Symposium on Midwest Women Artists Takes Place in November

September 26, 2013

Peoria, IL (September 25, 2013) The art, experiences and legacies of women artists working in the Midwest between 1840 and 1940 will be explored at a unique interdisciplinary symposium at Bradley University on November 7 and 8.

Historians, artists, writers, instructors and art leaders from around the country will meet for the event titled, "Midwest Women Artists 1840-1940, Discovering Their Work, Telling Their Stories, Learning From The Past." The symposium is free and open to the public. For details and to register see

The symposium will open on November 7 with tours of Peoria art galleries participating in the Citywide Celebration of Women Artists, followed at 5 p.m. by the keynote address by Dr. Wanda Corn, nationally recognized historian of American art and the Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History at Stanford University. A viewing of rarely seen Eleanor Coen paintings will take place in the Heuser Art Center gallery on the Bradley campus.  

Activities on Friday will include panel discussions on researching and telling women's stories; on art practices: lessons learned, forgotten and reinvigorated; and individual artists and their effect on art and their communities.

The artists in this nascent stage of modernism in the Midwest made valuable cultural contributions, taught and ran businesses, established community organizations, participated in political debate, and raised children.

There are wonderful stories to tell about their desire to create and their willingness to go beyond societal boundaries to do it. Their work is a tribute to the spirit of all women. Their lives enrich our own and make possible what we do today.

With imagination, skill, perseverance and a willingness to challenge the status quo, these artists became part of the cultural fabric of the Midwest and the US. The symposium is designed to look at their work, and learn their stories -- to appreciate more of the depth of our cultural history and support the value and integrity of women's art.