Women's History Month: A Look at our Women Artist Members

In honor of Women’s History Month, today we will be looking at some of the influential women in Co|So’s history, as well as some of our distinguished women artist members. With a significant number of women artist members, including Copley Artists and Copley Masters, we are grateful to the women artists who continue to support the gallery and make incredible works of art.

Dating back to the foundation of the Copley Society of Art in 1879, members of the first graduating class of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts wanted to establish an organization to cultivate artistic training, careers, and a spirit of fraternity. In May of 1879, the Boston Art Students Association (now the Copley Society of Art) was established thanks to the efforts of Alice Spencer Tinkham and H. Winthrop Pierce.


Seal of the Boston Art Students Association, used from 1879 – 1901

Artist Margaret Fitzhugh Browne was once a member of the Copley Society of Art, as well as other local galleries, including the Guild of Boston Artists and Rockport Art Association. Born in West Roxbury in 1884, Browne began her career in 1910 and quickly excelled in her figure and portrait paintings. By the 1940s, the Copley Society felt the effects of World War II, but transitioned through the difficult years in part due to the efforts and devotion of Margaret Fitzhugh Browne.[1]


Cover illustration for The Modern Priscilla, a Magazine Exclusively for Women, by Margaret Fitzhugh Browne, September 1909

In more than 139 years, the Copley Society of Art has admitted a large number of women artist members, many of whom earned the distinguished titles of “Copley Artist” or “Copley Master.” We will look at some of these established women who will be showcasing their artwork in our upcoming exhibition, In the Style Of.

Kat O'Connor, Quiet Enough for Color to Sound, oil on panel, 43 x 32”

Copley Master Kat O'Connor is interested in painting underwater subjects in her studies of gravity, light, and color. Her artwork has garnered numerous awards and exhibitions, and even landed her on the cover of Artscope's July/August 2016 issue.


Ellen Granter, CM, Lotus Shadows, oil on canvas, 24 x 28”

A member of the Copley Society of Art since 2003, Copley Master Ellen Granter has achieved great success in her career. Her supreme skill in her medium has led her to receive many awards, including the highly-respected John Singleton Copley Award from the Copley Society of Art. Granter’s work has been featured in many museum collections and solo shows, and her masterful technique led her to design the cover art for the novel The Help, which went on to sell over four million copies. 


Carolyn Latanision, CM, Riveting, Bethlehem Steel, watercolor, 31 x 31”

A distinguished artist who belongs to many national galleries, has won numerous awards, and whose work is part of private collections, Carolyn Latanision is one of Co|So’s Copley Masters. Latanision enjoys painting watercolors, and often finds herself drawn to urban scenes because they are excellent studies for light and dark values, and because they depict the many complexities of time and life.


Candace Lovely, CM, Springtime Swan Ride, oil on linen, 30 x 40”

Not many artists can boast painting a portrait of a Former First Lady, but Candace Lovely had the honor and privilege to paint the portrait of Former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1990. One of our Copley Masters, Candace Lovely is an American impressionist who enjoys painting pleasant scenes of people in beautiful landscapes and notable locations.


Jeanne Rosier Smith, CM, Backyard Beauty, pastel, 12 x 16”

Recently named a Copley Master, pastel painter Jeanne Rosier Smith loves painting in pastel because of the pure, rich color pigments. She mixes her pastels to create striking realist landscapes that seem to vibrate with energy.


Page Railsback, CA, Brooklyn, acrylic, 36 x 36”

Copley Artist Page Railsback paints with decisiveness as she creates abstract or partially abstracted forms to express an “essence.” Working in a variety of mediums, including acrylics, charcoal, and pastels, Page Railsback creates dynamic works of art that are meant to capture the growth and development of life.


Kate Sullivan, CM, Columbus and Berkeley, watercolor, 13 x 24”

Copley Master Kate Sullivan frequently works in watercolor or graphite, depicting cityscapes, locomotives, and other urban scenes. Each of her works shows off her masterful skills in drawing with captivating realism. 

Check out our social media pages all this week to learn more about our women artist members: @cosogallery. See more from our women artists at the gallery in Journeys, on view through April 12th, and In the Style Of, opening March 8th!


Banner Image: Kate Sullivan, CM, Columbus and Berkeley, watercolor, 13 x 24”

[1] The First One Hundred Years in Review 1879 – 1979: The Copley Society of Boston (Boston: Copley Society of Art, 1982), 11.