BG News

Attic Sale – Winter Exhibitions

December 16, 2017

Attic Sale

Bert Gallery loves to clean closets! In the spirit of the end of the year clean up we reviewed inventory in the storage room and assisted some of our favorite clients slim down their collection. No more paintings under the bed and piled in the attic, they are now in the Attic Sale.

  1. Bannigan Sullivan, Watercolor 10” x 10”,  Abstract $150. Framed                                    Thomas Sgorous Collection

  1. Edna Martin, Charcoal Sketch 15” x 16”, Serious Dinner Conversation     $50. Matted

  1. Unknown Artist, Watercolor 4” x 6”, Venice $20, unframed

  1. Unknown Artist, Watercolor 4” x 6”, Seascape $20. Unmatted

  1. Percy Albee, Pencil Sketch 5” x 7”, Beach, $10, Unmatted                                                             

6. Edna Martin, Woodcut 11” x 8”, Vermont Pasture, 1948   $40, matted                                                                       

J. Bannigan Sullivan Exhibited in the Salon of the Americas 1934,.

Edna Martin ( 1896 – 1996) Edna Martin, born in Seekonk, Massachusetts, graduated from RISD in 1918. Her focus was on drawing and painting. She worked under Eliza Gardiner, the nationally recognized printmaker. Upon graduating, Martin secured a teaching position at the Lincoln School – a career which was to last 44 years. Martin’s love for the outdoors is evident in her work, inspired by her love of horseback riding, hiking, and managing her family farm. On trips to Wyoming during the summers of 1929 and 1931, Martin produced watercolors and etchings that highlighted the integration of her abilities in draftsmanship, printmaking, and composition.

Percy Albee (1883 – 1959) Albee was a student of both the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design. He met his wife the noted wood engraver Grace Albee at the School of Design. In his early career, he painted murals and was a printmaker in Providence. He enjoyed membership at the Providence Art Club and the Providence Water Color Club. Albee was awarded many mural commissions including both Memorial Hall and St. Paul’s Chapel at Brown University, The Roger Williams Park Museum, the Rhode Island Country Club and the Auditorium of the Brigham School in Providence. The latter mural was received in the American Magazine of Art in 1926. By the late 1920’s Percy took his family to Paris where he concentrated on large lithographs. By the 1930’s they returned to New York and eventually settled in Bucks County Pennsylvania. He continued to work and achieved Associate Member of The National Academy of Design and The Society of American Etchers and the Sal Magundi Club. He also won the 1937 prize for an exhibition at the Allied Artists of America.




Cathy @ 10:54 am

Tagged in: Attic Sale

A Must for your art life… aesthetics

December 9, 2017

During the first five years of the art business one of the most revealing insights was that the gallerist and the client are partners in search of the right painting, the right artist, the right style for their home. This search involves not just the painting but the resource library of old catalogues, old photographs or letters. If you love an artist, find out all you can about them and collect all the documents share their story. A favorite haunt to find these materials is Abe Books and my recommendations for your library this week of RI artists are:

In Pursuit of Beauty, Americans and the Aesthetic Movement, 1986                   Catlaogue from the Metropolitan Museum of art                                                                        

By Doreen Bolger Burke, $15.17

Florence Leif (1913 – 1968) Becoming Modern,

by Bert Gallery, $32 soft cover

Cathy @ 7:13 am

Tagged in: A MUST for your art life!

Painting of the Week – American Scene Painting

Jean Hogan (1909 – 1995)  Hartford, Ct    Oil on Board 24″ x 20″    Verso: Meridan Art Association Award and Estate Stamp, original frame  $1,500.

Jean Hogan, born in Hartford, Connecticut, worked and lived in Connecticut and Rhode Island, and summered on Monhegan Island, Maine. Her biography from a Brown University alumni magazine read” Jean V. Hogan ’31, Wickford, RI: Jan. 15. She was an art teacher in the South Kingstown, R.I., school system for many years before retiring, and also had taught at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connn. She studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and the A.E. James School of Fine Art, and exhibited her paintings throughout New England. She had one-woman shows at New York City’s Morton Galleries and at the Harbor Art Galleries in Wickford.

Hogan was a painter, graphic artist and teacher. Her art portrays an eastern United States version of American Scene painting or Regionalism. The Oxford Dictionary of Art defines Regionalism as” Movement in American paintings… part of the wider category of American Scene painting.. in which artists concentrated on realistic depiction of scenes and types from the American Midwest and deep South The movement flourished during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. The motivation of the Regionalists, like that of all American Scene painters, derived from a patriotic desire to establish genuinely American art by the utilization of American subject-matter and the repudiation of inoovative artistic styles. In addition, they were moved by a nostalgic desire to glorify, or at lease to record, rural and small-town American as distinct from the new industrial urbanization, and it was from this that their widespread popularity drew its sustenance. Thomas Hart Benton was the vociferous mouthpiece of the group and prominent among them wee Grant Wood, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper and John Stuart Curry, with Charles Burchfield and Ben Shahn on the fringes. Hooper was more

Born: 1909,
Lived: Hartford, Connecticut; Wickford, Rhode Island
Summered: Monhegen, Maine

Studied: Pembroke College, and artists J.G. McManus, A.E.Jones

Member: CAFA, New Haven PCC, Springfield Art League, Hartford: Society of Women Painters, South Country Art Club

Exhibited:   National Academy of Design, New Haven PCC
Springfield Art League, 1938 (prize), 1942 (prize)
Hartford Society Women Painters
Ogunquit Art Center
Brown University
South County Art Club
Morton Gallery, New York, 1945 (one-man)
Worlds Fair New York, 1939
Ethel Walker School, Simsbury, Connecticut
CAFA, 1943 (prize)

Cathy @ 7:11 am

Tagged in: Painting of the Week

Trending Now – The Landscape as Narrative

The American landscape, was the artist’s biggest and most reliable muse.

The Terra Foundation in one of its American landscape exhibits documented that “attitudes toward nature and the environment as manifested in paintings, pastels, and prints made between 1790 and the mid-1960s” radically evolved. “During this period, Americans’ views on nature changed significantly. Where colonial settlers saw seemingly endless nature and limitless bounty, nineteenth-century Americans explored outlying territories and expanded ways to harness and capitalize on nature’s abundance. Along with rapid industrialization and increased urbanization, the twentieth century also witnessed the birth of modern-day preservation and conservation movements and organizations. Over the course of the nation’s history, America’s embrace of its “manifest destiny” has been gradually displaced by a growing sense of its “manifest responsibility” to protect ecologically.”

Evidence of these changing attitudes in rendering landscapes is seen in the artworks of the Providence School. Look at five generations of Providence School artists and how they painted landscapes;

  1.  Lewin 1836 -1877
  2. Swan 1853 – 1927
  3. Douglas 1860 – 1949
  4. Smith 1879 – 1965
  5.  Cirino 1888 – 1983

1. James Morgan Lewin (1836 – 1877), Landscape, Oil on Canvas 16” x 24”  $3,500. SOLD  $2,800.

2. Emma Swan (1853 – 1927), Landscape, Oil on Canvas 9″ x 9″, $2,000. SOLD $1,800.

3. Arthur Douglas (1860 – 1949), Smithfield, RI, Oil on Canvas Board 12” x 14” $600.

4. Hope Smith (1879 – 1965), Birch in Landscape, unsigned front, Pencil signed on stretcher, Oil on Canvas 26” x 24”,  $1,200. SALE $950.

5. Antonio Cirino (1888 – 1983), Vermont, Oil on Board 10” x 12”, $1,500. SALE $1,200.


1. James Morgan Lewin 1836 – 1877

James Morgan Lewin was born in Swansea, MA in 1836. He began his career as an apprentice at the Gorham Company in Providence, RI, learning engraving. At the close of his apprenticeship, he learned to paint photographs and was engaged by Manchester & Chapin, prominent photographers of their time. Lewin later turned his talents to landscape painting.

In 1858 he taught in Providence, RI, at the Charles Field Street Family and Day School. For the next two years, 1859 and 1860, he exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum. The Crayon for October 1859 noted that “Jas. M. Lewin, a landscape painter of great popularity here, is spending the summer at Conway, NH, taking sketches of the White Mountains.” He was a member of the Providence Art Club. In 1864, Lewin had a studio in Boston, MA. He exhibited at the Boston Art Club during the period 1875 to 1877.

In 1860, Benjamin Champney purchased one of Lewin’s paintings on exhibit at the Boston Athenaeum. In Champney’s book, Sixty Years’ Memories of Art and Artists, he writes:

“One day, many summers ago, there alighted at my cottage door in North Conway, from the Centre Harbor stage-coach, a young man of bright intelligent face, who told me that his name was James M. Lewin and that he had come from Providence to study the scenery of the Saco valley in the vicinity of my home. I took him to my studio and showed him some of the points of view I had painted. He seemed pleased and next day started out to find something for himself, but returned saying he could find nothing to paint. He wished I would allow him to paint near me. I agreed. He selected a subject by my side. He made a muddy mess of it. I gave him a few hints and the next day he made a charming little sketch of it. I was amazed and thought he had been shamming. But no, his eyes had only been opened to see as if by magic what was beautiful about him. Then we sketched all the summer and he produced many charming dainty bits.

Other summers he came to work and was constantly improving. I found he had great imaginative faculties and delicate, deft execution. He went to Boston, took a studio and painted landscape and still life with rare skill and ease. His pictures were highly esteemed but unfortunately death shortly ended his brilliant career.”   Lewin died and was buried in Milton, MA in 1877.

From White Mountain Art and Artists website

2.  Emma Swan 1853 – 1927

  • Early Providence Art Club Member, 1880
  • Exhibited in first Providence Art Club exhibitions, May and December 1880
  • Exhibited at Tilden Thurber Galleries Providence

Emma Swan was a very popular painter among art patrons in Providence. From 1880 – 1927, Swan maintained an active artist studio first in the Wood’s Building, then onto the Hoppin Homestead, 357 Westminster Street, 468 Public Street, and finally, 385 Westminster Street.   Given her numerous commissions and extensive productivity, her studio was always buzzing with activity over her nearly 50 year professional career. Out of her atelier Swan hosted studio shows, taught pupils, painted commissions and prepared her portfolio for gallery exhibitions.

Many a collector and art enthusiast purchased works directly from Swan’s studio shows, thus gaining entry into one of the most charming workrooms in the city. Her well-photographed enclave is re-created in the “Making Her Mark” Archives exhibit at the Dodge House Gallery.

Swan’s art education primarily derived from her father, a die sinker who engraved dies used to stamp designs on coins or medals. He taught her drafting skills that she further developed by practice and self-tutelage. It was in 1889, at the age of 36, that she was able to study under the talented and eccentric artist Abbott Handerson Thayer in Dublin, New Hampshire. Thayer taught both portraiture and nature studies and attracted many dedicated students like Swan who returned several summers for instruction. In 1895 Swan had the opportunity to travel abroad and refine her art skills, sketching and studying works of the great masters in Germany and Holland.

Swan was a prolific and hard working painter who developed a considerable audience. She was a regular exhibitor at the Providence Art Club, exhibited at the Tilden Thurber gallery, held an annual studio exhibition and was a sought after art instructor. As an exhibiting artist, her paintings were a favorite topic for Providence Journal writers, garnering numerous positive critical reviews.

In a spring Providence Art Club exhibition in 1889, where over 1,400 visitors were recorded and 400 catalogues sold, the Providence Journal was quick to mention the sale of one of her paintings.

In March 1900, the Providence Journal critic extolled, “Miss E.L. Swan’s ‘Roses’ forms another brilliant note on the east wall. They are strongly painted and the canvas is one of the best examples of her work in this line which has yet been shown.”

Due to the demand for her art, over time she exhibited fewer paintings at the Providence Art Club. It was noted, “Her time was so taken up with commissions that she found it often difficult to arrange for exhibitions.”

At the time of her death Swan was very well known and respected by artists and patrons alike. The Providence Journal obituary honored her with the moniker “Dean of Rhode Island Women Artists.” A memorial exhibition was held at the Tilden and Thurber galleries. Her early membership in the Providence Art Club began a life long association that offered opportunities for women artists.

3.  Arthur Douglas (1860 – 1949)

Born in 1860, Arthur S. Douglas attended the first term of the Rhode Island School of Design as daytime student #68 and graduated as a part of the second graduate class. Ever the professional artist, Douglas worked as an instructor and exhibited with the Providence Art Club while he was a student. One of the earliest acclaims came at age twenty-one. George Whitaker noted that “Arthur Douglas, of the R.I.S.D., showed meritorious work” in the December 3, 1881 issue of the Providence Journal.

In 1882, Douglas pursued his work in Europe for some time as the companion of a wealthy man. His travel to Yorkshire in the United Kingdom is evident in a series of watercolors that sold in 1991 at the Christie’s Fine Art Auction and at two auctions held by Sloan and Company Fine Art. These pieces depict coastal scenes along the North Sea Coast at Whitby and Scarborough, Yorkshire.

Douglas returned to living in Rhode Island after his trip. He continued to paint and created a remarkable series of ten etchings for publication. This book, published in 1890 and entitled Woodward Rambles, Ten Etchings of Nooks and Corners in Some Old Rhode Island Farms, is perhaps the best example of Douglas’s refined drafting skills. Although Douglas concentrated on mainly watercolors and some oil painting, it is evident through his book that he possessed the technical skill of an accomplished professional artist. This book is now held in the collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society and at the Brown University John Hay library.

In 1918 Arthur Douglas was selected to exhibit in the Society of Independent Artists, of which the well-respected New York artist John Sloan was president. The Society of Independent Artists was founded in 1916 and was based on the French Société des Artistes Indépendants. The goal of the society was to hold annual exhibitions by avant-garde artists. Selection into the society exhibition indicates Douglas’s ambition to seek a wider audience for his painting beyond the borders of Rhode Island.

Douglas stayed in Rhode Island, painting and teaching in the Providence area until the end of his life. Like other artists of his time, Douglas enjoyed working outside and painting the landscapes that surrounded him, generally using a pastel palette and broad, loose brushstrokes. In his later years, people commissioned Douglas to paint portraits. Even after being diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and throat, Douglas continued to paint and teach about the techniques of blending colors while staying in a nursing home in Providence. Arthur Douglas died in 1945 at the age of 89.

Well after his death, Arthur Douglas’s artwork have been displayed in various exhibits with the Providence Watercolor Club, the Watercolor Society of Rhode Island, and at Bert Gallery.

4. Hope Smith   1879 – 1965

Tucked away painting from the window of her North Main Street Studio, Hope Smith would not realize that her posterity as a Rhode Island artist would be made on her painted records of a fast disappearing and developing Providence. She cherished painting urban and rural scenes and this affection and integrity shines through all of the pieces of this subject matter. It is for these pieces that she is best remembered.

Hope Smith was one of the first graduates of the Mary C. Wheeler School in 1898. She then studied at Rhode Island School of Design, at the Julian School in Paris and under Woodbury Chase. It was in a 1916 Providence Art Club Show that her artistic talent was confirmed as she won praise from the Providence Journal art critic. He commented ” This group [of paintings] is far ahead of anything this young artist has yet shown, and entitles her to serious consideration.” He went on to say that, “This show was one of the most interesting and compelling exhibitions.”

The artist was a consistently strong painter who during her lifetime progressed logically in her artistic development. She has been identified by the art critic, Bradford Swan, as ” a spiritual heir of the Impressionists” who concentrated in her work on outdoor light. She had a strongly developed esthetic sense and her works were representative or realistic only on a superficial level. More specifically her painting reflected an internal vision, a private view of what she saw. While oil was the medium she primarily concentrated on, she exclusively worked in watercolors for two years, 1928-1930, in order that she could gain a freshness and surity in handling oils. It is in oils that her technical dexterity and ability to depict subtle shadings of light and color were admired.

An avid traveler, Hope Smith painted from Providence to China and in and around New England. During her lifetime she exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy, Boston Art Club, Providence Art Club, South County Art Association and the Newport Art Association. She was a member of the Providence Art Club and the South County Art Association.

5.  Antonio Cirino   1888 – 1983

“When painting with a lion’s heart and in deep fervor, I wandered through the labyrinths of life, the country side, yea the wood interiors, mountain passes and the shores of the rivers and ocean and running streams conjuring up new worlds of beauty, ideas without ancestors, fact and fancies that stirred complacency and composure all this while in a world of facts or hard realities…”   Cirino Journal 1981

Antonio Cirino was born in Italy in 1888, immigrated to Providence at age two and was raised among the bustle of Atwells Ave, the center of business and culture for Providence’s Italian population in the early 20th century.   A colorful and confident personality, he amused many and enraged others in his lifetime. In 2008 it is his iconic repertoire of paintings, be it the woods of Lincoln, Rhode Island, the little church spire in East Providence or the fisherman in their picturesque old wooden boats in Rockport, that solidify his legacy as a painter.

Cirino integrated readily into the Rhode Island community. In a 1980 article he noted,

”Nota Bene! Though I am a native of Serino, Italy, Province of Avellino, I bear the tradmark, ‘Made in the U.S.A.’, because of the influence that public education had on me, kneading me for the life to come.”

The artist attended Providence Technical School, graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1909 and received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Columbia Teachers College in 1912. Then the young man went directly to the Rhode Island School of Design to teach jewelry design commencing a thirty-five year teaching career. He co-authored a significant textbook, Jewelry Making and Design with A.F. Rose. While the number of Italian Americans swelled in Providence from 18,014 in 1894 to 42,044 in 1920, Cirino selected an uncommon path compared to fellow immigrants from his generation. He distinguished himself with a college degree and teaching position in higher education.

Cirino, however, always had a driving passion for painting and in the 1920’s began to summer in Rockport where he became one of the founding members of the Rockport Art Association. Rockport became not only an important summer refuge for the artist but a location where he would produce his most important canvases.

Critical acclaim would follow along with acceptance into the Salmagundi Club in New York City in 1926 and the Providence Art Club.

His fluid painting technique showed a keen understanding of composition and skillful craftsmanship in manipulating oil pigments, especially in the fluttering and lively effects of light reflecting off water. A keen student of nature, Cirino painted outdoors for his entire artistic career. He was a kindred spirit to the Impressionists and focused on his personal interpretation of the subject.   In 1949 the New York Times wrote of one of his paintings, Mooring Place “one of the more honest and sensitive examples of this genre.”

Throughout his life Cirino not only refined his painting craft but also understood that to insure his legacy he needed to actively promote his work and document his achievements. He did this by winning prizes in juried exhibitions, earning favorable critical reviews and placing his work in important collections.   He dedicated much of his energy to achieving these goals and received over seventy- nine prizes for his paintings including the gold Medal of Honor by the Rockport Art Association and the Hope Show prize from the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, Ohio. His work is included in numerous collections such as the RISD Museum of Art, Dayton Art Institute and National Academy of Design.   As if these accolades were not enough, he assembled his own account of his successful art career in three detailed volumes, giving great insight into his perceptions as a painter. In the opening pages of his third and final volume of 1981 he reflected,

This diminutive figure, with his imposing personality started off in the Federal Hill neighborhood teeming with vendors selling their goods in push carts and the sounds of live chickens and rabbits in wooden cages and went on to achieve great success in the world of art.   Upon his death he left the majority of his paintings to the Salmagundi Club in New York City and the Rockport Art Association, two institutions he felt critical to his growth and success as an artist. In addition, he established the Antonio Cirino Memorial Fund at The Rhode Island Foundation to provide scholarships for those pursuing graduate degrees to teach art.




Cathy @ 7:10 am

Tagged in: Trending Now

Winter Exhibition Attic Sale

Bert Gallery loves to clean closets! In the spirit of the end of the year clean up we reviewed inventory in the storage room and assisted some of our favorite clients slim down their collection. No more paintings under the bed and piled in the attic, they are now in the Attic Sale.

1. Edna Lawrence (1898 – 1986), Christmas Cactus, Pastel 14″ x 17″, unframed sheet, $25. SOLD

2. Edna Lawrence (1898 – 1986), Providence, unsigned Etching 5″ x 4″, Providence, framed,  $75. SOLD

Edna Lawrence (1898 – 1986)

Edna Lawrence was a very loved teacher and friend to many RISD and Providence Art Club artists. In 1985 Bert Gallery was asked to work with her estate and now 27 years later we are near the end of her inventory.

Lawrence is in the current Bert Gallery exhibit – “The Allure of the New York Art Students League”. After graduating from RISD she went on for a year to study at the League. There she perfected her drawing technique and returned to spend 57 years teaching at RISD. She was also a life long member of the Providence Art Club and ran the Saturday morning portrait class. We would like to share the remaining works from our inventory with any artists and collectors who celebrate great technique and determination in an artist. Most of the works are unframed, some matted and a few framed. Please contact us if you would like to purchase some of her work and we need to add shipping charges if you are out of state.

3. Percy Albee (1883 – 1959) Old Couple with Baskets,  Brown Pastel 13″ x 15″, loose sheet  $15.

Percy Albee (1883-1959)

Albee was a student of both the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design. He met his wife, the noted wood engraver, Grace Albee, at RISD. In his early career, he painted murals and was a printmaker in Providence. He enjoyed membership at the Providence Art Club and the Providence Water Color Club. Albee was awarded many mural commissions including both Memorial Hall, St. Paul’s Chapel at Brown University, The Roger Williams Park Museum, the Rhode Island Country Club and the Auditorium of the Brigham School in Providence. The latter mural was received in the American Magazine of Art in 1926. By the late 1920’s Percy took his family to Paris where he concentrated on large lithographs. By the 1930’s they returned to New York and eventually settled in Bucks Count, Pennsylvania. He continued to work and achieved Associate Member of the National Academy of Design, The Society Etchers and the Sal Magundi Club. He also won the 1937 prize for an exhibition at the Allied Artists of America.

4. Ruth Forrest (1919 – 1994) Leprechaun Charm, Pen and Ink 6″ x 4″, framed $40.

Ruth Forrest (1919 – 1994)

Ruth Forrest was a native Rhode Island artist who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1940’s. Upon graduation she accepted a teaching position in the Cranston Schools where she remained for 38 years as an art instructor. During those productive years, Ms. Forrest explored print making and watercolor painting. The majority of her woodcuts, wood engravings, and linoleum cuts were executed within a ten year period between 1940 and 1950. These works were exhibited throughout the East Coast in juried exhibitions, including the Art Association of Newport, Northeast Printmakers Association, the Print Club of Philadelphia, the International Printmakers, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

5. David Aldrich, Dark Waters, Watercolor 8″ x 10″, framed $200. SALE $100

6. Grace Albee (1890 -1985), Prince, 1979, Wood engraving 2.5″ x 3.5″ , mat but unframed, $50. SALE $40.

Grace Albee (1890 -1985)Grace Albee’s wood engravings are testimony to a perceptive observer and skilled craftsman. The seasoned artist produced over two hundred prints in a sixty year career span and became noted as a keen observer of the world around her, be it a scene of Paris, elsewhere in France, Pennsylvania farm country, or the Rhode Island Sea Coast. Throughout her career she gained entry into thirty-three museum collections, membership to the National Academy of Design, and a retrospective exhibition of 93 wood engravings in 1976 at the Brooklyn Museum.

7. Louise Marianetti (1916 – 2009) , Single Peach, pastel 9″ x 10″, no mat & frame, $100. SALE $50.

Louise Marianetti (1916 – 2009)

Born in 1916, Louise E. Marianetti was only four when she lost her mother to influenza. Marianetti was surrounded by a supportive familial network, including her father Ceasar Marianetti who recognized Marianetti’s artistic talent when she was just ten and enrolled her in private classes. At this time, Marianetti was also taking weekend classes at the Rhode Island School of Design and would be the youngest student to be admitted to the prestigious art school in 1932. While at RISD, Marianetti experimented with different forms of media and studied under the renowned artists C. Gordon Harris and John Frazier. For her senior thesis, Marianetti submitted her painting “Nellie,” which caught the attention of the art community and the press alike in its technique and compelling nature.

Marianetti continued to blossom during her time at the Art Students League in New York, finding rather than losing her personal view, frightfully complex as it may have been. In New York, Marianetti took classes in portraiture and still life from Robert Brackman and William Palmer. Their influence in Marianetti’s work is clear by the subject of her paintings. Marianetti’s choice and perhaps preference of media was also influenced by the Renaissance revival that also occurred at this time. During her New York years, Marianetti threw herself into her work, taking on the challenges of working with egg tempera and silverpoint drawing and maintaining her strong Italian identity.

Marianetti kept in contact with the New York art community; however, she pursued her professional career back in her home state of Rhode Island. She gravitated towards the Providence Art Club, exhibiting with them and catching the eye of the media with her technical and juxtaposed skill. Her painting “Corsage” was shown in the 1944 jury selected exhibit with the Providence Art Club. The piece caught the eye of critic Frederick Sisson as he remarked on her attention to fine detail. While building her professional career, Marianetti continued to work with mixed media and techniques, shifting to looser brushstrokes, brown paper, and craft paper.

It was not only Marianetti’s refined techniques that caught the eye, but also the odd subjects that Marianetti sometimes portrayed in her works. People started to think of her pieces as magical realism, but Marianetti almost defended her work, stating that it “is not dream-state, they are thought-state.”

1949 was perhaps the best year of Marianetti’s career as she exhibited in 3 different one-artist shows at Boston’s Vose Gallery, at the Newport Art Association, and at the Casa Italiana at the University of Columbia in New York. She continued to display different media, which were able to portray different sentimental value for Marianetti, as well as different subject matter. Her paintings of “Crucifixion” and “Death Mask,” both portray such technique with such macabre subjects. It was around this time that Marianetti also wrote to her friend about disturbing dreams while colleague and religious advisor Father V. Gagnon saw her subject matter as coming from her heart and her soul rather than just from her brush. These shows were reviewed by many art critics, but perhaps no one’s appraise could mean more than Marianetti’s former teacher and exceptional woman artist Eliza Gardiner, who remarked that Marianetti’s “exhibition was distinguished and most individual” and that she would “surely be recognized nationally some day… I feel sure it will be before many years.” (Clean up that quote and integration… so much work to do on this piece.)

1949 was an important year for Louise Marianetti not only in her artwork, but also in her personal life. It was at the exhibit at the Vose Gallery that Marianetti met the noted Metropolitan Opera Baritone Everett Marshall. The next series of paintings in which Marianetti paints herself and Marshall make it clear that Louise is conflicted about her attraction. However, after ten years of “courting,” Marianetti and Marshall did get married in Fort Worth, Texas, while Marianetti was showing at the Ridglea Country Club. During these ten years, Marianetti continued showing her work but it seemed that she was mostly recycling old pieces that had been shown before. At the same time in the art world, magical realism, egg tempera, and gouache were being replaced for more modern techniques and subject matter.

In 1959, Marshall and Marianetti moved to Carmel, California, where they were welcomed as notable artists. Marianetti built a new network of collectors and followers as she exhibited with the Zantman Gallery and the Carmel Valley Art Gallery. She also taught at the Salinas Evening and Summer Schools in Monterey County. Marianetti also switched from egg tempera to pastel permanently, although it is unclear if this switch was brought on by the end of an art era or by Marianetti’s new California lifestyle.

After Everett Marshall died in 1965, Marianetti moved back to Rhode Island to live with her sister. At the young age of 52, Marianetti retired from art and lived out the rest of her days with her family, no longer keeping in contact with the art community. Like much of Marianetti’s life, there is no clear reason for why she stopped painting when she did. Her professional passion and ambition may have been put aside after falling in love with Everett or perhaps she did not wish to switch to the newer ideals and styles of the future of art. No matter, Marianetti accomplished a great deal in the short amount of time that she was recognized as an artist with a multitude of exhibitions and critiques to show for her great talent. Even after her death, the praise and shows continue to display her great talent as an artist of the mid-20th century.


Cathy @ 7:09 am

Tagged in: Attic Sale

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