A range of factors attracted the earliest Anglo women artists to Arizona. Some sought sanctuary and solitude in the state’s geologically impressive landscapes, while others sought solace in the vast, spirit-lifting vistas they encountered at every turn. Others found that encounters with Native Americans caused them to question long-held colonialist stereotypes of “the other.” Still more sought the adventure and freedom that was abundant in the West. Women found inspiration in the grand spaces, spectacular geological formations, and abundant sky in the West as they redefined themselves in an atmosphere of intellectual, personal, and social freedom. Their interests in nature, women’s rights, and their experiences as “New Women” in Arizona, were transformative. This talk considers both resident artists, as well as visitors who challenged the strongly masculinist stereotypes of the American West generally, and of Arizona specifically.
This program is cohosted by The Museum of Casa Grande. This is an in-person event.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr. Betsy Fahlman, Arizona State University professor and museum curator, came to Arizona in 1988. Dr. Fahlman is a scholar of the art history of Arizona and the Southwest and an expert on early Arizona Anglo women artists, the subject of a book she is writing. A regionalist, Dr. Fahlman is fascinated by place and how Arizona artists are linked to a broad American cultural narrative.