Main Exhibit

gallery exhibit

The Allure of the Art Students League

March 14 - April 24, 2012

While the Rhode Island School of Design remains one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, many 20th Century RISD graduates gravitated to the ever present art “Mecca”, New York City. The New York Arts Student League has always attracted some of the most provocative and thoughtful artists of their time from American impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849 - 1916) to modern painter Georgia O’Keefe (1887 - 1986).

The “Allure of the Art Students League” is an exhibit of Rhode Island artists who studied at the Art Students League and were forever marked by their famous instructors. Mabel Woodward (1877 - 1945) adopted the plein air technique of her mentor William Merritt Chase, F. Usher Devoll (1873- 1941) often used the expressive brushstrokes of Robert Henri, Edna Lawrence influenced by the draftsmanship of John Sloan, James Herbert (1896- 1970) continued the figurative tradition of Kenneth Hayes Miller and Louise Marianetti (1916 - 2009) excelled at the egg tempera technique of William Palmer.

Over 20 paintings by these artists are on exhibit. The show examines the influence of the New York Arts Students League training on these Rhode Island artists. Moreover, when these artists returned to Providence, how they would influence their fellow artists and students. Mabel Woodward, Edna Lawrence and James Herbert would become faculty members at Rhode Island School of Design and their exposure to the New York art world kept their students current with the latest American art trends. Likewise, their membership and exhibition at the Providence Art Club challenged provincial art concepts.