OKLAHOMA CITY, OK.-
The Oklahoma Art League has raised funds to complete the purchase of Nellie Shepherd's painting Lottie (ca. 1910) for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
. They formally presented the painting to the Museum at their meeting in the Museum's Noble Theater on Monday, Nov. 12.
"Lottie is a significant painting for the early artistic heritage of the state. Its inclusion in the Paris Grand Salon of 1910 represents a great achievement for an Oklahoma artist and is possibly the only painting in the state to claim such a distinction," said Alison Amick, Oklahoma City Museum of Art's curator of collections. "We appreciate the generosity of the Oklahoma Art League, who provided funds for this purchase, and look forward to installing the work in the second floor galleries in the coming months."
Joyce Stewart, Oklahoma Art League project chairman added, "We are proud to be able to bring Lottie to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Nellie Shepherd was a big influence to what the Art League is about and we're glad to give her work a home in Oklahoma City."
Nellie Shepherd was the cofounder of the Oklahoma Art League and was heavily influenced both in theme and technique by impressionism. She was painting in Paris by 1904 and remained in France until 1911. While abroad, Shepherd visited Brittany, France, where she painted canvases such as A Brittany Fisherman and Brittany Woman. In 1910, her painting Lottie received an honorable mention at Le Grand Salon in Paris. Shepherd later served as head of the art department at the Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art's roots trace to early statehood efforts of the Oklahoma Art League, which set out in 1910 to "foster a love and a taste for art and to establish a permanent museum of art." In 1937, more formal efforts began with a Works Progress Administration experimental gallery, which was open to the public. The Museum transitioned from a federally funded gallery to a private institution when it was incorporated on May 18, 1945.
Since its formation in 1910, the Oklahoma Art League has made numerous financial gifts and donated over ninety works to the Museum including works by Doel Reed, Oscar Brousse Jacobson and Nellie Shepherd, in addition to a number of prints by artists such as Francisco de Goya, Jean-François Millet and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The highlight of the collection, Charles Willson Peale's George Washington (after 1779), remains on view in the Portraiture in European and American Art gallery on the Museum's second floor. In 2010, the Oklahoma Art League donated Nellie Shepherd's Brittany Woman (ca. 1907-1911), the companion piece to A Brittany Fisherman, which had been donated in 1966.