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Collecting, Creating, and Contributing: Boston Women in the Arts, 1870-1940

Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Registration is required
Members only with no fee

Collecting, Creating, and Contributing: Boston Women in the Arts, 1870-1940

Dr. Erica E. Hirshler

“There is nothing that men do that is not done by women now in Boston,” wrote a columnist for The Art Amateur in 1889. Linked by their aspirations, training, affiliations, friendships, and common environment, Boston’s women shared much more than the common accident of their sex, and the city was distinguished by their success. In this illustrated talk, Dr. Erica E. Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, explores the challenges faced and accomplishments attained by a community of Boston women artists, organizers, and collectors in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Boston. Her lecture is the culminating event in a series of exhibition programming for Their Objects, Their Stories: The Nichols Women as Collectors, 1870-1960, on view through October 13, 2018 at the Nichols House Museum.

An expert in late 19th and early 20th-century American painting, Dr. Erica E. Hirshler has published extensively on John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Dennis Bunker, William Merritt Chase, Winslow Homer, and women artists and collectors. Author of A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870–1940 (2001), Dr. Hirshler holds a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD from Boston University; she has lectured at museums and other cultural institutions across the United States, Europe, and Japan. She is currently planning an exhibition about Sargent and fashion.

This lecture is presented in partnership with the Nichols House Museum.

Amongst the artwork collected in the Boston Athenæum, Morning (The White Curtains) by Ettie Stettheimer certainly stands out with its modernist approach and vibrant colors. View this painting in the fourth floor Trustee Room and many others throughout the building on your next visit to 10½ Beacon.

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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To request ASL interpretation services for any of the Athenaeum's programs, please contact Hannah Weisman at 617-720-7617 or