The annual Alexander Arts Lecture is held each fall in the Alexander Community Meeting Room of the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. This endowed lecture focuses on American Art, and honors the extraordinary contributions of Patty & Welborn Alexander, founding members of the Museum. The series was established through gifts from members of the Museum’s Board of Trustees in 2012. The goal of this lecture is to engage diverse audiences and create a cultural dialogue, thereby enriching the lives of the participants with current perspectives in the visual arts.
A native of Washington State, Erin R. Corrales-Diaz is the Assistant Curator of American Art at the Worcester Art Museum. Previously, she was the curator of the Johnson Collection and a visiting scholar of art history at Wofford and Converse Colleges. Corrales-Diaz received her doctorate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2016 with a dissertation titled “Remembering the Veteran: Disability, Trauma, and the American Civil War, 1861–1915.” Her research has been supported by numerous institutions, including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.
This year's talk will be on Southern women artists from the late nineteenth century. Read more below...
Lady Rebels: Southern Women Artists and Art Education during America’s Gilded Age
During the nineteenth century, professional women artists were a minority in America. This was especially so in the South, where an artistic career seemed unattainable as the conservative ideology of southern womanhood dictated that they must set aside their creativity for societal constraints and expectations as a wife and mother. Nevertheless, several Southern women such as Kate Freeman Clark, Josephine Sibley Couper, and Blondell Malone persevered in this oppressive environment, demonstrating a remarkable tenacity and determination in their quest to create. In addition, many women artists of the North traveled to the South to study with Elliott Daingerfield at Blowing Rock or exhibited at the Southern States Art League. This lecture will explore how these women artists of the South challenged the normative image of the professional artist as male and revised pedagogical practices to foster future generations of women artists. From establishing new schools and spaces to defying conventions about Southern womanhood, Southern women artists of the gilded age helped shape the state of the arts in the South.
John Leslie Breck and the Birth of American Impressionism
American Impressionism and Realism: Tales of a Collector with Jack Huber
“Encouraging American Genius” and Other Tales from the Front: American Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art with Sarah Cash, Bechhoefer Curator of American Art at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.
What a Difference a Frame Makes: American Period Frames of the 19th & Early 20th Centuries with Suzanne Smeaton, representative for Eli Wilner & Company
Landscapes of Southern Identity with Sylvia Yount, Chief Curator and Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art.