Ethel Walker's Decoration: Evening, 1936, an important large-scale work by the Edinburgh-born artist, has been loaned to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art's major exhibition, Modern Scottish Women- Painters and Sculptors 1885 - 1965 (★★★★, The Telegraph).
The show is an inciteful and much needed exposition of the challenges faced by Scottish women artists and their changing status from 1885, when the President of the RSA damningly declared that the work of a woman artist was, 'like a man's only weaker and poorer', to the death of Anne Redpath in 1965, the first female painter to be elected as a full member of the RSA.
Dame Ethel Walker is central to the story- widely regarded as Britain's leading woman artist during the interwar years, she had solo and international exhibitions, was endorsed by Walter Sickert and was awarded various societal accolades. Decoration: Evening, is a beguiling work (Decoration: Morning, York Museums Trust, acting as its counterpart), on whose subject of female nudes the exhibition's catalogue (ed. Alice Strang) points out that, "Whilst artists such as Édouard Manet and Paul Cézanne were famed for their paintings of female nudes in outdoor settings, the subject was an extremely rare choice for a female artist at the time."
Walker's posthumous reputation has been unduly blighted by a lack of interest and exposure, but exhibitions such as Modern Scottish Women are seeing that her importance is being recognised once again.
7th November 2015 - 26th June 2016
For more information about the exhibition.