A Celebration of Cleveland’s Women Artists


For over a century, the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) has provided essential training for many of Northern Ohio’s most vibrant and productive women artists. Their artistic work encompassed a wide range of media: oil and watercolor, sculpture, illustration and design, silversmithing and jewelry-making, enameling, ceramics and textiles. Many of the women had successful careers as designers and illustrators; some supported themselves as art teachers, while others managed their own art galleries and studios. Curiously, while the women were in many regards as successful as their male counterparts, they are undeservingly not as well-known today.

In cooperation with ARTneo, the Cleveland Institute of Art this summer will bring to light the achievements of a group CIA’s women graduates and instructors. In the first floor vitrines we will be highlighting metal, ceramic and glass work. In 1919, Mildred Watkins (1883 – 1968, class of 1901) began a thirty-five year career teaching silversmithing and enameling at the Cleveland School of Art. During her extraordinary tenure she would launch the career of many noteworthy students including Kenneth Bates, Edgar Winter and Doris Hall. A renowned master silversmith, jeweler and enamelist whose reputation stretched far beyond Cleveland, Watkins devoted as much time as she could to teaching younger women the art of working in metals. The exhibition displays her creations as well as the silverwork of Florence Wilcox (class of 1915), Wilhelmina Stephan (class of 1905) and Doris Hall (class of 1928). In addition there will be examples of the ceramic and glass work of other graduates including Thelma Frazier (1929), Edris Eckhart (1931) and Leza McVey (1931).

A second installation will be hung in the second floor atrium. Here there will be a display of paintings and watercolors by a group of CIA’s most inventive women graduates over the last 100 years. Early modernism is represented with original works by Elsa Vick Shaw (class of 1917) and Louise Morris (1928). Graduate Hazel Janicki (1941) turned her talents to experimenting with styles encompassing Expressionism and Magic Realism. And a more recent group of women graduates including Shirley Aley Campbell (1947 Agnes Gund Scholarship) and Anna Arnold (1983) combine in their work a variety of contemporary styles including Hyper Realism and Pop.

A Celebration of Cleveland’s Women Artists

ARTneo in cooperation with the Cleveland Institute of Art
June 3- August 19, 2016
11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

For more information visit cia.edu/exhibitions