In celebration of the Town of Palm Beach Centennial, a retrospective of the work of Laura Woodward (1834-1926), the pioneer artist of Palm Beach who inspired its development, will be held at the gallery of Edward and Deborah Pollack Fine Art, 205 Worth Avenue (second floor), Palm Beach, Florida, from December 16, 2010-January 14, 2011. Hours are Monday-Friday 11-5, Saturday by chance or appointment.
Woodward’s retrospective will feature paintings from her Hudson River School years, including Northeastern views from 1874-1888 as well as Florida scenes dating from ca.1889-1917 of St. Augustine, the Ocklawaha River, Palm Beach, Miami, and other locales.
Other artists who were inspired by the Town’s beauty will be shown, including a vintage montage of Palm Beach landmarks by Frank Beatty; a bronze by Thomas Shields Clarke; son of pioneer Charles John Clarke, whose family members were friends with Laura Woodward; and paintings by Orville Bulman, Palm Beach’s beloved fantasy-island painter. Works by Anthony Thieme and Charles Knight will also be exhibited among others.
Well aware of Laura Woodward’s significance to the Palm Beach and West Palm Beach communities, in 1936 both the Woman’s Club and the Palm Beach Art League wanted to hold a memorial exhibition of her work. In 1960, Woodward-enthusiasts from Orange County, New York wished to mount an exhibition of her paintings as well. We don't know if either show took place. Finally, in 2010-2011 Woodward's much postponed and much deserved exhibition has finally come to fruition.
Laura Woodward is "foremost among the foremost of lady artists," Middletown Daily Press, 1884, quoting "one of the leading gentleman artists of this country."
“It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen,” Laura Woodward, recalling her 1890 Palm Beach visit.
“I love Palm Beach.” Laura Woodward, 1918, in a letter to Winifred Clarke
“Laura Woodward was the pioneer.” Palm Beach Times, 1924
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