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Clara Skinner (American, 1902 – 1976), Theatre No. 1 (detail), c. 1933 – 1934, woodblock print, Permanent Loan, U.S. Government, W.P.A. Federal Art Project.
Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania. 

Violet Oakley (American, 1874 – 1961), For the Preservation of Italy, Guardian of the World’s Most Precious Heritage of Beauty, 1918, lithograph, Gift, Captain Roswell C. Williams Jr.  
Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Isabel Bishop (American, 1902 – 1988), Girl in Slacks, n.d. ink drawing, Gift of the artist. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer (American, 1873 – 1943), Magnolia Seedpods, n.d., woodblock print, Museum Purchase.
Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.


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610.371.5850 x234


This fascinating exhibition examines works on paper—etchings, engravings, lithographs, drawings, watercolors, woodblock prints, and photographs—by some of the most important women artists of the last four centuries with a selection of 37 examples from the Reading Public Museum’s fine permanent collection. The show chronicles the emergence of women as professionals in the field of art and records the extraordinary creative contributions made over the centuries.

Historical works by (or after) Elisabetta Sirani (Italian, 1638 – 1665) and Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (French, 1755 – 1842), outstanding nineteenth-century works by Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822 – 1899), Anna Lea Merritt (American, 1844 – 1930), and Eliza Greatorex (American, 1819 – 1897), and examples by icons of twentieth century art like Sonia Delaunay (French, 1885 – 1979), Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867 – 1945), Louise Nevelson (1899 – 1988), and Françoise Gilot (French, b. 1921), are featured in the exhibition. Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) era works by Clara Skinner (American, 1902 –1976), Peggy Bacon (American, 1895 –1987), and Isabel Bishop (American, 1902 – 1988) capture contemporary life on the streets of New York, theaters, and rural America. Works by more contemporary artists such as Lee Bontecou (American, b. 1931), Elizabeth Osborne (American, b. 1936), Ida Applebroog (American, b. 1929), and Lorna Simpson (b. 1960), among others, explore meaningful trends in the current world of art.


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For more information on traveling exhibits please contact Stephanie Shaak at 
610.371.5850 x234 or stephanie.shaak@readingpublicmuseum.org.


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