Women Painters of Washington is an association of professional artists from throughout the state.
The group meets monthly, generally at the Seattle Art Museum.
Women Painters of Washington empowers professional women artists to create, exhibit, and market their work while fostering art appreciation within their communities and beyond.
On October 6, 1930 the founding members joined forces to overcome the limitations they faced as women artists and to realize their artistic potential through fellowship.
Women Painters of Washington has been in existence since the summer of 1930 when six female artists met while attending a portrait class sponsored by the Art Institute of Seattle, a predecessor to the Seattle Art Museum. Exhibitions sponsored by WPW have been occurring for 75 years. The founding members–Elizabeth Warhanik, Dorothy Dolph Jensen, Lily Norling Hardwick, Myra Albert Wiggins, Anna B. Stone and Helen Bebb joined together to overcome the limitations they faced as female artists and to stimulate artistic growth through fellowship.
Myra Albert Wiggins (1869-1956) gained international recognition. Ms. Wiggins had two one-woman exhibitions of photography at the Chicago Art Institute and was admitted to Alfred Stieglitz’s group, Photo-Secession. She won over fifty major awards for her photography. Her work is found in the permanent collections of many important Museums throughout the country.
Yvonne Twining Humber was a nationally known painter. She was president of WPW in 1947 and 1948. Ms. Humber worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and became known for her urban and rural landscapes.
Doris Totten Chase was accepted into Women Painters of Washington in 1951. Ms. Chase remained a member until the mid-1960’s. Doris Chase is internationally known and has worked in and gained critical acclaim in many different media. Ms. Chase’s work is in public and private collections all over the world.
In the 1980’s Iris Nichols took WPW in a new direction. It was the start of cultural exchanges and international exhibits. The first was with Japan. Women Painters exhibited in both Kobe and Tokyo. WPW arranged for Japanese artists to show at the Frederick and Nelson Gallery in Seattle. Since then WPW has also had shows in Germany and Kuwait. Starting in 1999 and going through the fall of 2000 Women Painters had both exhibitions and exchanges with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This led to a residency for 35 artists from Washington State and Ireland at Centrum Arts Center in Port Townsend, Washington.
As our horizons have broadened WPW has also seen the need to expand its commitment to the community. The group has supported food banks and donated art supplies to womens shelters (currently the Street Life Gallery and the Angeline Center, both in Seattle). WPW has had a continuous exhibit at the University of Washington’s Women’s Clinic since 1989.