The Edith Carlson Gallery is endowed by the estate of Edith Carlson, a self-described “little farm girl from Minnesota” who went on to become an accomplished artist. She chose the Weisman for the bequest because she admired the museum’s strong holdings in art by women. The new gallery will allow WAM to showcase works on paper, which comprise roughly two-thirds of the museum’s collection. Due to the delicate nature of the paper, many of these works have not had a chance to be exhibited. In honor of Carlson’s generous gift, the inaugural exhibition will showcase her drawings, and the gallery will rotate exhibitions three times a year.
This is the first exhibition to place her work within a broader art historical context, specifically the artist colony of Taos, New Mexico, where she received her artistic training. This remote mountain outpost has long been a haven for artists, including Marsden Hartley, who seek to escape the urbanity and “scene” of the city and invariably are captivated by the expanse and light of the desert.