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Fern I. Coppedge · The Philadelphia Ten

"While a certain coterie of men artists are striving for "atmosphere" and find in harshness of subject and technique what purports to be the strength and power of masculine intelligence, the traditions of the decorative and beautiful are being perpetuated quietly, conscientiously, by the sisters of the brush."
Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 1922

The author James A. Michener once remarked, "I can't see Garber and Lathrop and Redfield bothering much with women on a serious note." Fleeing the condescension of male artists, Fern I. Coppedge sought camaraderie, support, and a forum for her art in the company of her fellow female artists. Between 1922 and 1935 she showed with the Ten Philadelphia Painters, a group of women artists who joined in 1917 to promote their work in a male-dominated field. The Philadelphia Ten exhibited together once a year, usually at the Art Club, and sent exhibitions to women's clubs across Pennsylvania. As one writer put it, "The Ten painters and sculptors have successfully exhibited together for several years, but they have consistently maintained their individual personalities in their work, and their canvases and sculpture are as varied and different as the seasons and the places they choose to paint.".

Image: Fern I. Coppedge in her studio, courtesy family collection


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