Studios of Their Own: Women Artists in Boston, 1880-1940

Gertrude Fiske: American Master Lecture Series

Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 5:30pm-6:30pm
Doors open at 5pm prior to each lecture, with galleries open during the evening.
$10 Members, $15 Non-Members.
Purchase Tickets Online

By the Pond, Fiske

Gertrude Fiske. By the Pond, 1920. Oil on canvas, Private Collection. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.


Please join us at Discover Portsmouth for the first lecture in the series: Studios of Their Own: Women Artists in Boston, 1880-1940, an illustrated lecture by Erica E. Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

As one art critic reported in 1889, “there is nothing that men do that is not done by women now in Boston.” The city was a conspicuous leader in the emergence of women professionals in all disciplines, including the fine arts. Many became painters, sculptors, and designers, producing work recognized nationally for its accomplishment and beauty. Some chose traditional academic styles while others, including Gertrude Fiske, experimented with modernism. But no matter which aesthetic choices they made, these artists all worked to balance their careers with the roles society expected them to play as daughters, wives, and mothers.

About Dr. Erica E. Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hirshler lecture 2018An expert in late 19th and early 20th-century American painting, Dr. Hirshler has published extensively on John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Dennis Bunker, William Merritt Chase, Winslow Homer, and women artists and collectors. She is particularly interested in the artistic exchange between the United States and Europe and in issues of national identity; she also studies Boston’s history, art, and patronage. Dr. Hirshler holds a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD from Boston University; she has lectured at museums and other cultural institutions across the United States, Europe and Japan.

Hirshler’s most recent exhibition was William Merritt Chase (2016); in addition to her essay “Old Masters Meet New Women,” she wrote a small book to introduce several of Chase’s favored themes (William Merritt Chase, 2016). Her other publications include a study of Childe Hassam’s iconic At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight (2015) and the highly-praised Sargent’s Daughters: The Biography of a Painting (2009). She co-organized the exhibitions and contributed essays for John Singer Sargent Watercolors in 2013 and Americans in Paris 1860-1900 in 2006; and curated A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870–1940 (2001) and Dennis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist (1995). She has contributed to several other important shows, among them The Lure of Italy (1992), John Singleton Copley (1995), Mary Cassatt (1998), John Singer Sargent (1998), Edmund Tarbell (2001), Childe Hassam (2004), Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting (2005), Sargent and the Sea (2009), and Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends (2015). She is currently planning an exhibition about Sargent and fashion.

Doors open at 5pm prior to each lecture with galleries open during the evening. All lectures are at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH
$10 Members, $15 Non-Members. For information, call 603-436-8433
Purchase Tickets Online