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Cecilia Beaux Forum Literature Committee: Welcome and Williamstown

A welcome to the Cecilia Beaux Literature Committee Blog as well as an examination of an inspiring trip to New England.

The Literature Committee for the Cecilia Beaux Forum is excited to announce that we are increasing our efforts and writing a new and exciting blog. Up until now our articles focused on contemporary and historical women artists and have appeared in the Portrait Society’s Quarterly Journal. These articles are a staple for the committee and we will continue to write and share these articles in the Quarterly Journal.

However, we are expanding to bring you more articles that cover a wider range of topics. This year, our calendar includes articles that are meant to inspire you: competition opportunities, use of social media, upcoming workshops, and much more. In addition, we will be inviting guest writers, who are experts in their fields, to share their knowledge. It is our hope you will find valuable information applicable to you and your art career.

Annette Goings, CBF Literature Chair

Stephanie Deshpande, CBF Literature Sub-Committee Chair

I have just returned from a recent inspirational trip I took to the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The Clark is renowned for their permanent collection, but my primary purpose was to visit the Women Artists in Paris 1850-1900 exhibit. For me museums are essential, and I often focus my travels around museum exhibits. Museums provide inspiration and a place to study the works of other artists for techniques, composition and materials handling. Women Artists in Paris reveals remarkable women and the resistance, disappointment, determination, and success reflected in their works. It illuminates a historical moment marked by the resolute advance of women in the art world. The Clark Museum has done a fabulous job of including the artist’s stories that accompany each painting, which are as inspiring and vital as the artwork. Below is a selected quote from the exhibit.

"There should be no sex in Art…I am pointing, I know, to a millennium, at least in the women’s view, if I predict an hour when the term ‘Women in Art’ will be as strange sounding a topic as ‘Men in Art’ would be now."

"I want these two men, [artists] Bouguereau and Fleury, to know me, and recognize that I can do something. It will count in the long run. And I am learning a great deal at the atelier and storing it up." - Cecilia Beaux

This was my first trip to Williamstown and I intended to stay one day but found the area to be a New England artist mecca and stayed for three. Upon my arrival, in addition to the Clark Museum, I discovered the Williams College Museum of Art. Then, in North Adams, which abuts Williamstown, is the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art - known locally as MASS MOCA. Driving through North Adams, it was fascinating to see the artist studios and lofts taking over every turn of the century factory– of which there are many. So much art – so little time.

Both the special exhibit at The Clark Museum and the permanent collection are worth the trip, however, this exhibit closes September 3rd. If you find yourself in the Williamstown area in the upcoming months and would like to visit the exhibit, you can find a link to the website for more information, here. But, if you are unable to attend, the Yale University Press offers a book of the complete exhibit with commentary which you can find here.

Another exhibit that promises to be great is John Singer Sargent & Chicago’s Gilded Age, at the Chicago Institute of Art, July 1 - September 30th, which you can find more information about here.

Annette Goings

July, 2018

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