simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Pen And Brush
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Sunday, 22 April 2007

Pen And Brush

This is the Pen and Brush Club which has its home in the exquisite townhouse at 16 East 10th Street. In the 1890s, the arts were dominated by men but women were beginning to gain prominence - many women artists had studios around the Washington Square area. In 1892, in response to the exclusionary climate towards women (the Salmagundi Club around the corner on 5th Avenue excluded women until 1973), the Pen and Brush Club was formed by painters Janet and Mary Lewis (sisters) who invited three other artists and eight writers to their studio in Chelsea. Early members included journalist Ida Tarbell, first ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Ellen Axson Wilson and Pulitzer Prize winner Pearl Buck. In 1923 the club purchased the 1848 Greek Revival Townhouse which it has occupied ever since. As women became more accepted in the art world, the club became more insular. However, the art world is still relatively dominated by men and director Janice Sands sees the club's original mission just as relevant today. She has been on a campaign to expand exhibitions to outside non-member artists and recruit new members, shedding its older image and bringing in younger artists. The photo shows the exhibit space on the parlor floor with its intricate crown moldings, marble fireplaces, parquet floors, 16-foot ceilings and its Steinway grand piano (read about the club and its facilities here). Its main rooms are open to the public and the exhibits are always free of charge ...


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