ARTneo: the museum of Northeast Ohio art and architecture 1305 W. 80th St., Suite 016 Cleveland, OH 44102 216-227-9507

A Great Joy: The Women's Art Club of Cleveland

Through January 17, 2015

Second Floor, Suite 215 @ 78th Street Studios
1300 West 78th Street, Cleveland, OH 44102

Open Third Fridays or By Appointment

To view the exhibition outside of open times, please email

For nearly 94 years , the Women’s Art Club of Cleveland (WACC) provided an important forum for many of the city’s most vibrant and productive women artists who worked in a wide range of media: oil and watercolor, sculpture, illustration and design, silversmithing and jewelry-making, enameling, ceramics and textiles. Curiously, while it flourished and endured much longer than the men’s art clubs formed around the same time, the WACC is undeservingly the least well-known today. ARTneo’s exhibition, curated by Christopher L. Richards, is presented in partnership with the Cleveland Public Library whose companion exhibition is currently being held at the Main Library, downtown. Together the two exhibitions seek to restore to light the achievements of the WACC by displaying work by gifted and under-celebrated artists alongside figures such as Clara Deike and Edris Eckhardt, two of the Club’s best-known members. A new publication by Dr. Marianne Berardi chronicling the history of the club, and the art of many of its most colorful members, will be available at a book signing on opening night.

Most of the founding and early members of the club were professional artists with established reputations (Clara Deike, Hazel Janicki, and Doris Hall), who interestingly worked in a much wider variety of media than their male counterparts. Over the course of the century, the club played an instrumental role in supporting women who pursued careers in the commercial and fine arts. Many of the women had successful careers as designers and illustrators. A majority of club members supported themselves as high school and art school teachers. Others managed their own art galleries and studios

In July of 2006, after nearly a century of successfully promoting the artistic aspirations of this region’s women artists, the club formally disbanded. However, the legacy of the Women’s Art Club did not end with the group’s formal dissolution. Since the majority of its members had either been instructors or students at the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Club decided to use the treasury’s remaining funds to create an Endowed Scholarship at the Institute for the benefit of young women artists. To date, many aspiring talents have been the beneficiaries of the WACC scholarship and its inspiring history.

Paradise Lost: August F. Biehle, Jr. in Zoar
Paradise Lost: August F. Biehle, Jr. in Zoar

Paradise Lost: August F. Biehle, Jr. in Zoar

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Ohio Arts Council Cleveland Foundation Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

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