Mabel Woodward (1877-1945)
American Impressionist painter Mabel May Woodward was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1877. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1896, she continued her studies in New York City at the Art Students League with George Bridgman, William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, Arthur Wesley Dow, and Frank Vincent DuMond. She also studied with Charles Herbert Woodbury at his Ogunquit Summer School of Drawing and Painting in Maine. Woodward and close friend and fellow student Anne Carleton painted the shoreline in and around Ogunquit together. Woodward later worked with Frank DuMond in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and with Charles W. Hawthorne in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She was a member of the Providence Watercolor Club, the South County Art Association, and the Ogunquit Art Association, and was the first woman to become president of the Providence Art Club. Her work was exhibited at the Boston Art Club; the Providence Art Club; Vose Galleries, Boston; the El Paso Museum of Art, Texas; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Providence Watercolor Club; the South County Art Association; the National Academy of Design; the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. She won a gold medal at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1908. For twenty-five years, Woodward served on the faculty of her alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design, where she developed the “Action Class” in which the models are moving, rather than stationary figures. During the summer months she made painting trips to Europe and traveled throughout the United States painting, especially in Charleston, South Carolina during the 1920s and 30s. Her subjects include genre, European scenes, villages, farms, still lifes and flowers, represented with spontaneous brushwork and a light, bright palette. She is best known, however, for her summer garden and sunny New England coastal scenes.
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