A Great Joy
The Women’s Art Club of Cleveland 1912-2006
November 21, 2014- January 17, 2015,
Open Third Fridays or By Appointment
Join us as Dr. Berardi discusses the club’s fascinating history and introduces her new book on Cleveland’s remarkable women artists.
In September 1912, The Women’s Art Club of Cleveland was organized in the studio of painter-illustrator, Belle Hoffman, on the second floor of the Gage Gallery at 2258 Euclid Avenue. The first institution of its type in Cleveland composed solely of women, the Club included artists working in a wide variety of media: oil and watercolor, sculpture, illustration and design, silversmithing and jewelry-making, enameling, ceramics and textiles. The group began holding weekly meetings and annual exhibitions of the members’ work. The small group of charter members including Clara Deike and Grace Kelly saw their numbers grow steadily; by the early 1930s the Club had active roster of over 150 members.
Over the course of the century, the club played an instrumental role in supporting women who pursued careers in the commercial and fine arts. Many of the women, such as Belle Hoffman, had successful careers as designers and illustrators. Others, such as Louise Morris and Marion Bryson, managed their own art galleries and studios. A majority of club members including Clara Deike, Kae Dorn Cass and Hazel Janicki supported themselves as art teachers. In July of 2006, after 94 years of successfully promoting the artistic aspirations of this region’s women artists, the Club formally disbanded. Looking back, the club members observed that their organization had brought them a great joy and an appreciation of sisterhood.