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Ventfort Hall Presents "The Gibson Girl: A Gilded Age Icon"
09:49AM / Monday, August 16, 2021
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Charles Dana Gibson, a commercial artist who was active between 1890 and 1920, created the Gibson Girl. One of Gibson's images for satirizing the social scene of the Gilded Age.

LENOX, Mass. — "The Gibson Girl:  A Gilded Age Icon" exhibit is now on view at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum with an accompanying event to take place on Saturday, Sept. 25 as part of the ArtWeek program.  
 
Comprehensive signage will allow visitors to view the exhibit at their own leisure.
 
Charles Dana Gibson, a commercial artist who was active between 1890 and 1920, created the Gibson Girl. One of Gibson's images for satirizing the social scene of the Gilded Age. 
 
A collection of Gibson's illustrations representing some of these and other subjects will be on view. 
 
According to a press release, the Gibson Girl was celebrated in story and song; clothes and hair styles were named for her, and her image appeared on pillows, tablecloths, souvenir spoons, ashtrays, matchboxes, fans, screens, dinner plates and even satirized as the perfect wallpaper for the bachelor's apartment.
 
Included in the exhibit are dinner plates by Royal Doulton and an original 1901 folio edition, both depicting drawings from the artist's series titled "The Widow and Her Friends."  Having lost her husband, the young and attractive Gibson Girl must deal with the trials and tribulations of Gilded Age widowhood.  A second 1900 folio edition on view called Americans "contains eighty-four of Mr. Gibson's best cartoons…"
 
The exhibit also presents other glamorous women who served as muses for the artist, including Evelyn Nesbit, the subject of the shocking assassination of architect Stanford White, and the Belgian actress Camille Clifford, whose hourglass figure was attempted far and wide. 
 
Antique Gilded Age gowns presented on mannequins by Ventfort Hall staff member Nancy Whelan are also part of the exhibit. She has played a major role in assembling the exhibit.
 
The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 25, 3:30 pm. 
 
Program committee member Tom Hayes will give a visual presentation on "The Gibson Girl: A Gilded Age Icon," covering the life of the famed artist, his work and his wife.  Hayes's talk, as well as the exhibit, will coincide with ArtWeek Berkshires that takes place September 21 – 26. Hayes has lectured extensively, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, Berkshire Institute for Lifetime Learning and Elder Hostel.  He served as president of Edith Wharton Restoration at The Mount and is presently co-owner of Classical Excursions, a specialty tour company.
 
Admission for this event is $20.  Reservations for Hayes's lecture are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For reservations call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206. The historic Gilded Age mansion is located at 104 Walker Street.
 
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