Saturday, March 9, 2013 | 2 PM
In conjunction with the exhibition Emma Richardson Cherry: Houston’s First Modern Artist curators Danielle Burns, Randy Tibbits and Lorraine Stuart will give an informal gallery talk on Mrs. Cherry and her students and their impact in Houston and the art world.
Mrs. Cherry’s Studio (Family Program)
Saturday, April 13, 2013 | 2 PM
A workshop for all ages that introduces creative methods and techniques Mrs. Cherry and her students used in their work. An art instructor will provide fun activities to keep everyone engaged as they learn about the exhibition Emma Richardson Cherry: Houston’s First Modern Artist.
February 1 — May 4, 2013
Julia Ideson Building
Emma Richardson Cherry (1859-1954) came to Houston in the mid 1890’s and remained a Houstonian for almost 60 years. Through her work as a teacher, lecturer, civic organizer and professional artist, she helped shape the art environment of the City and of Texas. Almost singlehandedly at first, she laid the foundation on which the Houston of later decades would build a vibrant art culture. She was the vital conduit, bringing current ideas from the greater art world to a Houston that was a small town of fewer than 30,000 when she arrived, and still fell far short of a million when she died in 1954.
As the first woman and one of the first Americans of either sex to paint at Giverny in 1888/89, she arrived in Houston with first-hand knowledge of impressionism, and soon mounted the first impressionist exhibition anywhere in Texas. As a result of her encounter with such artists as Marsden Hartley and Stuart Davis in Gloucester, MA, and as one of fewer 100 members worldwide (and the only one from Texas) of the avant-garde Societe Anonyme in New York in the early 1920’s, she was exposed to the ideas of fellow members Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray among others, and put Houston in touch with the most advanced art ideas circulating anywhere at the time. And after study with cubist painter Andre Lhote in Paris in 1925/26, she painted what are likely the first cubist paintings made by a Texas artist.
Cherry was Houston’s first modern artist. She, her students and their students (for as one commentator said “all that Mrs. Cherry does comes back to us, for when she is not creating she is imparting”) formed a core of forward-looking artists in the city decades earlier than is generally recognized. Newly available paintings and documents now make it possible to tell and illustrate the story of her amazing accomplishment.