Mural From the Oaks Hotel by Jessie Arms Botke, 1953, oil on canvas with gold leaf,
The Irvine Museum in California is shining a powerful spotlight on the artwork of talented female artists in their exhibition, "Inner Visions: Women Artists of California." The assemblage will be on view through June 7, and features work from three major periods in California's art history: the Tonalists of the late 1800s; the Impressionists of the early 1900s; and the Regionalists of the mid-20th century, each of which were affected by the developing role of female artists.
Spanish Shawl by Meta Cressey, 1914, oil painting on board,
The exhibition explores the notion that women were able to find more artistic freedom in the West than in the Northeast. Dominated by an entrenched artistic establishment, female artists on the east coast found it difficult to earn a living while struggling against unfair and disparaging social stigmas. On the west coast, however, both men and women found much more artistic freedoms and fewer restrictive norms, and were able to pursue their artistic careers without conventional limitations.
Works by such artists as Marion Kavanagh Wachtel, Anna Hills, Meta Cressey, and Donna N. Schuster will be on view. One of the main attractions of the exhibition is Mural From the Oaks Hotel, by Jessie Arms Botke. The 26-foot-long scene graced the wall of the ballroom of the Oaks Hotel, in Ojai, California, for more than 40 years but was removed during renovations. The Irvine Museum displayed the mural at the University of California-Irvine before the museum was finally able to display Botke's work in its own gallery.