Impressions East·South·West: Mabel May Woodward
The El Paso Museum of Art
June 2 through July 21, 2013
Impressions East-South-West: Mabel May Woodward will open to the public Sunday, June 2, 2013 in the Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery at the El Paso Museum of Art. Entrance to the Museum and this exhibition are free to the public.
Mabel May Woodward (1877–1945) was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where she began her formal training at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1898 she went to New York to study at the Art Students’ League, where her teachers included the American Impressionists Frank Vincent DuMond and William Merritt Chase. Woodward later considered both men to be major influences on her career; and, as critic Frank Sisson wrote in 1938 in the Providence Journal, Woodward embraced “a kind of impressionism…or a development of impressionism to a more descriptive painting.” In 1900 the painter returned to her historic hometown of Providence and began a long teaching career at her alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design. The first woman elected President of the Providence Art Club, she became the most prominent Rhode Island female painter around the turn of the century.
Woodward is particularly known for scenes of her native New England—Providence; Ogunquit, Maine; Old Lyme, Connecticut (where she painted with DuMond). Yet she also painted in Europe, Canada, Florida, and elsewhere. In this regard, the El Paso Museum of Art is fortunate to hold over seventy-five works by Woodward that include pictures of all these locales. The museum also owns several examples of a little-known side to Woodward’s extensive geographic range: her views of the landscape and life of Taos and other Southwestern sites.
Thus Impressions East·South·West: Mabel May Woodward features a select choice of approximately twenty paintings from the EPMA collection that highlight scenes of New England alongside vignettes from Florida and views of the landscape, architecture, and life of the Southwest. The exhibition will also present open pages from five Woodward sketchbooks housed in the museum; as we study the artist’s lively sketches of figures in motion, we can appreciate her initiating at the Rhode Island School of Design the study of the human figure as machine rather than stationary object, a course known as the Action Class. Ultimately, in all of Woodward’s paintings—from East, South, and West—the viewer feels the painter’s ease with color and paint, and the artist’s joy in recording her impressions of light, landscape, and comfortably inhabited nature.
Parking is available at the Convention Center, Camino Real Hotel, and Mills Plaza Parking Garage for a small fee. Limited metered parking is available on Main Street. Free metered parking on Saturdays and Sundays.
El Paso Museum of Art
The El Paso Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is open late on Thursday until 9 p.m.