All Posts By

Alex Johnson

Art is Pride: A Look At the Lives of Maud Hunt Squire and Ethel Mars

By | Art, News, Spotlight, Uncategorized | No Comments

Maud Hunt Squire: Illustrator, Painter, PrintmakerMaud Hunt Squire, 1920

The daughter of a musician, Maud Hunt Squire was born in Ohio in 1873. She was second in her class at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where she studied under Lewis Henry Meakin and Frank Duveneck. Her intaglio prints and her work in colored pastels gained her international notice in the art community. While still a student, Maud began working as an illustrator (along with Ethel Mars), and by 1907 she was exhibiting and selling her works in Paris and America.

Le panier de poissons, eau-forte en couleur (1910), Maud Hunt Squire

Not only an accomplished artist, Maud was also a talented musician and spoke multiple languages. Her works are shown in multiple museums, including The Jule.




Ethel Mars, 1924 (passport photo)

Ethel Mars: Bohemian Artist and Teacher.

Ethel Mars, born in Springfield, Illinois in 1876, was a talented artist from childhood. The daughter of a railroad clerk, her childhood works won her prizes at the Illinois State Fair. After grade school, she gained a scholarship to the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where she learned drawing, illustrating, and painting under Meakin and Duveneck.

 Ethel Mars, Woman with a Monkey, by 1909 - May be self portrait
An ambulance driver at the beginning of WWI, Ethel lived a rather bohemian lifestyle, often dying her hair purple and wearing orange lipstick. Her work, like her partner’s, is a part of collections all over the world.




Ethel and Maud: Miss Furr and Miss Skeene

Ethel Mars and Maud Hunt Squire began their lifelong relationship after meeting at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where they began working together as illustrators. After their graduation, they were immediately hired by publisher R.H. Russell, and their illustrations were shown in a joint exhibition in the Cincinnati Art Museum in 1903.

In 1906 the couple moved to France and began traveling through Europe.
Their careers excelled throughout their lives, and both women exhibited their works in Paris and the United States. During their visit to Munich, Ethel learned about color woodcut prints and began teaching the techniques to other American artists in Paris.



"Wealth" from Children of Our Town, 1902, written by Carolyn Wells and illustrated by Ethel Mars and Maud Hunt SquireThey became a part of Gertrude Stein’s circle, making friends with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.  Stein immortalized the pair in her poem “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene,” believed to be the first work of literature to use the word “gay” as a descriptor of same-sex relationships.

As the outbreak of World War I put more pressure on the couple, Ethel and Maud relocated to Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was here that Maud created her first and only woodblock prints, using modulated colors to depict the scenes in Provincetown. The women became part of a group of artists known for their white line woodcuts, called the Provincetown prints.  The seaside town’s bohemian art community soon became internationally known, possibly thanks to the Squire and Mars’ reputation.

Image: Provincetown print Example

After the war, they were able to move permanently back to Vence, France, except for a brief time in Grenoble during World War II. While Maud stopped her artistic endeavors in the 30s, Ethel drew portraits and landscapes well after the war. The two lived and thrived in France until their deaths. They are currently buried with one another in the cemetery of Saint-Paul-du-Vence.

Throughout their lives, these women adapted and molded their own artistic talents and voices. Still, one thing remained constant. Their relationship with each other and their artistic collaboration helped shape their work and impact in the art community. With color techniques that have contributed to modern color prints, and illustrations that still serve as an example of capturing a child’s spirit, Maud and Ethel’s works continue to resonate in today’s art community.

Ethel and Maud at The Jule

Ethel Mars’ and Maud Hunt Squire’s works grew and shifted as the women traveled through Europe and America. Their subject matter and their technique seem to have changed with their location and their experiences. These works are a part of the collection at The Jule.

Mars, Ethel 1876-1959 Untitled (Storefront) DATE: ca. 1916-19

Mars, Ethel 1876-1959 Untitled (Storefront) DATE: ca. 1916-19

ARTIST Squire, Maud Hunt 1873-1934 Untitled (Clam diggers, Provincetown) DATE: ca. 1915

ARTIST Squire, Maud Hunt 1873-1934 Untitled (Clam diggers, Provincetown) DATE: ca. 1915

These works were both done during the couple’s time in Provincetown. What similarities do you see? What differences?


The artists’ styles changed as they traveled the world. How do these works differ from other works seen throughout the article?


In Stein’s poem, “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene,” Squire is Miss Georgine Skeene, who loves to travel. Mars is represented by Miss Helen Furr, who likes to stay in one place. Can you see those personalities in these two paintings?







Exhibition Extras: Masterful Collaboration in The Summer

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Summer” showcases the work of two masters in the Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia Exhibit. 

Nuzzi and Maratta: Noted Italian Masters

Mario Nuzzi, or Mario de Fiori, was known for his floral still life work. The son of a landowner in Penna in Teverina, Nuzzi apprenticed under his uncle, Tommaso Salini. After becoming established, he spent his life painting commissions from highly noted art patrons, including Pope Clement IX and Giancarlo Medici. His works spread throughout Tuscany and influenced numerous Baroque era artists.

Carlo Maratta, or Maratti, was primarily in Rome and known for his classic portrait style. An apprentice of Andrea Sacchi, Maratta’s work also gained him the attention of wealthy patrons. He established the most prominent art studio in the city and became the lead artist in Rome after the death of Bernini. 

The Summer: A Painting of Love


In 1658, Cardinal Flavio Chigi commissioned Nuzzi to work on a series of paintings for the palace, entitled “Four Seasons,” which would feature Nuzzi’s floral expertise. The genre, which enjoyed success in the furnishing of noble residences, evolved to collaborations between still-life and figure painters such as Maratta.

The allegorical painting of The Summer is part of this famous series. Personifying the season, Summer—wearing sprigs of wheat in her hair—sees her reflection in the mirror, symbolizing the origins of love.

“Bernini & The Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia” will be on display until May 30

“The Summer” at The Jule

“The Summer” hangs in the “History Paintings: Between Classicism and Realism” section of the exhibit.

This painting is an allegorical piece, where the artists use the subjects to convey difficult concepts. In this case, it is love. What parts of the painting do you see that represent “love?”

Maratti believed in using fewer figures to convey a theme. Does he accomplish that here? 

This work combines the expertise of two artists, who each specialize in two separate dramas. Can you see differences, subtle or obvious, in the technique of each?

“The Summer” is the inspiration for the mask and scarf set, exclusively at The Jule. After seeing the painting, stop by The Museum Shop and take home a memory. 








Exhibition Extras: Don’t Look Back

By | Art, History, News, Traveling Exhibition | No Comments

Orpheus and Eurydice – The Lovers That Inspire

Egyptian tapestry roundel with Orpheus and Apollo, 5th–6th century CEThe tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the most famous in Greek mythology. The story of the two lovers has inspired paintings, plays, operas, and songs throughout history. Though there are many versions of the tale, there are few differences that exist between them.

Orpheus, son of Apollo and Calliope, was the most talented musician in ancient times. With a voice that was gifted by the gods, he was able to charm anyone who heard him sing, man or beast. He even played a vital role on the voyage with Jason and his Argonauts, putting the sleepless dragon to sleep and saving the men from the sirens.

While performing one day, Orpheus saw a young woman (or wood nymph), Eurydice. She too, like all the others in attendance, had been drawn to his voice. The two fell in love instantly and were soon married.

Sadly, their happiness did not last long. A young shepherd, Aristaeus, desired Eurydice and set forth with a plan to kill Orpheus. As the couple ran, Eurydice tripped and was bitten by a deadly viper. Within moments, she died.

Distraught with grief, Orpheus traveled to the underworld to see his wife again. There he played his lyre and sang for Hades and Persephone. They were so moved by his lament that Hades promised that Orpheus could take Eurydice back to the land of the living. The one rule, he was not allowed to look at his wife until they were fully in the light.

Orpheus agreed and the two began their ascent out of The Underworld. As they approached the light, Orpheus could no longer stand it. He turned to look at Eurydice, but was only allowed a fleeting glimpse before she was pulled away back into the darkness.

Learn more about the exhibit

Giuseppe Cesari – From Votive Painter to Cavaliere

Giuseppe Cesari, b Jan 1568, was the son of an Italian votive image painter. After moving to Rome around the year 1582, Cesari was an apprentice toPortrait engraving by Ottavio Leoni (1621) Nicolò Circignani where he developed his skills and studied other artists’ styles. Under Circignani’s direction, he participated in the decoration of the Vatican itself as well as numerous other projects.

Cesari was giving his first independent commission at the age of 20, painting frescos in S. Lorenzo in Damaso. These works have been lost through the years, but are preserved through copies. It was at this point that he broke from the style of Circignani and began developing his own. He continued to paint frescos and altarpieces throughout Rome and Naples throughout the 1590s. In addition to these large commissions, Cesari also specialized in smaller paintings for private investors. These works were often painted on copper, slate, or panel and were quite unlike those of his Roman contemporaries.

Cesari’s talent, and close ties to the papal court, quickly made him one of Rome’s most prominent painters. Pope Clement VIII gave him the title of Cavaliere di Cristo for his supervision of the decoration of the Lateran Basilica, where Cesari.  himself painted the “Ascension” over the altar.

Cesari continued to receive commissions until his death on July 3, 1640. Though he had no followers, both Caravaggio and Andrea Sacchi studied with him at the beginning of their careers. They, and the countless others that studied his artistry, continued to express respect and admiration for his work.

“Orpheus and Eurydice” at The Jule

Giuseppe Cesari, called "Cavalier d'Arpino", Orpheus and Eurydice, 1620-25, Oil on canvas, Couretesy of Collection Lemme, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia.  “Orpheus and Eurydice” hangs in the “History Paintings: Between Classicism and Realism” section of the exhibit. This piece falls under the “classicism” style, as it depicts the scene in the classic Greek and Roman style.

What about the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice makes it a great subject for various art forms?

What point in the story does this painting depict?

Mythology tells us that Orpheus played the lyre. Can you think of why Cesari would paint him carrying the violin?

Mythology themed paintings like this one often had settings that celebrated the utopian myth of “Arcadia,” where man and nature coexisted in perfect harmony. How is that harmony on display here? Does the subject of the painting contribute to that? Will that harmony last?

Learn more about the Exhibit

Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in AricciaA logo for International Arts and Artists



Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

We welcome you to explore, experience and engage with the visual arts.