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Olivet College Visual Arts Department to present “Beautiful Things: Still Life Paintings by American Women 1880-1940”
Dec 17, 2013

The Olivet College Visual Arts Department will present its first exhibition of the new year, “Beautiful Things: Still Life Paintings by American Women 1880-1940,” at the Riethmiller Blackman Art Building Jan. 16 through Feb. 14, 2014. An opening reception will be held Friday, Jan. 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. inside the building’s Kresge Art Gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.

Curated by Edward P. Bentley, the exhibition features still life paintings from more than 30 artists. Though highly accomplished, these women lived in a time when female artists were scarcely recognized. “In researching the lives of these artists, much of the known information only lists organizations with which these women were affiliated almost nothing is said about their work or abilities,” Bentley said. “Even exhibited works were often disguised by changing the signatures of their paintings, thinking that initials implied a male artist, which would be advantageous in marketing when artwork by women did not bring comparable prices as works by men.”

The work featured in the exhibition is on loan from private collectors and galleries nationwide. “Although many of the artists featured in this exhibition remain little studied, today their work is gaining wider recognition due, in part, to collectors and museums dusting off their archives and finding an appreciative audience,” Bentley said. “These works are a testament to the enduring legacy of our American women.”

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call (269) 749-7627.

“Beautiful Things: Still Life Paintings by American Women 1880-1940” featured artists:

Mae Bennett Brown

Della Flora Cleveland

Charlotte Buell Coman

Blanche Helen McLane Cook

Sarah Elizabeth Bender De Wolfe

Frances Farrand Dodge

Susie Willard Dugan (Dibble)

Lydia Dunham Fabian

Frances Wiley Faig

Ellen Burpee Farr

Ethel Elizabeth Foster

Marie Osthaus Griffith

Nellie Ward (Scearce) Haller

Addie Hartson

Bessie Helstrom

Sara (Sadie) Mae Hess

Christiana A. Hoerman

Ellen Wales Hutchison

Sister Mary Immaculata

Margaret Caroline Sawyer John

Emma Fordyce MacRae

Francis M. Mumaugh

Emma Alice Polly Nordell

Ethel Paxson

Marguerite Stuber Pearson

Annie Pogson

Belle Bogardus Robbins

Eleanor Roberts

Alta West Salisbury

Martha Brownlee (Forrest) Somerville

Cora Bliss Taylor

Alice Hagerman Thurber

Gertrude Martin Tonsberg

Nina Belle Ward

Millie L. Burrall Wood


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