The Bellagio Fine Art Gallery Comes Up A Winner by Norbert Marszalek

Bellagio Fine Art Gallery

Let me start by saying I love Las Vegas. My wife and I try to visit at least once a year. The weirdness is very entertaining though I’ll admit it can get a bit vapid. I am able to culturally redeem myself by visiting a few art galleries in the growing 18b Arts District and the always superb exhibitions at the Bellagio Fine Art Gallery. And with Painting Women – Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston the Bellagio continues their excellent track record.

The entrance graphic wall text to Painting Women opens with: “In a 1971 essay, Linda Nochlin asked, Why have there been no great women artists?”—Nochlin is a prominent feminist art historian who is best known as an advocate to that question. At first I thought it a little odd to quote something that is 43 years old and not something more current but Nochlin’s query is still relevant today … and I’m sure that is the point.

This exhibition showcases 34 paintings spanning the century from 1860-1950 (I don’t know why they didn’t include work from the past 50 years—it would have only made the exhibition stronger.) These works tell the story of women artists, their activism and their artistic achievements.

It was great to see the big names that we are all familiar with like Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot but what I found most satisfying was discovering lesser named artists that were unknown to me. Some of the standouts were:

Doris Lee
Doris Lee

Elizabeth Vaughan Okie Paxton
The Open Window

Marie Danforth Page
Marie Danforth Page

Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts
Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts

Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin

The graphic wall text concludes with: “Today, although still underserved, the presence and contributions of women artists have begun to be acknowledged, studied and celebrated.” Thank goodness!

So when you’re in Las Vegas curb your immoral activities and find time to visit the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art.

The exhibition runs through October 26, 2014.
Find more information here.