On until June at Edinburgh's Modern Two (formerly the Dean Gallery) is Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965. I mentioned it yesterday, but wanted to give another taste of this exhibition which includes work by 45 female artists, few of whom are well known.
To quote from curator Alice Strang's introduction to the catalogue: "In 1885 Sir William Fettes Douglas, President of the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), declared that the work of a woman artist was 'like a man's only weaker and poorer'. In the same year, Fra Newbery was appointed Director of the Glasgow School of Art. Newbery turned the institution into the most advanced of its kind in Britain, not least for the employment and participation of female staff and students. The death in 1965 of Anne Redpath, who in 1952 had been the first female painter to be elected a full member of the RSA, was marked with a major touring memorial exhibition organised by the Arts Council of Great Britain. The eighty years which lay between these events saw an unprecedented number of Scottish women train and practise as artists: this period is the focus of [...] the exhibition."
Here you will find work by Phoebe Anna Traquair, Jessie M. King, and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, but it's their paintings which are shown, not the applied arts for which they are probably better known. From more recent decades come Anne Redpath, Joan Eardley, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, women working at a time of greater acceptance and opportunity.
In between are artists virtually unknown today, but painters and sculptors of great quality and vision, and it's to be hoped that this exhibition will not only bring these women out of the shadows but inspire further research into and collection of their work.
Above is a striking portrait, Anne Finlay, 1920, by Dorothy Johnstone. Anne Finlay, or 'Spook' as she was nicknamed, was herself an artist and a painting of hers is included in the exhibition, but this portrait is by her tutor at Edinburgh College of Art whose work is also represented by this picture.