In a New Light: Alice Schille and the American Watercolor Movement

On view June 14 – September 29, 2019

This exhibition firmly reestablishes Alice Schille as both one of America’s foremost watercolorists and as a leading artist of the first half of the twentieth century. During her career (1900-1948), Schille built a national reputation by garnering acclaim from other artists and the international press while also receiving voluminous honors and awards. Why then is her story not part of the art history canon? When Abstract Expressionism rose to prominence in the late 1940s, art critics relegated Schille, and other artists who did not fit into the movement, to secondary status. Eventually, many of these artists were all but forgotten. Schille’s gender and choice of watercolor as her medium were further barriers to her admittance into the art history canon.  In a New Light reveals once again Schille’s technical mastery, fluid technique, and keen sensitivity to color, light, rhythmic movement, and compositional structure. August 21, 2019 is the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alice Schille’s birth. She was born in Columbus, Ohio the daughter of a prosperous soda-drink and bottle manufacturer. She attended Columbus Art School (now Columbus College of Art & Design) and was a member of the faculty there from 1904 – 1948. 

[Top Image: Alice Schille, Mother and Child in a Garden, France, (detail), c. 1911-12. Collection of Ann and Tom Hoaglin]