artists & participants


press release

The Boston University Art Gallery’s exhibition Craft & Modernity: Professional Women Artists in Boston (1890-1920) will be devoted to professional women artists in turn-of-the-century Boston. It will delve into the complex artistic and social relationships that developed from 1890-1920 and will explore the commercialization of craftsmanship. The goal of the exhibition is to consider craft across media and to document women’s contributions to artistic thought that have been minimized in the art historical discourse. Specifically, it will study: Ethel Reed’s poster production; photographs by pictorialist Alice Austin; architectural prints of colonial revival promoter Mary Northend; and ceramics decorated by Sara Galner at Paul Revere Pottery.

The exhibition explores how the social and political events in Boston affected the featured women artists both personally and professionally and emphasizes the complex relationships among the artists and their works. The exhibition engages contemporary women artists as a new audience by examining themes developed by their predecessors as a means to form modern, professionalized identities. Further, the exhibition is appropriate for families and children as it examines how these artists depicted women, children, and the home in turn-of-the- century Boston.

A 52-page catalogue will accompany the exhibition with contributions by Nonie Gadsden, Diana Greenwold, Patricia Hills, and Caroline Riley.