“Faithfully Thought Out”: The Artistic Collaborations of M. Louise Stowell and Harvey Ellis

By Memorial Art Gallery

Wednesday, July 24, 2024 11:00am to 5:00pm

+ 8 dates

  • Thursday, July 25, 2024 11:00am to 9:00pm
  • Friday, July 26, 2024 11:00am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday, July 27, 2024 11:00am to 5:00pm
  • Sunday, July 28, 2024 11:00am to 5:00pm
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2024 11:00am to 5:00pm
  • Thursday, August 1, 2024 11:00am to 9:00pm
  • Friday, August 2, 2024 11:00am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday, August 3, 2024 11:00am to 5:00pm

500 University Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

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Rochester artists M. Louise Stowell (1861–1930) and Harvey Ellis (1852–1904) were both critically acclaimed around 1900, in the era of the American Arts and Crafts movement. The two were friends and had neighboring studios on the seventh floor of the Powers Building in downtown Rochester, where Ellis and his brother had an architectural firm. Stowell, an instructor at the Mechanics Institute (the forerunner of the Rochester Institute of Technology), had a teacher’s drive to explain her philosophies and techniques, both to her students and through published articles. An article Stowell wrote in 1892 for the Educational Gazette, a periodical for teachers, advised, “Nothing should be careless in ornament or design, but should be faithfully thought out and patiently evolved.” While Ellis’s name is still recognized as an architect and designer, the watercolors, drawings, and paintings made in his later years are lesser known, and Stowell has vanished from scholarship.

The Memorial Art Gallery’s collection of more than 250 works by Ellis and Stowell is inextricably bound with Rochester’s artistic history. Ellis was one of the founders of the Rochester Art Club in 1877, and he and Stowell together founded the Rochester Arts and Crafts Society, one of the first such organizations in the country. Inspired by this cache of paintings and drawings, most acquired by MAG in 2016, “Faithfully Thought Out” features the two artists’ processes during the creative years they spent in Rochester, showing works in varying stages of completion and demonstrating their collaboration and influence on each other. As friends and colleagues, Stowell and Ellis often shared characteristic techniques as well as reference images. Visitors can see Stowell and Ellis’ unique artistic developments through extraordinary drawings and watercolors from MAG’s collection, supplemented by rarely seen materials from the artists’ papers held at the University of Rochester’s Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation.

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