Dixon exhibition painting Kate Freeman Clark Landscape
Kate Freeman Clark, Bishop Barns, ca. 1896–1902. Oil on canvas. Collection of the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery.

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Kate Freeman Clark

Sep 22, 2019 - Oct 13, 2019

Presented by: The Joe Orgill Family Fund for Exhibitions

Organized by: Dixon Gallery and Gardens

This exhibition brings together nearly forty paintings by Southern-born Impressionist Kate Freeman Clark (1875-1957). Working mostly in New York, Clark produced an impressive and varied body of work between the years of 1893 and 1923. In the fall of 1894, Clark, born and raised in Holly Springs, Mississippi, enrolled at the Art Students League of New York, where she studied painting under William Merritt Chase. Between 1896 and 1902, Clark spent consecutive summers at Chase’s Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, creating over three hundred paintings during her time there. Nearly all of the works Clark produced at Shinnecock were impressionistic landscapes created en plein air using unexpected materials like burlap to reinforce the rustic scenery she painted.

Kate Freeman Clark spent the first decade of the twentieth century submitting her paintings to prestigious juried exhibitions, using the name “Freeman Clark” to hide her identity as a woman artist. Despite these successful showings, Clark never sold any of her paintings, out of respect for her family’s disapproval of women’s involvement in business. Clark abandoned painting, along with her artistic career, when she returned to her native Mississippi in 1924. Her oeuvre, as well as her talent, was virtually unknown to her Mississippi community during her lifetime. It was not until her death in 1957 that her paintings were located in New York’s Lincoln Warehouse. Clark willed her entire body of work, approximately one thousand paintings and drawings, to her hometown, along with funding and plan to build a gallery dedicated to her life and work. Established in Holly Springs in 1963, the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery is the result of her bequest.

Kate Freeman Clark highlights the artist’s rich body of work, defined by her intimate portraits of family and friends, bucolic landscapes, and compelling still life paintings.

Sponsored by: Kate and Michael Buttarazzi | Karen and Preston Dorsett | Andrea and Doug Edwards | Rose M. Johnston | Anne and Mike Keeney | Ellen and William Losch | Nancy and Steve Morrow | Irene Orgill | Gwen and Penn Owen | Irene and Fred Smith | Adele Wellford | Vance and Willis Willey | Barbara and Lewis Williamson