The Farnsworth Art Museum’s collection of sculpture, textiles, paintings, prints, photographs and drawings is enriched by the work of many talented women artists. Although work by sculptor Louise Nevelson and painter Marguerite Zorach is showcased in other summer exhibitions here, the Farnsworth collection includes examples by many other women, some well-known and some overlooked, whose art is part of major nineteenth- and twentieth-century movements. Their work offers visual commentary on manmade and natural realms, history and human nature, and brings life to details of our inner and outer worlds through suggestions of the familiar, the fleeting, or the fantastic.
As seen through the eyes of women, subjects convey universal human experience. The ordinary is elevated in Isabel Bishop’s sketch of friends chatting on a street corner, for example, or in Elaine de Kooning’s artists and intellectuals conversing in her living room. Chansonnetta Stanley Emmons portrays herself as photographer, and photographer Berenice Abbott captures a striking semblance of Rockland-born poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Peggy Bacon’s illustration of greed or Vera Bock’s mystery book covers of deadly deeds reveal symbolic and humorous nuance. Dahlov Ipcar’s personified animals push the plausible toward imaginative realms, and the menagerie earnestly rendered by young Sara Davis on her embroidered sampler recalls that timeless human urge, to speak through art. This exhibition celebrates the work of these and other women artists who have brought distinction to the museum collection.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.