Adding to our lexicon of the 19th and early 20th century women artists

by leslierankowfinearts

JENNIFER KRIEGER, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, OF HAWTHORNE FINE ARTS, LOCATED IN NEW YORK AT 74 EAST 79th STREET and IN IRVINGTON ON THE HUDSON,http://www.hawthornefineart.com/

HAS A SCHOLARLY DEDICATION TO THE WORK OF AMERICAN ARTISTS OF THE 19th AND EARLY 20th CENTURY ARTISTS AND A MISSION TO PRESENT NOT ONLY WORKS BY THE MORE ESTABLISHED ARTISTS OF THE PERIOD BUT ALSO TO DISCOVER AND SUPPORT LESSER KNOWN ARTISTS OF QUALITY WHO MEMORIALIZED THE LIFE AND LANDSCAPE OF THEIR TIME- VISUAL HISTORIANS OF AMERICA AS IT WAS SETTLED AND GENTRIFIED.

JENNIFER, YOU HAVE ORGANIZED SOME WONDERFUL SHOWS AT THE GALLERY. PLEASE TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE EXHIBITIONS AT HAWTHORNE FINE ART?

I have let my passion toward certain artists that I deeply admire and feel warrant greater attention chart the course of our exhibitions. These monographic shows have explored the talents of Impressionists Gustave Wolff (1863-1935), Walter Launt Palmer (1854-1932) and Clark Greenwood Voorhees (1871-1933)  and the Hudson River School landscapist William Hart (1823-1894). We have also done more topical exhibitions such as one that explored the art produced in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Each exhibition has been accompanied by a scholarly publication.

Our current exhibition is both topical and monographic. We have mounted  an exhibition of Clark Voorhees scenes of Bermuda. Voorhees_Bermuda-Press Release

In 1919, seeking a warm respite from the cold New England winter, the Old Lyme based painter purchased and renovated a house and studio in Bermuda, which he named “Tranquility.” He was among a small group of Connecticut artists, including Will Howe Foote and Harry Hofmann, who made the British territory a second home. In 1928, a critic for The New York Times described Voorhees’ Bermuda paintings as “permeated with a haunting, unforgettable beauty.” To open in December 2012, the show will be titled Isles of Tranquility: Clark Greenwood Voorhees Paintings of Bermuda and will offer a fresh trove of his paintings that have never before been on the market.

IT IS MY SENSE THAT AT HEART YOU ARE A SCHOLAR AND ACADEMIC. HOW DO YOU COMBINE YOUR INTELLECTUAL INTERESTS WITH THE MORE COMMERCIAL ASPECTS OF RUNNING A GALLERY?

Thank you for sharing such a kind comment. I aspire to be as much of a scholar as I am a dealer. I am very fortunate to have the guidance of several American art history professors and museum curators who have taken me under their wings and given me insight and encouragement to approach my goals. I have also been privileged to have on staff gifted graduate students in art history, who have enriched our gallery’s research initiatives and helped advance my own knowledge of the era.

I think that the academic and commercial aspects of the art world can work in harmony with one another to further the development of ideas and enlarge our understanding of the past. I have allowed my interest in rediscovering certain artists to determine the artists we seek out for our inventory and highlight in our exhibitions. I feel that a gallery at its very best should contribute to the field by bringing forth new ideas and talents and showcasing them in a fresh light.

YOU HAVE FOCUSED ON A WONDERFUL AND UNDER-DEVELOPED AREA OF 19th CENTURY AMERICAN ART HISTORY, WOMEN HUDSON RIVER PAINTERS. WHAT INSPIRED YOUR INTEREST IN THIS AREA? HOW MUCH INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE? HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT DOING THE RESEARCH TO ADD TO THIS SUBJECT?

Reading Linda Nochlin’s seminal essay in college, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists” got me focused on 19th century female painters, and I became increasingly curious to know more about their stories. Several years later, I came on board as a co-curator of an exhibition of female landscapists called Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School  46_RememberLadiesCatalog which took place at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in 2010. Previous scholarship of female landscape artists was quite sparse so the ground was rich for cultivation. One of the things I did was to look at the records of exhibition venues which were partial to female artists (such as the Brooklyn Art Association and the National Academy of Design) and delve into the work of the names I recognized least. Sometimes all that was available was an obituary, so I would trace their genealogies and try to find living descendants, gaining firsthand knowledge through them.

IN OUR NEXT BLOG, JENNIFER KRIEGER WILL INFORM US ON HER PLANS FOR THE FUTURE ACADEMIC CONTRIBUTIONS AND GALLERY EXHIBITIONS.  IT IS PARTICULARLY INTERESTING TO ME THAT A PERIOD THAT WE VIEW AS RELATIVELY FINITE STILL OFFERS SUCH A LARGESSE OF POTENTIAL DISCOVERIES!

UNTIL THEN, THANKS FOR READING!