Sisters of the Brush and Palette

Sisters of the Brush and Palette

April 6-September 30, 2018
Member’s Opening Gala: Thursday, April 5, 2018
Art ‘Round Town, Friday, April 6
at Discover Portsmouth

Hot Sand

Anne W. Carleton, Beach Figures (also known as Hot Sand), 1930s. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.

Ladd Doorway

Susan Ricker Knox, Ladd Doorway, ca. 1917. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.

In 1896, art journalist William Howe Downes noted “every year we see more of these sisters of the brush and palette coming forward as doughty competitors to the men.” Recognition of the increasing number of successful women artists, especially in Boston, came a generation after Massachusetts mandated art education for all public schools. Other states followed suit, followed by the establishment of specialized college training and a profitable publishing trade in teaching aids.

While Gertrude Fiske and Susan Ricker Knox could sustain themselves painting, most women artists like Margaret J. Patterson and Anne Carleton taught for a living. Devoted to art in shaping their lives, these art teachers enjoyed their summers in European travel or in art colonies to advance their skills and enjoy the society of other women artists. Many women who painted the Portsmouth waterfront were Charles Woodbury’s Ogunquit students. In 1928 they founded and long sustained the Ogunquit Art Association by exhibiting at the Barn Gallery.

Portsmouth Waterfront

Margaret J. Patterson, Portsmouth Waterfront, ca.1900. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.

Sisters of the Brush and Palette is a companion exhibition to Gertrude Fiske: American Master and Seacoast Masters Today. For more information call Discover Portsmouth at (603) 436-8433.