Can you name 5 women artists? It turns out, most people can’t. This simple questions calls attention to the inequity women artists face, inspires conversation, and brings awareness to a larger audience. As a part of the #5WomenArtists initiative through the National Museum of Women in the Arts and in celebration of Women’s History Month, we will be highlighting women artists in the Cummer Collection. It turns out, Museum founder Ninah Cummer supported at least 5 women artists. Each of the artists we are highlighting this month will be from the original 60 pieces of artwork donated by Ninah Cummer, that are the foundation of our collection. To learn more about women artists, follow the National Museum of Women in the Arts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or follow #5WomenArtists. This blog is the first of five that will be published this month.
Elizabeth Gulland was a talented painter and a gifted engraver known mainly for her mezzotint portraits. The mezzotint technique — appreciated for its subtle gradations of light and shade — was exceptionally successful in 18th century England. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Gulland worked primarily in Bushey, England, while studying under prolific portrait painter, Hubert von Herkomer (1849 – 1914). She exhibited her work regularly from the early 1880s until 1910, in venues as prestigious as The Royal Academy in London and the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.
Mrs. Cummer was especially fond of Gulland’s talent, buying three of her mezzotint portraits in the 1930s. The engraving below is a reproduction of a painting by famed society portraitist George Ramsey (1834 – 1902).