This exhibition celebrates the acquisition of The First Communion (La première communion), a masterpiece by Cincinnati favorite Elizabeth Nourse (1859–1938) painted in 1895 from studies she made in the Breton village of Saint Gildas. Born in Mt. Healthy, Ohio, Nourse studied at the McMicken School of Design in Cincinnati before moving to France, where she enjoyed a successful career. Acquired from the Cincinnati Catholic Women’s Association in whose headquarters it hung for more than 70 years, The First Communion explores one of her signature themes: the spiritual lives of women and their participation in religious rituals. The painting will appear in context with fourteen works by Nourse from the holdings of the Cincinnati Art Museum and several loans from local collections.
Image: Elizabeth Nourse (American, b.1859, d.1938); The First Communion [La Première communion] (detail); 1895; Painting, oil on canvas; Museum Purchase: John J. Emery Endowment and Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Wichgar; 2013.13