Mabel May Woodward
1877 - 1945 | Historical Rhode Island artist
After a series of early accomplishments in her career, it was a predictable scenario that Mabel Woodward would rise to become the most prominent Rhode Island woman artist of the late 19th and early 20th century. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with highest honors and received the first prize scholarship ever offered for ability, industry and conduct. She then went on in 1898 to study under Kenyon Cox and Frank Duveneck. Following tutelage at the Art Student's League in New York, two pieces of her work were selected for the Paris exposition. It was in 1900 that she returned to Providence to teach at Rhode Island School of Design and her success as an artist continued.
Mabel Woodward received recognition as a painter of figure and landscape. Her work was classified in 1938 by Frank Sisson, art critic for the Providence Journal, as " A kind of impressionism.....or a development of impressionism to a more descriptive painting." Her painting illustrated very happy phases of nature and her special talent lay in capturing outdoor color and light. Of particular note was the way she captured the sky in beach and summer scenes.
Throughout her lifetime Mabel Woodward would charm the art community both locally and nationally. She exhibited at the National Academy in New York, Chicago Art Institute, Boston Art Club, and The Rockport, Ogunquit and South County Art Associations. She was also a regular exhibitor at the Providence Art Club as well as an active member.