Art At Noon

The Ladies of the Red Rose and Cogslea

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General Public
Abby King
June by Violet Oakley. Two Women Stand in a Garden, one with their arm outstretched

Nicknamed “The Red Rose Girls” by their illustration teacher Howard Pyle (1853—1911), artists Violet Oakley (1874-1961), Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871—1954), and Jessie Willcox Smith (1863—1935) improved their social positions by banding together in a communal household at the Red Rose Inn in Villanova and at Cogslea in Mount Airy. At the time, the notion of "separate spheres" for men and women tended to exclude women artists from professional status. The genius of these artists is that they made their "separate sphere" an advantage. 

Learn about these three inspiring artists' beginnings as young professionals making their way in a man’s world. This whirlwind lecture with scholar Patricia Likos Ricci will illustrate how these ladies of the Red Rose achieved fame and fortune by living together, for the most part harmoniously, at the beginning of the twentieth century. 

Come see some of these artworks  in person in the ongoing exhibition: Women In Motion: 150 Years of Women's Artistic Networks at PAFA.

About the speaker: Patricia Likos Ricci, Ph.D., Professor of the History of Art at Elizabethtown College, was educated at two pioneering colleges for women, Bryn Mawr College and Moore College of Art and Design. Her research focuses on the emergence of professional women artists in Philadelphia at the turn of the twentieth century including Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Greene, Emily Sartain and the artists of the Plastic Club. A recognized authority on Violet Oakley, she was guest curator of the retrospective exhibition A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance at Woodmere Art Museum in 2017-18.

Artwork Information: Violet Oakley, June, ca. 1902.  Oil, charcoal, and graphite on composition board. 16 3/16 x 17 1/16 in. (41.11625 x 43.33875 cm.)