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April Issue 2005

Columbia Museum of Art Offers Exhibition on American Women

The stories of 68 pioneering women from colonial days to the present are told in the Smithsonian's traveling exhibition, American Women: A Selection from the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition opens on Apr. 29 and continues through July 10, 2005, at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC.

Marian Anderson by Getsy Graves Reyneau

American Women highlights portraits of women of distinction from all walks of life. The exhibition includes images of such trailblazers as Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Sandra Day O'Connor and Marion Jones. Additionally, an eclectic mix of women from the arts and entertainment industries are represented, including Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe. The show celebrates the efforts of these and other individuals who have had a profound impact on American society and culture.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Boris Chaliapin

"American Women brings together a wide array of personalities and fields of achievement," said Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery. "These role models may vary in their accomplishments, but they are all bound together by their uncommon supply of determination."

Through a broad mix of artistic media and style, American Women captures the character of these women who have helped shape the American experience. Included is a diverse selection of images, from the 19th-century self-portrait of Sarah Miriam Peale ­ one of the first women in America to earn a living as an artist ­ to the colorful, yet somber painting of folk singer Joan Baez, done for the cover of Time magazine in 1962.

Some of the artists included in the exhibition are: Sarah Miriam Peale, niece of famous American artist Charles Willson Peale; Cecilia Beaux, who was awarded full membership in the male-dominated National Academy and became, in 1895, the first full-time woman faculty member at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Edward Steichen, an important figure in the history of photography and an integral part of the artistic movement to include photography as an art form; Irving Penn, whose photographs have become iconic examples of American art; and Alice Neel, who greatly influenced modernist movements in the 1960s.

Audrey Hepburn by Sid Avery

American Women: A Selection from the National Portrait Gallery debuted at the Smithsonian's International Gallery in Washington, DC, in June 2002 and was the Portrait Gallery's first major exhibition in the nation's capital since its home, the historic Patent Office Building, closed in Jan. 2000 for extensive renovation. The tour began at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, TX, and has toured at the Naples Museum of Art, FL. The Columbia Museum of Art in SC will be the final venue for American Women. As such, it will be the last museum to host an exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery's collection prior to their reopening in July 2006.

This exhibition has been organized by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. The Columbia presentation of American Women is sponsored, in part, by the City of Forest Acres, The State and WIS Television.

In commemoration of American women, the Columbia Museum of Art has produced a boxed notecard set of images of women in the museum's permanent collection. The set includes five each of four images and is for sale in the Museum Shop for $14.95 or $13.45 for museum members.

The Museum has scheduled a number of programs in conjunction with this exhibition including:

On Apr. 29, 2005, at noon - Gallery Talk with Dr. Brandon Brame Fortune from the National Portrait Gallery. Dr. Fortune graduated from Agnes Scott College, and received an MA and PhD in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 2000, she has served as the associate curator of painting and sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery. Dr. Fortune's primary research areas have been in 18th- and 19th- century American portraiture, including the work of Charles Willson Peale, and women portraitists of the later 19th century. In 1999, she was co-curator of the exhibition Franklin & His Friends: Portraying the Man of Science in Eighteenth-Century America and author of the accompanying publication. For the last 3 years she has been researching contemporary portraiture, and is the National Gallery's coordinator for its upcoming Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, the results of which will be the lead exhibition for the reopening of the National Portrait Gallery in July, 2006. Free with museum admission or membership.

On May 12, 2005, at 7pm - Much AdoA Gala Celebration of Women. Much Ado honors significant women of South Carolina with a black-tie gala. This event celebrates women who have made an impact on our state through their work, philanthropy, community service and dedication to improving the quality of life in the area. Special guests include New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Franks as guest speaker and WIS-Television's Hannah Nelson as emcee. The gala recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments of Cindy Nord, Joyce Martin-Hampton, Susan Gibbes Robinson, Sister Mary Jacob Yelcho, CSA, the late Grace McFadden and The Honorable Chief Justice Jean Toal. Much AdoA Celebration of Women is sponsored, in part, by First Citizens, Altria Group, Inc., McNair Law Firm, R.L. Bryan Company, and The Woman's Club of Columbia. Tickets are $75 and go on sale Apr. 4, 2005 at the Columbia Museum of Art. To purchase tickets or for more information, please call 803/343-0481, or e-mail (MuchAdo@columbiamuseum.org).

On May 13, 2005, at 6:30pm - Columbia Design League Film and Panel Discussion: Jane Jacobs: Urban Wisdom. Through her groundbreaking books, Jane Jacobs has influenced the planning and understanding of cities and economies with what she calls a "web way of thinking." In this program, Jacobs shares her insights into urban planning by tracing the progression of ideas in her books, including The Death and Life of Great American Cities; The Economy of Cities; Cities and the Wealth of Nations; Systems of Survival; and her most recent, The Nature of Economies. An extended interview with Jacobs is blended with scenes from various North American cities and footage of her 1997 seminar, Ideas That Matter. Free to Design League members or with $5 admission.

On May 18, 2005, at 6-8pm - A Contemporary Evening. Join the Contemporaries for a reception and panel discussion by local female artists about being an American woman in the arts. Free for Contemporaries members or with $5 admission.

On May 19, 2005, at noon - Gallery Talk: Women in the Columbia Museum of Art's Collection. Museum curator Beth Inman presents highlights of the museum's permanent collection that focus on women artists. Free with museum admission or membership.

May 20 - July 8, at noon - Special Lunchtime Gallery Tour: Women in the Columbia Museum of Art's Collection. Explore the Columbia Museum of Art's permanent collection focusing on images of women. Free with museum admission or membership.

On May 20, 2005, at 7pm - Ladies' Night Out with Danielle Howle. Take a break from your daily stresses, American woman, and come to a ladies' night out at the museum. Enjoy a live performance by Danielle Howle in a coffee bar setting. Howle has been described by Alternative Press as "friendly, folksy, and fiendishly fun." Free with museum admission or membership.

May 28, 2005, at 2pm; June 11, 2005, at 2pm; & July 8, 2005, at 7pm - Film: Picturing the Genders: Male and Female Views
of Women in Art.
Why have only about one percent of the canvasses in the historical collection of the National Gallery, London, been painted by women? Are female painters from the past really such a rarity, has the artistic vision of women been systematically discriminated against, or is the reason perhaps a bit of both? In this program, art historians Charles Harrison and Trish Evans play devil's advocate with each other as they analyze female subjects painted by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir, and others in order to explore the transformation and social implications of male and female points of view as represented by artists of both sexes. (30 minutes). Saturday admission is free courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield. Fridays are free with museum admission or membership.

May 29, 2005, at 2pm; June 17, 2005, at 7pm; & July 9, 2005, at 2pm - Film: Women Artists: The Other Side of the Picture. Where are the works of the great women artists? Why are there so few represented in museums? In this provocative program, respected artists such as Doris McCarthy, Judy Chicago, Joyce Weiland and Jane Ash Poitras - in combination with curators, art historians, and The Guerrilla Girls, the "terrorists" of the art world - discuss the dearth of women's artwork in major galleries and examine the poignant social history of women in the fine arts - a story of suppression, marginalization and omission. The effort of the National Museum of Women in the Arts to balance that one-sided picture of artistic achievement is spotlighted. (54 minutes). Saturday admission is free courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield. Sunday and Friday are free with museum admission or membership.

On June 10, 2005, at 6:30pm - Lecture: The Power of the Image: Women's Portraits of the Nineteenth Century. Author and historian Richard Coate discusses how the representations and legacies of the women he has studied have been influenced by the artists who have captured their likenesses. Coate explores how women, viewed through the eyes of male portraitists, are turned into male visions of reality. Free with museum admission or membership.

For more information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the museum at 803/799-2810 or at (www.columbiamuseum.org).

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