"Still Life with Fruit," Gladys Lee Wiles (1888-1983), Oil on Canvas, 30 x 25 inches, Private Collection
For Immediate Release
“Southold Historical Society announces Summer Exhibit of Paintings by Gladys Lee Wiles, N.A.”
SOUTHOLD, NY. The Southold Historical Society is pleased to announce this year’s summer exhibition “Gladys Lee Wiles N.A.: Rival of Her Father” will open to the public on June 30th, 2007 and will remain on view through September 30, 2007.
The exhibition will feature the painting of Gladys Wiles (1888-1983), a member of one of the premier family of American painters. Gladys was the granddaughter of Lemuel M. Wiles (1826-1905), the noted Hudson River School painter and daughter of Irving R. Wiles (1861-1948), one of America’s most famous impressionist painters and illustrators.
“Gladys has, until recently, been relatively unknown to most in the art world, despite having been a prolific exhibitor during her lifetime,” stated Geoffrey Fleming, Director of the Society. “This exhibition is one of the first to focus solely on her work as a painter and we hope it is one of many more to come,” he continued.
The Wiles family has a long connection to Southold Town. Grandfather Lemuel first visited here in the early 1880’s, making sketches of the Peconic Tidal Mill. Later he and his son rented space in Peconic, LI to teach students and eventually built a house and group of studios on Indian Neck where they lived and worked when not in New York City. Several of the studio buildings still stand today.
Gladys trained under William M. Chase and her father and fist began exhibiting professionally in the early 1900’s. Her early works were small painting of animals, especially dogs. As she matured she, like her father, became a portrait artist. Her portraits received high praise, and one author at the time remarked that her portraits were “ . . . extremely clever with the planes of the face broadly and boldly described . . .”
In 1919 at the National Association of Women Painters exhibition at the Fine Arts Building in New York she won the top prize, known as the “Medal of the Museum of French Art.” This award was presented to Gladys on behalf of the Presidents of the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, Les Anciens de L’Academie Julien, the Societie des Beaux Arts Architects, and the Museum of French Art. This award helped to launch her career in the art world. Many articles were written about her work, including one entitled “Gladys Wiles: Girl Artist Whose Artistic Triumph Rivals that of Her Painter Father.”
Later in life, Gladys would move permanently to Peconic where she focused on depicting flowers, vases, and art objects in still-life paintings. She would become best known for these works, and they are the overwhelming type of painting included in the present exhibition.
In addition to the paintings that will be on display, the Society has also prepared an extensively researched and illustrated catalog on Gladys’s life and works. The catalog will be available for purchase ($10.00) both at the exhibition and at the Society’s museum gift shop on Main Road in Southold.
The exhibit will be on display at the Society’s Katherine Mayne Gallery, located in the Ann Currie-Bell house, which is located at the corner of Maple Lane and Main Road, in Southold, NY. The show will be open to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1-4 pm and by special appointment.
For further information please contact the Society at (631) 765-5500 or visit us on the web at www.southoldhistoricalsociety.org .