Today’s guest blogger is F&M Art History Major, Megan Cohen ’12. Megan has been researching works by Caroline Peart (American Painter 1870-1963), from the permanent collection of The Phillips Museum of Art, which is the primary repository for the artist who resided in Lancaster County through various periods of her life. Megan has designed an exhibition of small works from the museum’s permanent collection, on view through May 12, 2012:
These small oil sketches were made by Caroline Peart (1870- 1963), a Philadelphia artist who studied with Cecilia Beaux at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. At the age of 18 Peart traveled to Italy, Spain, and France. During her travels she made dozens of small paintings on “academy boards,” which were an economical and lightweight alternative to traditional canvases. Originally designed for use by art students, academy boards were adopted by professional artists to make oil sketches while traveling. Many of the boards displayed here were purchased by Peart in Paris at the art supplier G. Sennelier, 3, quai Voltaire, 3 that still exists today.
Caroline Peart was one of 25 students chosen by noted American painter Cecilia Beaux for her advanced portraiture class. Beaux was the first woman to have a regular teaching position at PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts).
This 1890′s oil is believed to be a portrait of Cecilia Beaux. Peart used an academy board to first paint a rough sketch of the full-scale portrait displayed here.
Peart became interested in a professional career around the same time that Beaux began teaching at the Academy. In Peart’s diary entries she writes that Beaux, her mentor, advised her not to pursue a career as a professional painter because of the hardships placed on women artists at the time. -Megan Cohen ’12-