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A Place to Tell Her Story: Women Artists, Art Clubs & Allies in Philadelphia


Featuring ten female artists whose works on paper are part of Muhlenberg College’s Florence Foerderer Tonner Collection

Monday, November 3, 2014 03:15 PM

The Martin Art Gallery is pleased to present A Place to Tell Her Story: Women Artists, Art Clubs & Allies in Philadelphia.  The exhibition, curated by students Carly Hurtado ’15 and Amanda Reich ’15, features ten female artists whose works on paper are part of Muhlenberg College’s Florence Foerderer Tonner Collection.

Hurtado and Reich chose to research and present prints made by several well known women artists— Mary Cassatt, Violet Oakley, and Clare Leighton—along with those much less known—Wuantia Smith, Blanche Dillaye, Caroline A. Powell and several others. The art, mainly wood engravings and etchings, highlights their high level of artistic ability and skilled printmaking techniques. These artists where working at a time when new opportunities were opening up for women  whose art production traditionally had been relegated to a status of pastime or hobby. The Women’s Progressive Era of the later-19th and early-20th centuries fostered a sea change of attitude and practice as women began to gain opportunities to network, exhibit their work and receive support from male teachers and colleagues.

Carly Hurtado ’15 is pursuing a major in history and a minor in studio art.  Amanda Reich ’15 has a double major in art history and history. Dr. Margo Hobbs, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Art and Kathryn Burke, Exhibitions & Collections Manager of the Martin Art Gallery, provided academic support and research access to the Tonner Collection.  Florence Foerderer Tonner was an avid Philadelphia art collector at her estate, Glen Foerd on the Delaware.  In 1987 a segment of her life-long collection was donated to Muhlenberg College through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in an effort to foster educational and aesthetic opportunities for research and art appreciation.

A Place to Tell Her Story opens November 17.  A reception to meet the student curators will be held Wednesday, November 19, 4:30 – 6 PM in the Martin Art Gallery, Baker Center for the Arts.  Thursday, November 20, 4:30 – 5:15 PM, Hurtado and Reich will present an informal  talk in the Gallery.  The exhibition, reception, and talk are free and open to the public.  Gallery hours: Tuesdays - Saturdays, noon – 8:00 PM, and by appointment.   The gallery will be closed Wednesday, November 26 – Saturday, November 29 for Thanksgiving recess.

Image: Clare Leighton, The Crinoline, 1925; wood engraving. The Florence Foerderer Tonner Collection, Muhlenberg College