Uncovering the Stories of Midwestern Women Artists - Symposium

October 18, 2011

OCTOBER 20-21, 2011

Join us for this unique interdisciplinary conference to explore the art and experiences of women artists working in the Midwest between 1840 and 1940. Learn how we will be telling women's stories in the future; current methods and techniques in women's history research...and consider our connections to women artists of the past.

The Midwestern United States consists of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.



Symposium Highlights

The symposium opens Thursday October 20 with a talk followed by a tour of the exhibition Skirting Convention: Illinois Women Artists, 1840 to 1940 at Lakeview Museum. On Friday October 21, presentations and discussion sessions will be held at Bradley University.

The symposium is organized by the Bradley University Art History Program and Women's Studies Department with support from the Bradley University Inland Visual Studies Center, the Illinois Women Artists Project, and Lakeview Museum. It is held in conjunction with the exhibition Skirting Convention: Illinois Women Artists, 1840 to 1940 at Lakeview Museum, Peoria, from October 1, 2011-January 14, 2012.

Symposium expenses are being covered by our sponsors and donors. Lunch, travel and overnight expenses will be the responsibility of the symposium participant.

Keynote Speakers

The symposium begins Thursday evening with a reception at Lakeview Museum and an introductory talk by Susan Weininger, followed by a tour of the exhibition Skirting Convention: Illinois Women Artists, 1840 to 1940. Dr. Weininger is Professor Emerita of Art History, Roosevelt University, where she was Chair of the Department of History, Art History and Philosophy. She has curated exhibitions at regional museums and galleries including The 'New Woman' in Chicago, 1910-1945, and she has written many essays, including two in the catalog Chicago Modern 1893-1945, Pursuit of the New.

On Friday, Michelle Citron will talk about how we will be telling women's stories tomorrow and beyond. What mediums will we use? What formats? Dr. Citron is an award-winning media artist and author. She is Chair of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago where she teaches autobiographical art and visual narratives. Her media pieces have been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the American Film Institute and the Walker Art Center. She is the award-winning author of the book Home Movies and Other Necessary Fictions.

State of the Research Panel

A discussion of the state of women's history research will be led by April Schultz, Associate Professor of History and Director of Women's Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University. The panelists are:

Wendy Greenhouse, PhD, independent art historian specializing in 19th and early 20th century American art;

Melissa Johnson, Associate Professor of Art History, Illinois State University;

Joni Kinsey, Professor of Art History, University of Iowa, author of several books including Plain Pictures: Images of the American Prairie and Thomas Moran's West: Chromolithography, High Art, and Popular Taste;

Rima Lunin Schultz, Historian and Co-editor of Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary.

A Conversation about Women Artists in the Midwest

A rare opportunity to hear first hand from the children and grandchildren of women artists of the Midwest, artists who expressed themselves eloquently through their work and their lives during the last century. Our guests will share experiences, and we will have the chance to consider more deeply our connections to women artists of the past.

Our guests are: Katie Kahn, artist and assistant professor of art at Northern Illinois University and Noah Kahn, a West Coast architect. Katie and Noah's mother was printmaker and painter Eleanor Coen (1916-2010).

Nancy Wicker, granddaughter of painter Mary Wicker (1868-1942).

Ramona Gibbs, artist and former instructor of English and Visual Literature at Missouri Western College and member of the Lakeview Museum board. Ramona's mother was sculptor and painter Maurine Montgomery Gibbs (1906-2003).

The conversation will be led by James Ballowe, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Bradley University, author, and most recently editor of Christmas in Illinois, A collection of holiday memories, recipes, and images.


Wendy Greenhouse, PhD, Independent Art Historian, Chicago

Title: The Woman in the Picture: Dulah Evans Krehbiel

Margaret Denny, PhD, Adjunct faculty, Columbia College Chicago

Title: Pioneers of the Prairie: Midwestern Women Photographers 1850-1900

Kathleen Skolnik, Adjunct Faculty, Roosevelt University; Editor Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine

Title: Hildreth Meiere: Designing for the Midwest

Cynthia Empen, PhD, Independent Art Historian, Rock Island

Title: A 'Modern Painter': The Early Life and Art of Irma Rene Koen

Audrey Carie, Graduate student in Women's and Gender Studies, DePaul University

Title: Bernice Berkman-Hunter: Redefining the Monograph as Feminist

The afternoon session will be moderated by Kristan McKinsey,Vice President of Collections and Exhibitions at Lakeview Museum.

Symposium Schedule

October 20 5:30-7:30pm Lakeview Museum for refreshments, a talk by art historian Susan Weininger, and a tour of the exhibition "Skirting Convention: Illinois Women Artists 1840-1940."

Lakeview Museum address: 1125 W. Lake Avenue, Peoria

October 21

8:00-12:00 Morning sessions in the Marty Theater on the lower level of the Michel Student Center.

8:00-8:30 Registration and coffee & tea
8:30 Keynote Presentation: Michelle Citron
9:30 Research Panel
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45 Art Conversation
Michel Student Center address: 915 N Elmwood Avenue
Directions: http://www.bradley.edu/campuslife/studenthandbook/map/

11:45-1:00 Lunch
1:00-4:45 Afternoon session in the Caterpillar Global Communications Center. Presentations times are approximate.

1:00 Presentation: Wendy Greenhouse
1:40 Presentation: Margaret Denny
2:20-2:30 Break
2:30 Presentation: Kathleen Skolnik
3:10 Presentation: Cynthia Empen
3:50 Presentation: Audrey Carie
Caterpillar Global Communications Center address: 834 N. Duryea Street