The University of Rochester's Hartnett Gallery will present an exhibition of the work of Kathleen McEnery, an early 20th century artist who made her name in New York City before coming to Rochester, beginning Monday, March 17, during Women's History Month. The show will continue through Saturday, April 26, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 21.
A realist painter, McEnery (1885-1971) studied with artist Robert Henri of the American Ashcan school of painters. Her work appeared in New York City shows beside that of Henri and other notable artists including Stuart Davis, George Bellows, Edward Hooper, Leon Droll, John Sloan, and Andrew Dasburg. She also exhibited in the controversial International Exhibition of Modern Art- "The Armory Show"- in 1913, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, and the Corcoran Biennial Exhibition. Both her training and participation in the art community secured her place in American art circles.
McEnery moved to Rochester in 1914 after marrying into the Cunningham family, owners of the Cunningham car factory. Residing at 10 South Goodman St., now part of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, she actively entered Rochester cultural life. From 1927 until her death in 1971, she served on the Memorial Art Gallery Board of Managers. She was also a founding faculty member of Rochester's Harley School and belonged to the Chatterbox Club and the Eastman Theater's Corner Club.
Exhibit curator Janet Wolff, currently associate dean at Columbia University School of the Arts, was formerly a University of Rochester professor of art history. Wolff's professional studies have included a focus on McEnery's life and work, and the exhibit catalogue features some of her essays. Wolff will also give a public lecture on McEnery's art at the Memorial Art Gallery at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24. Because limited exhibition during her lifetime left McEnery's career largely unacknowledged, exhibit sponsors hope that the exhibition and related events will spark new discussions about her art and contributions to 20th century culture.
This exhibit is sponsored by the University of Rochester Students' Association, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies.
The Hartnett Gallery is located on the first floor of Wilson Commons on the River Campus. It is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (585) 275-4188.