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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WOMEN'S ART CLUB OF CLEVELAND

WOMEN'S ART CLUB OF CLEVELAND

The WOMEN'S ART CLUB OF CLEVELAND, the first art organization in Cleveland to be composed entirely of women, was also known as the Women Artists of Cleveland and Cleveland Women Artists Club. Founded in Sept. 1912, the original club had 25 members, whose goal was the mutual improvement of women artists in Cleveland through exhibitions, sketching trips, life classes, and monthly meetings. The first exhibition of works by club members was held 18-25 Oct. 1913 at the GAGE GALLERY (2258 Euclid Ave.). In Nov. 1913 the club relocated to the Bonhard Art Furniture Co. (2054 Euclid Ave.), where the members opened an exhibition and showroom. Another move followed in May 1916, to the Euclid Pt. Bldg. (1272 Euclid Ave.). Incorporated in 1918, the club moved into Robinwood, a permanent clubhouse and studio building built on land donated in GATES MILLS by Carrie Robinson. In Sept. 1921 club members voted to join the FED. OF WOMEN'S CLUBS, and in 1926 they officially joined the American Fed. of Arts. Due to the remoteness of the Gates Mills clubhouse, the group maintained successive city headquarters at the Gage Gallery, Mildred Watkins' studio at 10646 Euclid Ave., and finally in JEPTHA H. WADE's Lodge, rent-free, at 1964 E. 40th St. Though primarily a social group, the Women's Art Club of Cleveland was very active in the art field, presenting annual shows to the public as well as sending exhibitions to other institutions in the state, including an annual representation of works to the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. Numbering 150 members at its height in 1930, the club was active through the early 1950s.