Show Preview | Something Revealed

Pasadena, CA
Pasadena Museum of History, September 29-March 31

Mary L. Pottenger, Untitled, oil, 10 x 14.

Mary L. Pottenger, Untitled, oil, 10 x 14.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

In her years as an art conservator, Maurine St. Gaudens came across many paintings without appropriate biographical information attached to them. Many seemed to be faked copies of other artworks while others had suspect signatures. Upon further research, St. Gaudens found that women whom history had forgotten were responsible for many of the works. “Often these women were declared to be teachers or spinsters, so their histories were all wrong,” St. Gaudens says. “I thought we needed something that put together visuals of the work with the artists’ biographies.”

This research resulted in a four-volume book highlighting the careers of 320 women artists working in California between 1860 and 1960. Now, the women are being recognized in an expansive exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of History. “No one has done an exhibition like this about women artists before 1960,” says co-curator Joseph Morseman. “We want to show that there has been a history of women artists who were very prominent in the 19th century, and they were as qualified as males of that time.” The exhibition opens on Saturday, September 29.

The show largely focuses on artists who worked primarily in California and painted various scenes across the state. “So many of them were graphic artists, and their drawings capture early San Francisco and early Chinatown,” Morseman says. Artworks include oils, pastels, watercolors, lithographs, drawings, and sculptures. Many of the works have never been shown before as the artists were rarely hosted in galleries during their lifetimes. Featured artists include Belle Goldschlager Baranceanu, Elizabeth Borglum, Eva Scott Fenyes, Helen Lundeberg, and Vivian Stringfield.

The exhibition features more than 250 works by 160 artists. New works will be added in January 2019 to allow for exposure of more artists and artwork. Special events throughout the six-month-long exhibition will further the conversation about women in art. Information about these events can be found on the museum’s website. “We just want to get their names out there,” Morseman says. “They were trailblazers as much, and even more so, than the men who were given credit for many of the art movements here in California.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
626.577.1660
www.pasadenahistory.org

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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