1890s & 1900s ‘biographical snippets’ complete / Anna Lea Merritt / Annie exhibited alongside Cezanne, Degas and Lautrec in 1898.

THE 1880s, 1890s AND 1900s ‘BIOGRAPHICAL SNIPPETS’ sections are complete – various newspaper cuttings and other comments I’ve come across relating to Annie and her circle while searching for images of her works. Surprisingly little from the 1900s, considering how many of her works can be dated to that decade.

Interesting to see that Anna Lea Merritt was working alongside Annie at the Chicago World Fair in 1893. Anna wrote an article in 1900 on the difficulties women had accessing the art world …

The chief obstacle to a woman’s success is that she can never have a wife. Just reflect what a wife does for an artist:

  • Darns the stockings;
  • Keeps his house;
  • Writes his letters;
  • Visits for his benefit;
  • Wards off intruders;
  • Is personally suggestive of beautiful pictures;
  • Always an encouraging and partial critic.

It is exceedingly difficult to be an artist without this time-saving help. A husband would be quite useless. He would never do any of these disagreeable things …

Another feminine defect is a tendency to over-thriftiness and over-industry. For instance, in the spring … to what does every true woman turn? To spring cleaning, of course. A man does not: he goes away.

We working women do not amuse ourselves, we are apt to be working always. Constant industry becomes plodding and monotonous. Some of us even make a dress occasionally. But this thriftiness is a great mistake, for ideas are begotten — and observaion is acute in moments of leisure — far from the tools of craft. …

Art should be really all play — all recreation.

Re-creation is the truest description of art, which shares the joy of the universe and tries to re-create little portions of it, just to show her understanding of the Creator, and in this effort knows only joy and refreshment, never toil.

Lippencott’s Magazine, v. 65 (1900), pp463-9.

James McNeil Whistler.

THE ‘INTERNATIONAL SOCIEY OF SCULPTURS, PAINTERS AND GRAVERS’ was founded in 1898 by American-born James McNeil Whistler with himself as president and Irish artist John Lavery as vice president. On Whistler’s death in 1903 French sculptor Auguste Rodin took over presidency. The society closed in 1925.

Annie was one of the artists represented at the very first exhibition held in Knightsbridge, London, 1898. It is interesting to see how many famous names were represented, as well as the diversity of styles. These are some of the better known names and works at the exhibition. There were over seven-hundred exhibits in total, many of them illustrated in the catalogue

  • Aubrey BEARDSLEY
    • Volpone
  • Eugène CARRIÈRE
    • Sleep
  • Paul CEZANNE
    • The Bathers
  • Edgar DEGAS
    • Café Chantant
    • Dancers
  • Tolouse LAUTREC
    • Jane Avril at the entrance of the Moulin Rouge
    • Quadrille at the Moulin Rouge
  • Édouard MANET
    • Execution of Maximilian
  • Claude MONET
    • Le Bassin d’Argenteuil
  • Lucien PISSARO
    • Washing
  • Odillon REDON
    • Beatrice
  • Annie Louisa SWYNNERTON
    • The Dreamer
  • Suzanne VALADON
    • Nude studies
  • Édouard VUILLARD
    • Children Playing
  • James McNeil WHISTLER
    • Portrait of Miss Rosa Corda
    • The Thames in Ice

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