Ethel’s Not Forgotten

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Ethel Gabain, “Salvage Workers,” 1941, lithograph, 16 1/2 x 22 in. © The Fine Art Society 2017

Wonderful prints by a near-forgotten female historical artist headline an exhibition this February that’s sure to delight the connoisseur. She was an Official War Artist of the Second World War, and her powerful images deserve your attention.

The Fine Art Society, located in London, England, yesterday opened a memorable exhibition surrounding the life and career of near-forgotten artist Ethel Gabain (1883-1950). A successful printmaker and painter, Gabain is currently experiencing some renewed appreciation for her achievements as an Official War Artist during World War II.

Ethel Gabain, “The Emerald Ring,” 1917, lithograph, 13 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. © The Fine Art Society 2017
Ethel Gabain, “The Emerald Ring,” 1917, lithograph, 13 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. © The Fine Art Society 2017
Ethel Gabain, “The Silken Wrap,” 1916, lithograph, 13 x 10 in. © The Fine Art Society 2017
Ethel Gabain, “The Silken Wrap,” 1916, lithograph, 13 x 10 in. © The Fine Art Society 2017

On view through February 28, “Ethel Gabain: Life Studies” delves into the artist’s powerful images of war — but not necessarily the subjects one might expect. In fact, Gabain was given the task of depicting British women workers, and “her lithographs celebrate robust and determined women working together,” the gallery writes. “Gabain was able to emphasize both their femininity and their bravery, grasping their personal emotion in the collective action. Ethel Gabain’s emotional subtlety and technical brilliance are combined in images which are distinctive. Although she would have been quite surprised at the idea of being called a feminist artist, she was possibly one of the most insightful and important artists of her age.”

To learn more, visit The Fine Art Society.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Fine Art Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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