Savannah’s Women Artists, 1915–1945
July 30 - December 11
Savannah, Georgia, was the site of the development of an unusually vibrant artistic community beginning around 1920. Much of the activity there was related to the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, but it was also influenced by such organizations as the Savannah Art Association, the Southern States Art League, and the Association of Georgia Artists. Working in concert with the Telfair, they encouraged the development of the visual arts in Savannah by organizing exhibitions, by providing art instruction, and often by bringing prominent visiting artists to Savannah.
Drawn from the Morris Museum’s permanent collection, the works in the present exhibition highlight the critical role played by women artists in the artistic life of the city during this period. The exhibition showcases the work of such artists as Emma Cheves Wilkins, Hattie Saussy, Myrtle Jones, Margaret A. Murphy, Mary Hope Cabaniss, Andrée Ruellan, and Augusta Oelschig—all of them influential teachers as well as practicing artists.
Perhaps the most important of these artists is the eldest, Emma Cheves Wilkins, born in 1870. She was a self-supporting artist who famously taught many of the members of the succeeding generation of Savannah artists, including Cabaniss, Jones, Murphy, Oelschig, and Saussy.