A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance

Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 12:00am - Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 11:59pm
Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia , PA 19118
United States

The most ambitious exhibition of the work of Violet Oakley (1874–1961) to date, A Grand Vision highlights Oakley’s spirit of civic humanism and her prolific accomplishments as a muralist, portraitist, stained glass designer, and illustrator.

At a time before women had the right to vote, she achieved international fame for her prestigious government commissions for the Pennsylvania State Capitol. The exhibition documents Oakley’s extensive contributions to Philadelphia institutions and to the American Renaissance revival, following her career through the twentieth century. She fashioned herself as an artist, diplomat, promoting world peace as she created portraits of the delegates to the League of Nations and United Nations. Guest curator Dr. Patricia Likos Ricci is an associate professor of the history of art and the director of the Fine Arts Division at Elizabethtown College. In the late 1970s, she worked with Edith Emerson, the artist’s life partner and director of Woodmere from the early 1940s through 1978. Emerson founded the Violet Oakley Memorial Foundation at Cogslea. Dr. Ricci helped her organize the artist’s remaining works and reconstruct the trajectory of her career. Dr. Ricci also worked with curators Anne d’Harnoncourt and Anne Percy in 1979, writing the essay and participating in the organization of the first major exhibition of Oakley’s work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Event Type: 
Arts & Culture