Sponsored by the Providence Art Club

Date: March 25, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: The Historic First Baptist Church Providence, RI

Symposium is FREE but registration is advised. Space limited.

The Making Her Mark Symposium is organized by Anna Dempsey, PhD. (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Chair of the Art History Department). Prof. Dempsey was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to conduct research at the Winterthur Museum for her book project, Working Women Artists and the Construction of American Modernism, 1880-1930.

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Key Symposium Links

Reservations for Symposium lunch

Other lunch options

On East Side of Providence

In downtown Providence

Symposium Sponsors

Other links of interest

Things to do in Providence

The historic side of Providence

History of the Providence Art Club

Virtual tour of the Providence Art Club

Public Parking

Symposium Schedule, Speakers and Topics

8:30 a.m.


8:45 a.m.

President’s Welcome: David C. DePetrillo, Providence Art Club
Introduction of moderator: Catherine Little Bert, Co-Curator Making Her Mark

Symposium moderator: Anna Dempsey, Ph.D., Chair of the Art History Department, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

9:15 a.m.

Kirsten Swinth, Ph.D.
Painting Professionals: How Women Artists Remade the American Art World at the Turn of the Century.
Short description: This talk explores how the thousands of women seeking careers as artists after the Civil War transformed the art world. Art schools, markets, criticism, and galleries all bore the imprint of this dramatic transformation in the field, despite the fact that many of these women artists have not been part of the art historical record.

10:00 a.m.

Nancy Austin, Ph.D.  
Leadership and Women Founders: Rhode Island School of Design, 1877 & the Providence Art Club 1880.
Short description:  In her talk, Dr. Austin will highlight the leadership roles played by women in Providence’s 19th century professional art associations—institutions which continue to form the backbone of the city’s current cultural landscape.  Dr. Austin will focus on women artists’ significant contributions to the founding of RISD and the Providence Art Club.  Her talk is based on research she published in Infinite Radius: Founding Rhode Island School of Design, 2008.

10:45 a.m.

Laura Franz, MDes.  
From Eleanor Talbot to Eliza Gardiner: Art and Design as Women’s Work, 1880 – 1920
Short Description: Professor Laura Franz explores the motivations and methods behind the “non-elite” art and designs created by New England women artists between 1880-1920.  In particular, she focuses on the book illustrations of Eleanor Talbot, one of the founding members of the Providence Art Club.  Prof. Franz will also discuss the life and work of Eliza Gardiner, a printmaker and Sophia Pitman’s assistant at Moses Brown school.

11:30 a.m.

Collecting Historic Women Artists Panel Discussion:  
Moderated by Nancy Whipple Grinnell, Co-Curator Making Her Mark: the Women of the Providence Art Club, 1880
Kenneth Woodcock: Collector of Hale Family art
John Hagan: Art Advisor and Dealer
Daniel Mechnig: Collector of Rhode Island art
Sheila Robbins:  Collector of 19th c. American art          

12:30 p.m.

Lunch and Tour of the Exhibition *
Box Lunch Program - First Baptist Church – $15, space limited
Hot Lunch Program - Providence Art Club – $35, space limited

2:00 p.m.

Laura Prieto, Ph.D.
The Art of Protest: Women Artists and the Suffrage Movement.
Short Description: This talk will focus on American women artists and political activism at the turn of the 20th century, specifically how women artists created a place for themselves in the public sphere through the suffrage movement. Women painters, sculptors, and illustrators united over a century ago to create art for fund-raising and public protest, to march in suffrage parades, and to document their own activism. Their work in and beyond Providence marks an important turning point in both women's history and art history.

2:45 p.m.

Amanda C. Burdan, Ph.D.  
Paris to Providence: Tracking Rosa Peckham.
Short description: “Paris to Providence” traces the life of Rosa Peckham Danielson, a Paris Salon exhibitor and Providence Art Club founder, as she negotiated her path through an art world that simultaneously encouraged women to study art and discouraged them from pursuing it professionally. Peckham’s experiences, both successes and failures, reveal the seriousness with which she and other women pursued the fine arts in the late 19th century—thus laying the groundwork for women artists’ breaking with gendered cultural conventions.

3:30 p.m.

Memory Holloway, Ph.D.
Helen Watson Phelps: Out of the Shadows and into the Light.
Short Description: The subject of Prof. Holloway’s talk is Helen Watson Phelp’s education at the Académie Julian and her involvement in the professional Paris art world. In particular, she will focus on the intersection of fine arts and design, specifically the relationship between painting, French decorative arts and Paris fashion at the end of the 19th century. Dr. Holloway’s paper will illuminate the transatlantic connections between American and European art during this period.

* While you are in Providence be sure to visit the exhibition Making Her Mark: The Women Artists of the Providence Art Club, 1880 presented by the Providence Art Club and curated by Catherine Little Bert and Nancy Whipple Grinnell.  The exhibit is open to the public 12 – 4 daily March 5 – March 30, 2017 at the Providence Art Club, 11 Thomas Street, Providence, Rhode Island.

Reservations are recommended for both Making Her Mark events as space is limited. See registration information, lunch options, parking and other details above.