A celebration of the Providence Art Club as a cultural force for women artists.

Breton Headdress, painted by PAC founder Rosa Peckham (Danielson), 1880

When the Providence Art Club was established in early 1880 by sixteen artists, six of whom were women, our club became one of the most important regional venues for women to make their artists marks on American society. In March of 2017, in honor of the 30th Anniversary of Woman's History Month, our Club will stage an important exhibition honoring these pioneering women, along with a series of other exhibitions, seminars and workshops scheduled over a three month period.

The Main Event

March 5-30, 2017

Emma Swan, one of our original women members.

The Women Artists of the Providence Art Club, 1880. Our primary exhibition traces the role of women artists at our historic Club in its early years. How did our founding women make their marks in the arts community and the art world at large? What were the challenges for these women as professional artists, educators and art makers?

The Purple Bowl painted by early PAC member Helen Watson Phelps

The exhibition will include work by a diverse group of women such as professional artists Rosa Peckham, Etta Belcher, Jane Hammond, Helen Phelps, Emma Swan, Mary Chapin and Sarah Eddy. Important art educators and art makers Mary C. Wheeler, Sophia Pitman, Eleanor Talbot and Katharine H. Austin are also represented.

The Making Her Marks Archival exhibit gives insights into other dimensions of our early women members beyond their art.

Complementing Making Her Mark are additional exhibitions, programs and events throughout the Art Club, highlighting the contributions that women of the Providence Art Club have made to the arts from the 1880s until the present. The entire ten-week period will illustrate and document the progressive art culture inculcated at the founding of the Providence Art Club. Women were not only invited as members, but also participated fully in the Art Club activities. Today Providence Art Club women continue to play a vibrant role and make up half of the artist members.


Major Sponsors

Making Her Mark Curators

Catherine Little Bert
Bert Gallery, Providence

Nancy Whipple Grinnell
Curator Emerita
Newport Art Museum

The first major Art Club in America to admit men and women.

The Providence Art Club, the third oldest continually operating art club in America, was the first art club in the country to admit both men and women as members. Six of the first 16 members who signed the original PAC compact in 1880 were women.

The 136 year-old Providence Art Club from its inception has been a cultural force bringing together Rhode Island and environs artists and collectors through art exhibitions and programs.

Today the Providence Art Club has over 600 members, over half of them women.