Texas Modernism(s) Exhibit open through November 5th

October 25, 2022 7:06 AM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

By Laurie Hammons, WAS-H Member 

On Friday a group of friends visited an interesting exhibition of paintings. It was at the Julia Ideson (old) building at the Houston Public Library downtown. It's an eye-opening look at art in the 1930s in Houston and Dallas, the way the two cities developed differently due to the strong influence of two people. They each studied in Paris and Europe from 1888-1890, and then returned to Texas. Frank Reaugh in Dallas continued to paint in the impressionist/regionalist style, while Emma Richardson Cherry in Houston kept up with European and East Coast art movements as they emerged. These two people deeply influenced two generations of artists in their respective cities. It was fascinating to compare how each city's art scene evolved.

There is no charge either for admission or the beautiful 80-page full color exhibition catalog, shown here:

The exhibit is scheduled to run till November 5, subject to change.  The Ideson building has been beautifully updated since I last visited. It reminds me of some of the elegant museums I have visited -- at no charge to us! What a treasure.

Find the link to the exhibit information HERE

I spent some time today researching Emma Richardson Cherry’s life:

  • Born in Aurora, Illinois, 1859. Studied art in New York and Chicago, winning multiple honors for her work.
  • Moved to Kansas City in 1885, set up a studio, and helped establish the Kansas City Art Association and School of Design. (Met her husband while teaching in Nebraska.)
  • Left for Paris in 1888 where she studied in Europe for nearly two years.
  • Returned to the US and her husband in Denver where she was a founder of the Artist’s Club of Denver which eventually became the Denver Art Museum.
  • Their daughter Dorothy was born in Denver in 1892. 
  • In the early 1890s the Cherrys moved to Houston. They purchased the former home of William Marsh Rice and moved it to 608 Fargo St., in Montrose. (After her death, it was the first house to be relocated to Sam Houston Park, the Nichols-Rice-Cherry House.)
  • One of the organizers, in 1900, of the Houston Public School Art League (later the Houston Art League*). This group went on to develop plans for a fine art museum, leading to the opening of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1924.
  • In 1934 she was one of five Houston artists commissioned to create art projects (WPA?); she painted murals in the Houston Public Library (now the Ideson building).

What an inspiring person!

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