News Provided by the Pinal County Historical Museum
Free Program at Museum
The early resident art community of Arizona was comprised mostly of women, and this talk explores the varied careers of five of these independent and talented artists. Appearing through a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council and offered free of charge at the Pinal County Historical Museum on Oct. 9th at 2 p.m., Betsy Fahlman, M.A. Ph.D., will present the works of these noted women and explore their careers. Fahlman is an art history professor at ASU. A specialist in American art of the 19th and 20th centuries, she is the author of New Deal Art in Arizona (University of Arizona Press 2009). The Cowboy’s Dream: The Mythic Life and Art of Lon Megargee (2002).
Some of the artists presented are Kate Cory, who came to Oraibi in 1905. She remained seven years in Hopiland, producing a remarkable series of paintings and photographs, before moving to Prescott in 1912. In 1909 Marjorie Thomas arrived in Scottsdale with her brother who moved there for his health. Lillian Wilhelm Smith came to the state in 1913 with her cousin by marriage, Zane Grey. She illustrated a number of his books. Her second husband was a cowboy, and together they ran a trading post and guest ranch.
Jessie Benton Evans settled in Scottsdale in 1923, and her desert villa became a social center for local artists. She produced a series of beautiful Impressionist desert landscapes. The twenties brought Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, who, with her husband Harold, founded the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1928.
Other women artists who settled in the state will also be discussed, including architect Mary Jane Colter, as will the many women artists who visited, several sponsored by the Santa Fe Railroad.