Exploring the American Experience Exploring the American Experience

The Grand Women Artists of the Hudson River School

Unknown and forgotten to history, these painters of America's great landscapes are finally getting their due in a new exhibition

Field Beach, c. 1850s, Mary Blood Mellen. (Cape Ann Museum, Gift of Jean Stanley)

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According to Jacks, visitors to the show are amazed by the quality achieved by artists wholly unfamiliar to them. “The number one question we’ve been asked is ‘why hasn’t anyone done this before?’ I don’t know how to answer that,” she says.

The exhibition has provoked another desired response, though. In hopes of creating a larger exhibition that might travel to other venues, the curators are in search of more works, They have already added to their list of potential works to borrow and artists to include. Among the artists new to Krieger are Emma Roseloe Sparks Prentice, Margaretta Angelica Peale and Rachel Ramsey Wiles (mother of Irving Wiles).

The exhibition in Catskill runs through October.

And then—after the paintings, drawings and photographs are returned to their owners—Siegel and Krieger will begin work on the larger task of ensuring that these women become part of the American art narrative. To add that chapter, says Siegel, “there is much more work to be done.”

Editor's Note -- July 29, 2010: An earlier version of this story indicated that the "Remember the Ladies" exhibition would be moving to the New Britain Museum of American Art. It is no longer scheduled to be shown at that museum.


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