Academie Delacluse and in 1897 a first prize for Interior and Figure in competition.
In 1901 she exhibited and sold Harbour Twilight at NAG. She exhibited widely in provincial galleries. In 1911 the St Ives Times commented on her gift to St John's church with the headline 'Dedication of Altar Panels', 'On Sunday last (Christmas Eve) four Altar Panels designed and executed by the donor Miss S E Whitehouse were dedicated at St Ives.The artist has taken for her subject four Archangels out of-to quote Milton's words-"The seven, Who in God's presence, nearest to His throne, stand ready at command".
In 1996 her work, St Ives Harbour, was included in the group exhibition at Falmouth of Women Artists in Cornwall 1880-1940. An illustration of her painting Laura Knight painting at St Ives, was reprinted at p11 in the accompanying exhibition catalogue.
Interior and figure painter
B (13); L (5); NAG (1901); RA (2); RSA; Paris; Whitechapel (1902); 'Women Artists' (Falmouth AG, Group 1996) St Ives 1912, March 1915, March 1917, June, Lanhams 1919, March Market Hall, Penzance 1917, 28 April - 5 March; Great Exhibition and Sale of Work Plymouth Art Gallery 1917, November
Hardie (2009) Artists/Newlyn & West Cornwall p299
Tovey (2009) St Ives/Social History
Wallace et al (1996) Women Artists in Cornwall 1880-1940
Whybrow (1994) St Ives