-------“Remember the Ladies,” the exhibition of paintings assembled at the Thomas Cole House in Catskill (showing until October 31; http://thomascole.org) proved to be the start of something big. Thanks to that exhibition, says Smithsonian magazine writer Judith Dobrzynski (7/21), some painters of “America’s great landscapes” are “finally getting their due.” Although they made “awe-inspiring contributions to America’s first distinctive school of art, with its “romantic sensibility, respect for balance, luminosity and love of picturesque scenery,” those artists were “unknown and forgotten to history.” They were ignored because they were women. The people who undertook to rescue those women from oblivion, the people who conceived the idea and performed the tasks of finding and borrowing and hanging the all-but-lost landscapes, the people who assembled the full-color catalogue with illuminating essays, the people run our Thomas Cole National Historic Site, started what amounts to “rewriting a chapter of American art history.”
-------They also instigated a whole season in GreeneLand of gallery shows devoted to female artists.
-------In terms of sheer volume, the foremost of those tributes took place at the BRIK gallery in Catskill (www.brikgallery.com ). Under the title “Cowgirls 3,” and with the summer's most festive opening party, entrepreneur Frank Cuthbert exhibited works by 83 (!) living artists whose common trait is, well, femaleness.
-------Directly responding to “Remember the Ladies” came “Artistic Women Past and Present: Looking Forward from the Hudson River School Tradition,” at the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s gallery in Hunter. It combined works of living female artists (Nancy Campbell, Patti Ferrara, Edith Marcik, Kate McGloughlin, Lauren Sansarecq, Kaete Brittin Shaw, Sue Story, Edith Wetzel) with works by pioneering predecessors who helped to make art a legitimate profession for women.
-------At the Astor House in Tannersville, similarly, “Today’s Ladies” was the title of the Hudson River Artists’ Guild collection of landscape by mountaintop-based female plein air painters.
-------In Catskill, the county Arts Council’s main gallery was occupied by a “Nature/Nurture” show composed of works by 11 local women (Jane Bloodgood Abrams, Mariella Bisson, Sasha Chermayeff, Linda Cross, Tasha Depp, Patti Ferrara, Claudia McNulty, Susan Togut, Christy Rupp, Olivia Stonner) who treat nature as subject, as source material, as object of scientific inquiry and/or as manifestations of the sublime. And at the same time, the upstairs gallery was festooned with what Naomi Teppich calls “Ancient Morphons”: ceramic sculptures and mixed-media draws that evoke early geological history, with special attention to the fossilized forms and textures of primordial sea creatures.
-----And down the street from the Council’s gallery, Edith Marcik of The Galleria led an assemblage of works by women who exemplify ”Contemporary Artists Inspired by the Hudson River School.”-------Also contributing to GreeneLand’s season of female-flavored recollection was an illustrated talk given on a September Sunday, at Beattie-Powers Place in Catskill. Historian Sylvia Hassenkopf recalled the careers of Edith Howland, sculptor, and K.C. Budd, architect of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Ms Budd designed (or redesigned) the Howland family’s majestic GreeneLand home, Catwalk (originally a cottage occupied by artist Charles Herbert Moore, now an art-nurturing estate owned by Purcell and Jim Palmer.
-----Moreover, at a gallery in St Louis, a summer exhibition of multimedia encaustic art featured the work of yet another GreeneLand artist of the female persuasion: Fawn Potash.
RECOGNIZED in quite another way recently was another GreeneLand woman: Stacey Fitzgerald, former bookkeeper (for 21 years) of the former Birch Hill Enterprises in Freehold. She achieved the distinction of being convicted in Greene County court of grand larceny. By forging checks and tapping the personal account of her boss, Ben Buel she plundered the firm. Under a plea bargain (as reported in the Daily Mail, 9/24) she admitted embezzling $62,000 during the firm’s final three years.
RECOGNIZED too in GreeneLand this summer were women of another sort. At the Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, in Palenville, worldwide home of the Cybeline Revival, convent home of the Priestesses of Cybele (www.gallae.com), August 28th was celebrated as Pagan Pride Day. Portions of the “Goddess Remembered” film trilogy were shown, and presentations were made by a Corelian Priestess from the Paranormal Society of Albany, by a Senior Druid of the Closed Grove and by the Arch Druid of the East Coast.
-------(That observance coincided with a special evening at GreeneLand’s clothing-optional nudist camp, when some guests donned garments to the extent that was suitable for participation in a lingerie fashion show. www.juniperwoods.com )
-------(GreeneLand’s Goddess-worshipping pagans, catering especially to trans-gendered adherents, differ markedly from other professed Cybelians. Another branch of the “Cybelian movement,” ostensibly with chapters in 82 countries, advocates female-dominated male-female relationships and aims “to bring about a world-wide gynocracy.” Such is the testimony of the anonymous keeper of the web site www.cybelians.com who also is the principal author of successive titles marked by way of Kinkebooks ).