January 11, 1928:
The 10th Annual Exhibition of the Brooklyn Society of Miniature Painters will open with a private view to the members of the Museum and their guests at the Brooklyn Museum on Monday afternoon, January 16th and from that time on will be open to the public until February 13th. The Society's first exhibition in 1915 was held at the Museum and all subsequent ones up to this time have been held at the Hotel Bossert, so that this year's showing will be the first one at the Museum since the inception of the idea.
The miniatures are hung in the Print Gallery on the main floor of the Museum. The members of the jury are Alexandrina R. Harris, Jeanne P. Johnson, Nicholas S. Macsoud, President of the Society, and Edith Sawyer, Secretary of the Society.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 01-03/1928, 005.
January 16, 1928:
The 10th Annual Exhibition of the Brooklyn Society of Miniature Painters opened with a very good attendance of the members of the Society and their guests at the Brooklyn Museum on Monday afternoon, January 16th. Tea was served from four to six.
This exhibition marks the first showing of this Society at the Museum since it was organized in 1915 when the Museum invited it to have its first exhibition there. Since that time the exhibitions have been held at the Hotel Bossert and the Society is celebrating its 10th anniversary by again showing at the Museum.
The show consists of 130 miniatures by 47 artists which were selected from the 200 submitted. The exhibitors are from Greater New York and other parts of the country as far west as any California. The exhibition was open to any miniature painter who cared to submit his or her work to the jury in addition to those who were expressly invited.
At the last election the following officers were elected: Edith Sawyer, President; Alexandrina R. Harris, Vice-President; Jeanne Payne Johnson, Treasurer and Nicholas S. Macsoud, Secretary.
The exhibition will be open to the public until February 13th.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1916 - 1930. 01-03/1928, 011.
January 19, 1928:
The following matter is in the form of a review of the content of the 10th Annual Exhibition of the Brooklyn Society of Miniature Painters at the Brooklyn Museum. As this will be sent to all art critics, it is intended that this be the basis only of a review for anyone who wishes to re-write it.
The showing of miniatures of the Brooklyn Society of Miniature Painters which is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum brings to mind again a state of affairs rather surprising to most people - that there are five portrait painters in miniature to every one in oil. The popularity of miniatures has by no means diminished; in fact, it is growing. Miniature painters claim that one of the reasons for the popularity of their art is that people do not have the chance to become used to, or even to tire of, portraits in miniature, as they do of oils, because miniatures are not constantly before them on the wall but must be taken from their case to be enjoyed.
The work of many old friends is to be seen in this exhibition, such as A. Margaretta Archambault, who has been, as long as anyone can remember, secretary of the Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters. She contributes a well-painted portrait of Mrs. Caleb Gerald Gibson and her son. Probably the most decorative group in the collection are the three portraits contributed by Clara Louise Bell. In her work she has succeeded admirably in getting away from the tendency which is so often prevalent to be photographic, detailed and stiff, so that her things are pleasing designs fully as much as portraits.
There are some beautiful values in dark strong colors in "Chinquilla" and "The Royal Robe" by Rosina C. Boardman. Very interesting pieces were contributed by Ella Shepard Bush of California, one a portrait of Bertha L. Dickinson and another entitled "Aladdin", an Oriental figure, nude above the waist, with yellow trousers. The rendering of the body is extremely well done but there is something to be desired in the too well-planned arrangement of the drapery.
There is a fine loose quality in Elizabeth S. Graham's "Miss Braman and Whisper", (the latter a cat), a quality that one expects to find in a large painting. This characteristic is also true of Mary Foote Hawley's "Portrait of a Man", a fine dignified work with a three-dimensional feeling that doubtless comes from her experience as a painter in oils. The portrait is certainly one of the high spots of the exhibition.
An especially lovely portrait of a woman is that by Annie Hurlburt Jackson, much of the charm of which is due to the selection and rendering of the pink dress and white collar. The best of Jeanne Payne Johnson's group of six miniatures is her "Miss Eva Springer", a horizontally composed picture of the subject seated in a wicker chair and wearing a soft green dress.
Perhaps the loveliest thing in the exhibition is the work entitled "Lilies" by Gertrude L. Little, a Californian. The subject is an exquisitely painted figure of a nude baby standing on the border of a pond.
Mary McMillan of Syracuse impresses one as having worked out a more definite style than any of the other artists in the exhibition. She contributed a group of seven things.
Of course, there is an inevitable appeal in Christabel Scrymser's group of six miniatures, mostly of children, a field in which she excells as she has learned how to catch childrens' expressions beautifully. If space allowed one could readily say more of the free technique of the work of Eva Springer, the broadness of Helene Toerring's "Spencer", which is done by the wash method instead of the stipple, the grayed soft atmospheric effects obtained by Mabel R. Welch, especially her lovely subject "Mrs. Haan", the work of the well-known artist William J. Whittemore and "Ivory and Gold", a figure against a black background by L. Scott Brewster, who is an interesting beginner.
Of course, Ethel Francis Mundy's work stands out, as she works in colored wax. Her two portraits show a familiarity with, and mastery of, this unusual medium.
The exhibition was a broad invitation affair and of the 200 miniatures submitted, 130 were accepted.