Genre, History and Portrait Painter Featured in Gallery Exhibition

Jan 24, 2011

From humble beginnings in Honesdale, Pa., the artist Jennie Brownscombe (1850-1936) trained and worked to establish a successful career in New York City and abroad. The exhibition “An Ideal Subject: the Art of Jennie Brownscombe” addresses her role as a genre, history and portrait painter whose works were often commercially reproduced, as well as the challenges she faced as a woman artist working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Guest-curator is Sally Talaga, executive director, Wayne County Historical Society, Honesdale, who coordinated the exhibit with Josephine Dunn, Ph.D., professor in the History Department at The University of Scranton. The exhibition coincides with the Third Biennial Conference on Women and History in Northeastern Pennsylvania, which is sponsored by the University’s Art and Music Program in the History Department.

According to Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., director of The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery, the exhibition’s title, “Ideal Subject,” works on many levels. “Jennie Brownscombe painted subjects in a romantic, ideal light,” said Dr. Miller-Lanning. “She overcame the obstacles of being a female artist at that time, but didn’t receive the full credit she deserved, and is an ideal subject for research.”

Brownscombe’s work will be on display at the Hope Horn Gallery in The University of Scranton’s Hyland Hall from Friday, Feb. 4 to Friday, March 18. The exhibit will feature a gallery lecture on Feb. 4 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall – where Talaga will speak about Brownscombe’s life and work. Following the lecture, a reception will be held in the Hope Horn Gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is part of downtown Scranton’s First Friday art walk.

The exhibit includes works on loan by the National Gallery of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Mass., the Wayne County Historical Society and private collectors. The exhibit is accompanied by a full-color catalog featuring paintings, prints and drawings.

In addition, the Lackawanna County Office of Arts and Culture has awarded The University of Scranton a grant to support school workshops during this exhibit. Teachers and school administrators interested in participating or developing a workshop to fit their curriculum may contact Dr. Miller-Lanning at the Hope Horn Gallery at 941-4214.

The gallery is open Sunday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

For additional information, contact The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery at 941-4214.

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