Abstract art, pictorialism photography at Cascadia

Article originally published on June 3rd by Edmonds Beacon

Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds debuts three shows this month.

“Origins: Northwest Abstract Art, 1920-1960” is the first exhibition to focus on the roots of abstract and non-objective art in the Northwest. Some of the earliest works are Louise Crow and Raymond Jonson’s pointillist paintings of 1918, followed by Peter Cameraman’s rare color abstractions from the1920’s created after his studies with the Synchronist painter Stanton MacDonald-Wright.

The museum also has a selection of paintings by Maude I. Kerns, an Oregon artist who was one of the earlier exhibitors at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting in New York, now known as the Guggenheim.

Other pioneering artists include Mark Tobey, Margaret Cameraman, Worth Griffin, Vivian Kidwell, Glen Alps and Virna Haffer’s abstract photography of the 1930s.

“Painted With Light: Northwest Pictorialist Photography, 1910-1930” features photographs created by some of the masters of Pictorialism in the Northwest. These nationally and internationally recognized artists include Ella McBride (1862-1965), Frank Asakichi Kunishige (1878-1960), Myra Albert Wiggins (1869-1956) and Wayne Albee (1882-1937).

Pictorialism was a movement that originated in Europe and extended into the U.S. through the efforts of Alfred Stieglitz. Pictorialism made photography an art form through the use of artistic techniques that was compatible with the work of painters and printmakers.

Pictorialism flourished in Washington state primarily through the internationally recognized Seattle Camera Club in the early 20th century.

Included is Wiggins’ rare platinum print, “Hollyhocks,” which was one of her three works exhibited at the 1910 International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography at Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y.

Wiggins was the only Washington state artist included in this important exhibition.

The third exhibit is “Gifts and Promised Gifts to the Museum’s Permanent Collections, Part II,”

works from the collection of photographic historian and collector Dennis Reed. They include a selection of scarce original prints by Wayne Albee, the earliest Pictorialist active in Washington state.

Part of Reed’s collection was recently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and featured in an acclaimed exhibition titled “Japanese American Photographs, 1920-1940.”

The exhibits are through Oct 10. General admission begins Saturday, June 5.

Link to the original article