Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Visit To The Matilda Browne Show At The Florence Griswold Museum

I recently made a return trip to the Florence Griswold Museum to see the Matilda Browne exhibition, Idylls Of Farm And Garden.

Matilda Browne was known for her paintings of flowers, farms and cattle.  She worked in Old Lyme and was the only woman accepted by the male artists in the Old Lyme colony and the only woman asked to paint a door in Miss Florence's boardinghouse.  Browne's work was considered acceptable because she was described as having a "masculine" stroke, and had studied with masterful painters and won many prizes before coming to Old Lyme.

Browne was a gardener herself and often set up in her backyard to paint.  Houses were often included in her garden paintings.  Here are some of the paintings included in the show.  I saw the exhibition in the middle of two weeks of gray, dreary skies here in New York, and it was lovely to see these sunny, summer scenes.


In The Garden, 1915

Browne often painted women or children in her garden scenes, and broke with tradition by painting older women rather than the young beauties featured by her male colleagues.




Peonies, 1907


Miss Katherine Ludington's Garden, 1914

In Voorhee's Garden, 1914

Clark Voorhee's House, 1905

This is an earlier painting of Clark Voorhee's home.  I love the topiary duck.





Hollyhocks

Summer Blossoms

The Garden

August Morning, 1913

August Morning was the first work by Browne to enter a museum collection and one of eight paintings purchased to launch the permanent collection of the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.

Matilda Browne was also a still life painter.  Her florals are beautiful.  She often painted the flowers without a vase or downplayed the vessel if she had one, preferring to let the flowers take center stage.


Azaleas


Roses, 1985

Vase Of Flowers, (Laurel), 1905



Flowers

The blurb next to the painting referred to this as a "casual arrangement", but to me, there is nothing casual about it!

Staffordshire and Roses

I immediately recognized the vase as Wedgwood, a porcelain I have never painted before, but will definitely add to one of my paintings in the future.




Miss Florence's

And to finish the post, a painting of the Florence Griswold house, known as Miss Florence's.  Until Browne bought her own house on Lyme Street, she stayed at the Old Lyme Inn or Miss Florence's boardinghouse, where she was one of the only female artists accepted by the predominantly male art colony.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the exhibition.  Though it is now closed, there is a very nice exhibition catalog available here.


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