Focused on the efflorescence of professional women artists in Philadelphia that occurred in the decades between 1880 and the early 20th century, this intimate exhibition features the work of Violet Oakley, her teacher Cecilia Beaux, and their contemporaries Mary Cassatt, Susan MacDowell Eakins, Mary Nimmo Moran, Alice Barber Stephens, and Lilian Westcott Hale among many others.
Graphic Women includes over 30 delicate charcoals, etchings, pastels, pen-and-ink illustrations, and watercolors, which due to their ephemeral nature are not often shown PAFA’s galleries.
Some of the works are recent purchases and gifts that have never before been on view and represent the best of the genres of period styles in which women artists were working, including professional illustration, the Etching Revival, and vibrant watercolors from the golden age of American watercolor.
Graphic Women is presented in conjunction with A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance, a large-scale exhibition of the work of Violet Oakley, at the Woodmere Art Museum, on view September 30, 2017 through January 21, 2018.
A Grand Vision will focus on Oakley’s public commissions, which are rarely seen because of their fixed locations in civic buildings, churches, schools, and private residences. Studies for these commissions, including designs for stained glass windows and mural sketches, will provide an opportunity to see the range of Oakley’s 50-year career.
Curated by Dr. Patricia Likos Ricci, Associate Professor of the History of Art and Director of the Fine Arts Division at Elizabethtown College, the exhibition will document Oakley’s extensive contributions to Philadelphia institutions and the “American Renaissance” revival.