POUGHKEEPSIE – Women Picturing Women: From Personal Spaces to Public Ventures will be on view February 6 – June 13, 2021 at Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.
Women Picturing Women, curated by Patricia Phagan, studies the key themes that emerged when selecting only images of women by women artists. In this exhibition from the permanent collection, women artists from the seventeenth century to the 1960s frequently communicated the idea of an intimate or sheltered enclosure such as a room, studio, or garden, even though these women participated in a more public arena to show or even make their work. Other women artists relayed the idea of venturing into a public place such as a street or an office, or into the more public, intellectual world of a narrative found in religion, mythology, or social critique.
The exhibition looks at works through these private and public lenses, with the circumstances of the artist, her training, and the content of the work in focus. Portraits and domestic scenes appear often. Home-centered settings and situations, including views of mothers and children, proliferate. Idyllic, invented landscapes, mostly of the here and now, appear, where artists placed women in a calm or a fantastic natural world. Mythological, religious, and socially critical works are seen less often, while documentary photography spurred a veritable movement among women artists in the twentieth century and is represented here with several examples.
The thirty-nine works from the collection of the Loeb Art Center are organized by subject, including: Portraits: Intimate Appraisals; Idyllic Landscapes: Comfort and Security; Domestic Scenes: Private and Personal; Narratives: The Stimulus of Ideas; and Documentary Photographs: Into the Streets.
Women Picturing Women ends just before the 1970s, when the feminist women’s movement began casting a brilliant light upon art made by women, both historical and contemporary. The exhibition receives support from the Friends of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Fund.
About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building’s primary donor, opened in 1993. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with an art museum as a part of its original plans, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar’s extensive collections. The Art Center’s collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 22,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and ceramic wares. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college’s inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American 20th-century painters.
Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free and all galleries are wheelchair accessible. The Art Center is open to the public Saturdays 10:00am–5:00pm and Sundays, 1:00–5:00pm.
The Art Center is located at 124 Raymond Avenue near the entrance to the Vassar College campus. Due to Vassar College’s Covid-19 policies, all visitors must enter through the Sculpture Garden entrance on Raymond Avenue just south of Vassar’s main entrance. Free parking is available on Raymond Avenue. Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at http://www.vassar.edu/visitors/.
The Art Center is also accessible via the Dutchess County Public Transit, Bus Route L. For additional information, call (845) 437-5632.