Although Shakespear (1886-1973) produced a substantial body of work over the course of her life, she remains an intriguing, relatively unknown English artist. She is recognized primarily for the extraordinary company she kept. Her mother, Olivia, was a minor novelist and close personal friend of William Butler Yeats.
Through her mother, Shakespear met and married Ezra Pound, a 1905 Hamilton graduate. In the mid 1900s she was linked to the Vorticist Movement in England with names such as Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth and Gaudier-Brzeska. During that time, some of her graphically vibrant abstract compositions were published in Lewis' revolutionary magazine Blast.
Shakespear focused primarily on landscape, but also devoted considerable energy to the design of illustrated alphabets intended for publication with Pound's Cantos. In 1974, her largest and most finished watercolor Hommages a GB, WL, TSE, EP (Gaudier-Brzeska, Wyndham Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound), was featured in the extensive exhibition of the Hayward Gallery in London called "Vorticism and its Allies." Throughout her career, she lived in Paris, Italy, the U.S. and England. She died in Cambridge, England, in 1973.
The majority of works in the exhibition have been lent courtesy of Omar Shakespear Pound who graduated from Hamilton in 1951. To mark the opening, guest curator David Lewis will present an illustrated lecture on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. in the Hamilton Chemistry Building auditorium. Following the lecture, an opening reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Emerson Gallery.
The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 12 to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information call the Emerson Gallery at 859-4396.