Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
7 A Talent Forgotten The Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson The story of the life of the American artist Edith Lake Wilkinson is one of tragedy and triumph while the latter would not come un- til years after her demise. The story of her life career and eventual commitment could in many respects have been easily lost. But who was this woman artist from West Vir- ginia And why is her story so compelling Edith Lake Wilkinson was born in Wheeling West Virginia on August 23 1868. Upon her graduation from the Union School in 1887 she like her mother before her decided to study art enrolling in classes at the Art Stu- dents League located in New York City. She remained at the league though 1891 where she studied with a number of American painters who would become some of the best regarded of the period including James Car- roll Beckwith William Merritt and Kenyon Cox. Wilkinson eventually began to travel regu- larly to the growing art colony located in Provincetown Massachusetts. Here among many other young American artists includ- ing fellow West Virginian Blanche Lazzell she thrived and honed her impressionistic technique. It was during her time there that she found herself at the forefront of the development of what has become known today as the white line woodblock print a curi- ously American print form developed by the artist and teacher B.J.O. Nordfeldt. From 1913 through 1923 she would be a fixture during the summer months in the small fishing village along with her partner Fannie Wilkinson. Following the accidental death of her parents in 1922 Edith Lake Wilkinson increasingly fell under the control of the attorney han- dling their substantial estate George Jackson Rogers. Based in her hometown and unbeknownst to all he was stealing from the very people whose money he was supposed to look after. To take con- trol of Wilkinsons money he had her committed to an asylum in Baltimore. Later she was moved to Huntington where she re- mained for decades. Edith Lake Wilkinson never left the state hospital in Huntington. Deprived of her ability to create art she died there in 1957 having spent over three decades trapped in a world that she did not be- long. Years later her artwork found packed away in a trunk in the family home in Wheeling was discovered and created a renewed interest in her life and career. Today the Huntington Museum of Art is very pleased to be the first art museum in West Virginia to not only own original wood printing blocks by her but also to fea- ture a substantial exhibition of her paintings drawings and prints to the public. This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Edith Lake Wilkinson American born 1868 Wheeling West Virginia died 1957 Huntington West Virginia Barn carved wood block 1921 11-12 x 14 in. Funds provided by the Winslow Anderson Endowment Fund. Gallery 3 July 2 September 18 2016 Opening reception takes place on Sunday July 17 2016 from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. HMA plans to show the documentary film about the artist titled Packed in a Trunk The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson on August 23 2016 during the August Tuesday Tour. Admission to this Macys Free Tuesday event is free. Presented with support from Dr. Leslie Petteys William Skip Campbell Louise Lake Polan Margaret Mary Layne in Honor of Jamez Morris-Smith and Samuel Kincaid