Elizabeth Nourse (1859–1938), Venice, 1891, watercolor over traces of pencil, Museum Purchase with funds provided by Mary R. Naish in memory of Paul W. Naish, 2001.74
Mary Louise McLaughlin (1847–1939), Invitation to Cincinnati Pottery Club Reception, April 29, 1881, etching, Gift of Theodore A. Langstroth, 1986.88
Mary Cassatt (1844–1926), The Dressmaker, 1891, color drypoint, soft ground etching and aquatint (6th state), Gift of Herbert Greer French, 1940.158
Women seeking professional careers in the fine arts, unlike their male counterparts, were once restricted in their opportunities to receive an artistic education. While the talents of drawing and watercolor were part of a bourgeois education, professional careers were seen as detrimental to prescribed roles as wives and mothers. Many women had to choose between a career and marriage.
Selections from the permanent collection tell the stories of talented women at home and abroad at the close of the nineteenth century.