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ARTLINE Vol. 22, No. 1

Fall 2012

N E W S F RO M T H E M I T C H E L L G A L L E RY AT S T. J O H N ’ S C O L L E G E

EXHIBITS PUSHING THE LINE: AMERIC AN WOMEN PRINTMAKERS August 24 to October 14 CIVIL WAR ERA DRAWINGS FROM THE BECKER COLLECTION October 27 to December 12

A B O U T T H E G A L L E RY The Mitchell Gallery in Mellon Hall, on the campus of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, was established as a center of learning for all who wish to deepen their understanding of the visual arts. The Mitchell Gallery serves the greater Annapolis area with the only fully secured, climate-controlled fine arts facility in Anne Arundel County. H o u r s During scheduled exhibitions, the gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday, 12-5 p.m. and Friday, 7-8 p.m. There is no admission charge. Docent-led tours are offered on Thursdays from 12-3 p.m. Group tours are available. For information call 410-626-2556. S t a f f Director: Hydee Schaller Editor: Gregory Shook Chairman, Faculty Advisory Committee:

Thomas May Chairman, Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors: Katharine C. Pingle Art Educator: Lucinda Dukes Edinberg

Worden Day, Mandala VII, 1963. Woodcut on laid paper. Collection purchase 1964.284. Courtesy of the Syracuse University Art Collection.

FEATURED EXHIBITIONS P U S H I N G T H E L I N E : AMERIC AN WOMEN PRINTMAKERS August 24 to October 14 by Lucinda Edinberg

I

t is generally known that women were educated in the arts, but the role of professional artists throughout history has been primarily restricted to men. Women were not permitted into art schools until the early 20th century, so it is no surprise that the women creating art had little, if any, recognition. Many scholars have been the impetus for this exhibition of women printmakers—all dedicated to the inspiration and techniques of these artistic pioneers.

Exhibit Preparator: Sigrid Trumpy Art Director: Jennifer Behrens

website: www.stjohnscollege.edu Funding and support for this exhibition is provided in part by Anne Arundel County, the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, The Helena Foundation, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Estate of Elizabeth Myers Mitchell, Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors, Members of the Mitchell Gallery, the Mitchell Gallery Endowment, Mitchell Gallery Next Generation Committee, the John and Hilda Moore Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lillian Vanous Nutt Mitchell Gallery Endowment, and the Clare Eddy and Eugene V. Thaw Fine Arts Fund.

The exhibit, “Pushing the Line: American Women Printmakers,” at the Mitchell Gallery, from August 24 to October 14, showcases more than 50 works by women printmakers. Printmaking itself has a mixed history of technical improvements and experimentation, appreciation and controversy, as well as personal and commercial successes and failures. Although American graphic art has long had its place in art history (George Washington’s library included a volume of directions for etching in 1794), there are few records of these early attempts, none of which include women. Women, as printmakers, began to participate as the spouse, partner, or

sibling in joint ventures or in association of well-known artists, such as Mary Nimmo Moran, wife of Thomas Moran; Marguerite Zorach, wife of William Zorach; and Helen Farr Sloan, wife of John Sloan. Although themes may overlap, most

subjects by women in the mid-1800s are domestic scenes, landscapes, or familial portraits such as the drypoint by Mary Cassatt, Denise Holding Her Child, or the etching, L’Agassiz, portrait by Anna Lea Merritt. Much Continued on page 2

C I V I L WA R E R A D R AW I N G S F RO M T H E B E C K E R C O L L E C T I O N October 27 to December 12 Essay excerpts from First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection edited by Judith Bookbinder and Sheila Gallagher

“T

he real war won’t get into the books,” prophesized Walt Whitman, though the drawings made by Special Artists during and after the Civil War unravel aspects of the “real war” through their documentation of relatively unknown incidents, inglorious moments, and suffering. These images help us interpret complex histories and Andrew McCallum, Siege of Petersburg: A Night Attack, March 31, 1865. Graphite on unresolved tensions of the postwove paper. Courtesy of the Becker Collection, Boston College. Civil War era, particularly those that defined the rights of the Weekly, and the New York Illustrated citizens and the responsibilities of the News sent artist-correspondents to federal government. travel with the Union armies to make drawings of what they saw. Embedded Between 1861 and 1865, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Harper’s Continued on page 3


E XH I B I T P U S H I N G T H E L I N E : AMERIC AN WOMEN PRINTMAKERS August 24 to October 14 Continued from front page

elizabeth Seaton, curator at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, will lecture on September 18 at 7:30 p.m. previously, Seaton worked in the museum education department of the Art institute of Chicago (2000 to 2003), and as a curator at northwestern University’s Mary and leigh Block Museum of Art (1994 to1996). raised in Winfield, Kansas, her research interests include Kansas culture, American printmaking, U.S. government patronage of the arts, American art between the two world wars, and women and the arts. Seaton received her BA in art history from Harvard University in 1989, and her MA and phD in art history from northwestern University in 2000. Helen Hyde, The Family Umbrella, 1915. Color woodcut on Japanese paper. Courtesy of the Syracuse University Art Collection.

can be said about the relationships of these artists with their partners, husbands and teachers with respect to the enhancement or detriment of their careers. The images of these artists reflect new social thought, personal sorrows, experimental techniques, and intellectual pursuits unseen in the 19th century. Several exhibitions and clubs were organized to promote the graphic arts, of which many women participated, but few were recognized. Mary Nimmo Moran received high praise for her prints, as was described by Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer for Century magazine in 1883: “Mrs. Moran is as yet the only woman who is a member of the New York Etching Club, and no name stands higher on its role. Her work would never reveal her sex—according, that is, to the popular idea of feminine character.” It was the major exhibition, “Women Etchers of America,” hosted by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1887 and later at the New York Union League, which garnered the respect for women artists of her caliber. By the early 20th century, more women were allowed to participate in classes in established art institutions. Among one of the most important endeavors was the printmaking program at The Art Students League of New York, and the Chicago Society of Etchers, whose 1912 exhibition

Helen West Heller, Picking Daisies, 1928. Woodcut on oriental paper. Gift of Mr. Harry and Maria Wickey. Syracuse University Art Collection.

INTAGLIO is a family of printmaking techniques in which an image is carved, cut, or engraved into a flat surface, and the incised line or area holds the ink. LITHOGRAPHY, invented in 1798, is a process in which a limestone is drawn with an oily crayon, then wetted with water and inked.The oil-based ink adheres only to the crayon drawing. DRYPOINT is an intaglio process in which a copper or zinc plate is inscribed directly with a pointed needle.The incising leaves a ragged edge which produces a soft line when printed. ETCHING involves a copper or zinc plate that is coated with an acid resistant ground, inscribed with an etching needle, and then exposed in stages to acid which allows contrasting lights and darks in the design.

included more than 70 members, of which at least 10 were women. In addition, the California Society of Etchers (now the California Society of Printmakers) continued the interest in exhibitions, technical exchange, shared knowledge, equipment, and traditions of fine printmaking as opposed to reproduced images. The contribution of women printmakers as teachers boosted the respect of women as artists and teachers.

As transportation and technology progressed, so did the world of women artists. Helen Hyde spent much of her career in Japan, a residency that greatly influenced her style; this can be seen in her work, Family Umbrella, on view at the Mitchell Gallery. This wood engraving reflects her education in Japanese ink drawing and traditional woodblock printing. Marion Greenwood’s travels to Mexico, which resulted in a number of murals based on regional history, furthered her career in the United States. English-born Clare Leighton settled in the United States and became one of the most recognized artists and teachers in both England and the United States for her wood engraving technique. The World War II “Artists for Victory” and the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, established in 1935, were also important channels for artists. These programs inspired works that were primarily nationalist in theme, a change from the domestic subjects depicted in previous decades. The WPA-FAP project included more than 800 artists; this included about 200 artists such as Isabel Bishop, Mabel Dwight, Marion Greenwood, Riva Helfond, Helen West Heller, Margaret Lowengrund, and June Wayne. Since that time, there have been no efforts

T H e i M A G e S o f T H e S e A rT i S T S r e f l e C T n e W S o C i A l T H o U G H T, p e r S o n A l S o r ro W S , e x p e r i M e n TA l T e C H n i q U e S , A n D i n T e l l e C T U A l p U r S U i T S U n S e e n i n T H e 1 9 T H C e n T U ry.

Seaton has organized numerous exhibitions, including the Beach Museum of Art’s 2005 to 2008 traveling exhibition, “paths to the press: printmaking and American Women Artists, 1910-1960.” She has written several articles and two books, Paths to the Press: Printmaking and American Women Artists, 1910 –1960 (2006) and WPA Federal Art Project Printmaking in California (2005). Seaton is an officer of the print Council of America.

of this magnitude to promote printmakers as artists. Over the years women have begun to be recognized in some measure and many museums and organizations have dedicated exhibitions to these efforts, but their work continues to take a backseat to their male counterparts. If for no other reason, this is because of the proportion of female to male artists. This exhibition of works from the collection at the Syracuse University Art Galleries and Conrad R. Graeber Fine Art will add to the growing appreciation for the skill and creativity of these women printmakers.


NOT E S C I V I L WA R E R A D R AW I N G S F RO M T H E B E C K E R C O L L E C T I O N October 27 to December 12

St. John’s During the Civil War The basement of Humphrey's Hall, an 1837 Gothic revival building on the Annapolis campus of St. John’s College, served as a morgue for Union soldiers during the Civil War. Today the centuries-old brick walls house the college’s bookstore, which carries nearly 45,000 publications and is open to the public. Also during the war, McDowell Hall, the college’s first building, and floors of Humphrey’s were a military hospital. John f. e. Hillen, Battle Two Miles West of Atlanta, July 30, 1864. Graphite, brown ink, and brown wash on wove paper. Courtesy of the Becker Collection, Boston College.

Special Artists, as they were called, within the armies was a new practice, and newspaper readers eagerly studied the engravings that accompanied war stories. Judith Bookbinder and Sheila Gallagher, two members of Boston College’s Fine Arts faculty, have researched, catalogued, photographed, and designed an online archive for one of the most significant untapped resources on the American Civil War in the last few decades—the Becker Collection. The Mitchell Gallery will exhibit 124 of the nearly 700 drawings in this collection, which constitute an archive of first-hand observations by 14 artist-reporters, including Joseph Becker, who eventually became art director at Leslie’s. These images have not been previously displayed or published. Some of these artists’ images are of immense value to historians. For example, Henri Lovie, who produced scenes from the Battle of Shiloh, and

PuShing the Line: AmeriCAn Women PrintmAkerS AuguSt 24 to oCtober 14 September 9 opening reception & family program. exhibit Curator lucinda edinberg will lead a tour of the “Women printmakers” exhibition followed by a hands-on workshop from 3:30 to 5 p.m. September 18 lecture. elizabeth Seaton, curator at the Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, and curator of “paths to the press: printmaking and American Women Artists, 1910-1960,” will lecture at 7:30 p.m. September 30 Sunday Afternoon Tour. exhibit Curator lucinda edinberg will lead a tour of the “Women printmakers” exhibition at 3 p.m.

Frederic Schell, known for his remarkable view of the Siege of Vicksburg, are the only artists who recorded these battles. While Civil War photographers could offer true images of landscapes and battlegrounds, only Special Artists could create finely detailed depictions of actual combat, based on the quick studies they made from close observation. Their sensitivity, honed in the war, resulted in drawings of subtle and elegant draftsmanship, and expressive compositions that speak less of victory or defeat and more of the complexity and cost of the conflict. During the war, Northerners were naturally curious about the people— former slaves—who had long been the subject of public debate. These images from the Becker Collection depict African Americans’ contribution to the war effort represented with men and women bent over shovels, wheelbarrows, and pallets, digging, pushing, and loading. Other images include African Americans in scenes of

october 3 Seminar. St. John’s tutor David Townsend and artist ebby Malmgren will lead a seminar related to the exhibition at 7 p.m. registration is required. Call 410-626-2556 to register.

heroism, humor, and ridicule, and predict, perhaps, their destiny in a new society. Regardless of how the Special Artists managed to produce artworks under difficult conditions, they speak to the 21st-century viewer not only of the specific visual data of the war, but also the transcendent experiences of life and the aesthetic qualities of art, a discourse spoken in a universal language that continues to resonate now and in the future.

“Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection” is curated by Judith Bookbinder and Sheila Gallagher, and the traveling exhibition is organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, Calif. Drawings from the Becker Collection premiered at the McMullen Museum at Boston College in the exhibition, “First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection,” which was organized by the McMullen Museum and underwritten by Boston College and Patrons of the McMullen Museum.

Drawing as Literacy Drawing is an act of communication and was regarded as an important form of literacy in the America of the 1860’s—a skill that was as important for a young child’s development as it was for the young country’s economic progress. By 1870, Massachusetts had passed the Drawing Act, which legislated that “drawing be included in the branches of learning which are…required to be taught in the public schools.” Other states incorporated drawing pedagogy into the curriculum to train teachers. Popular drawing manuals instructed students to sketch frequently to train “their quickness of perception” and form visual “conclusions with rapidity and decision.” Quick drawing was an important graphic notational method that allowed the viewer to retain a fleeting thought.

CiviL WAr erA DrAWingS from the beCker CoLLeCtion oCtober 27 to DeCember 12 october 27 and 28 Civil War living History program. for more information, visit www.stjohnscollege.edu/events.

october 4 Book Club. Join members of the Mitchell Gallery Book Club for a tour of the “Women printmakers” exhibition followed by a discussion of Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Janet Gellici will lead the discussion. registration is required. Contact Kathy Dulisse at 410-626-2530.

october 28 opening reception & family program. Art educator lucinda edinberg will lead a tour of the “Civil War era Drawings” exhibition followed by a hands-on workshop from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

october 10 Art express. exhibit Curator lucinda edinberg will give a lunchtime gallery talk on the “Women printmakers” exhibition from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

november 11 lecture. Dr. Judith Bookbinder, co-curator of the “Civil War era Drawings” exhibit, will lecture on “reporting the Civil War through Art” at 3 p.m.

november 14 Art express. Art educator lucinda edinberg will give a lunchtime gallery talk on the “Civil War era Drawings” exhibition from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. november 29 Book Club. Join members of the Mitchell Gallery Book Club for a tour of the “Civil War era Drawings” exhibition followed by a discussion of The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. David Townsend will lead the discussion. registration is required. Contact Kathy Dulisse at 410-626-2530. December 2 Sunday Afternoon Tour. Art educator lucinda edinberg will lead a tour of the “Civil War era Drawings” exhibition at 3 p.m.


mitchell gallery Awarded national Accreditation

N ASSO ICA CI ER

S • ACCRE M D EU

by the A ED M IT

The Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College has achieved accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. AAM accreditation signifies a museum meets and often exceeds the standards and best practices of the museum field; it is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. in addition, AAM accreditation earns national recognition for a museum for its commitment to excellence in all that it does: governance, collections stewardship, public programs, financial stability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 779 are currently accredited. The Mitchell Gallery is one of only 15 museums accredited in Maryland.

OF MU ION S AT

“Less is more: Small Works in a great Space” A mitchell gallery national Juried exhibition May 29 to June 19, 2013 The Mitchell Gallery is accepting entries for “Less is More: Small Works in a Great Space,” a new national juried exhibition. Open to all artists over the age of 18 living in the United States and Puerto Rico. Entries must be original works, in any media, including jewelry, created within the last three years (2010 or later). Maximum acceptable dimensions of

WeLCome neW memberS Katherine Blood Bruce and Torii Campbell Jim Cox and pam Shaw Alan and pam Cressman Sheila Delaquil Michelle Dorlon Svend and patricia esborg Charles faddis John and priscilla felter Millard and Barbara firebaugh Jenny Jefferson Shannon H. McDowell phyllis l. Millan Ann T. prendergast John and Martha Schwieters Andree Tullier Charles and Marie White

“The elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery is one of three museums in the nation to earn accreditation for the first time in 2012,” says Director Hydee Schaller. “in our 23rd year, we proudly join a long list of distinguished accredited museums and welcome our community to join us in celebration. This achievement would not have been possible without the loyal support and generosity of our dedicated volunteers, and the St. John’s College officers, Mitchell Gallery faculty Advisory Committee, and dedicated gallery guards.” Since it opened in 1989, the Mitchell Gallery has continually brought art of world renown to Annapolis, connecting the visual arts and the liberal arts. its modern design by Annapolis-based architect Chip Bohl won a Citation of Merit from the American institute of Architects. The gallery attracts more than 10,000 visitors a year, serving the St. John’s College community and the wider communities as a resource for viewing, discussing, and learning about fine art. for information about 2012-2013 exhibitions and related programs, visit www.stjohnscollege.edu/events.

each work are 8" x 10" x 4" measuring to the outer edges of any frame or the outside edge of object. Jurors are Joann G. Moser, senior curator of Graphic Arts, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Jack Rasmussen, director and curator, Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington, D.C.

during carefully designed, expert-led excursions, highlighted by the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Delos, Rhodes, Pátmos, and Troy. Participants may extend their voyage with the Athens Pre-Cruise Option and the Istanbul or Cappadocia Post-Cruise Option. For more information, contact Pamela McKee at 410-263-2610 or pmckee7@verizon.net.

The exhibition includes Margaret Boynton, Pine Grove, 2012. oil on panel. cash awards and a special preview reception for for his oil on linen painting, 21st collectors and dealers. All work will be Century Bather (2012). Howard for sale. Proceeds from the exhibition Gelman won the Mitchell Gallery Board support Mitchell Gallery educational of Advisors Prize for Best Threeprograms. A non-refundable fee of $40 Dimensional for his bronze sculpture, entitles the artist to submit up to three Seated Young Woman (2009). Taj works. Submission is online only. Vaccarella won the Mitchell Gallery Deadline to submit is February 28, Board of Advisors Prize for Best Two2013. To enter and for more Dimensional for his oil on canvas information: http://themitchellpainting, Winter (White Fire) (2012). gallery.org or call 410-626-2556.

Anne Arundel County Juried exhibition 2012 Prize Winners Juror Katherine Blood, curator of Fine Prints at the Library of Congress, selected three local artists to receive prizes for their entries in the “Image and Imagination: Anne Arundel County Juried Show” held at the Mitchell Gallery last spring. Painter Channing Houston won the John B. Moore Prize for Best in Show

travel with the mitchell gallery: island Life in greece and turkey September 24 to October 2, 2013 Join us for this exclusive nine-day odyssey to the windswept paradise of Greece’s ancient islands and Turkey’s fabled coast, a world of rich culture and history. Cruise from Athens to Istanbul aboard the exclusively chartered, intimate M.S. L’Austral. Discover the very cradle of Western civilization

Support the gallery— become a member! When you support the Mitchell Gallery, you help provide a world-class center for the visual arts in the heart of historic Annapolis. You enable the gallery to bring museum-quality exhibitions to an award-winning, AAMaccredited, state-of-the-art facility on the campus of St. John’s College. Your support helps bring works by Rembrandt, Calder, Rodin, Borofsky, Hiroshige, Cassatt, and many other artists to Annapolis. You make our community culturally vibrant. You enable hundreds of schoolchildren to enrich their art education with tours and hands-on activities. You support educational outreach programs such as lectures, gallery talks, seminars, poetry workshops, and other programming for each exhibition—all open to the public with free admission. To become a member, call Alexandra Fotos at 410-295-5551 or visit www.stjohnscollege.edu/events, and click “Art Gallery, Mitchell Gallery.”

James e. Taylor, View of the Dutch Gap Since the Torpeda Experiment, January 6, 1865. Graphite on wove paper. Courtesy of the Becker Collection, Boston College.

The Mitchell Gallery St. John’s College P.O. Box 2800 Annapolis, MD 21404-2800 Non-profit org. U.S. Postage PAID Annapolis, MD Permit No. 120

Artline Fall 2012  

St. John's College Mitchell Gallery Artline Fall 2012

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