Art At Noon

The Artist's Garden

Event Information
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General Public
Lori Waselchuk
Oil painting by Jane Peterson titled "Spring Bouquet" circa 1912. The painting is vertical, with a single figure walking down a path in a field of white flowering plants. The figure is wearing a summer print blouse, and a full length white skirt, holding a white and blue parasol. She is reaching to pick one flower.

Inspired by European impressionist paintings of open countryside, private gardens, and urban parks, American artists working in the years between 1887 and 1920 turned their attentions to the new landscapes being created in the fast-changing cities and rapidly emerging suburbs of their own country. Up and down the eastern seaboard, with the construction of railways, trams, and parkways that connected city centers to commuter suburbs, inhabitants increasingly turned to gardening as a leisure—and predominantly female—pursuit. "The two arts of painting and garden design are closely related," landscape architect Beatrix Farrand wrote in 1907, "except that the landscape gardener paints with actual color, line, and perspective to make a composition . . . while the painter has but a flat surface on which to create his illusion."

The 2015 exhibition and publication The Artist's Garden, curated by Dr. Anna O. Marley, tells the intertwined stories of American art and the new American garden movement in the years on either side of the turn of the twentieth century. In this lecture Marley will discuss artists William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Maria Oakey Dewing, Violet Oakley and others alongside the books, journals, and ephemeral artifacts that both shaped and were products of the garden movement.

The Art At Noon lectures are supported by the Lefkoe family, in memory of a beloved member of the docent corps, Mildred T. Lefkoe. 

Image: Jane Peterson (1876-1965), Spring Bouquet, ca. 1912, Oil on canvas, 40 1/16 x 30 in. (101.8 x 76.2 cm.), Gift of Martin Horwitz.

Bio photo of Dr. Anna O. Marley. Anna is a light-skinned person with dark, shoulder-length hear. Anna is wearing red lipstick, and sleeveless black dress and a beaded black and white necklace.

Chief of Curatorial Affairs and the Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art,  Anna O. Marley joined PAFA in March of 2009. Marley is a scholar of American art and material culture from the colonial era to 1945 and holds a B.A. in Art History from Vassar College, an M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.

At PAFA, Marley has curated over 16 exhibitions, including Public Treasures/Private Visions: Hudson River School Masterworks (2009); Anatomy/Academy (2011); "A Mine of Beauty:" Landscapes by William Trost Richards, editing the accompanying catalog, as well as the touring retrospective Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit (both 2012), and editing the acclaimed accompanying catalog, published by the University of California Press. Marley's more recent exhibitions at PAFA include Spiritual Strivings: A Celebration of African American Works on Paper (2014); the 5 venue nationally touring Artists Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920 (2015) and the accompanying catalog published by University of Pennsylvania Press; Thomas Eakins: Photographer (2016); From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic (2019); Women in Motion: 150 Years of Women’s Artistic Networks at PAFA (2021); and Making American Artists: Stories From PAFA, 1776 - 1996, (2022) which will embark on a six-venue national tour in 2023.