Five Women Artists - Cheekwood
x icon Close

Five Women Artists

Can you name five women artists? During the month of March, The National Museum of Women in the Arts is asking this as part of their annual initiative to recognize females in the art world.  As tribute to Women’s History Month, the NMWA will use the hashtag #5WomenArtists to challenge people to name five female artists. Can you?

Vadis Turner (b. 1977) is a mixed media artist from Nashville, Tennessee. Turner studied at Boston University before returning to Nashville, where she now lives with her husband and two sons. Turner explores the transformative possibilities of feminist materials. Commodities created for and produced by women are translated into storied abstract paintings and sculptures. Connecting generations of women, Turner’s production methods assert value on female experiences, rites of passage, and question traditional gender roles. Each work fuses archetypal female figures, from literature or cultural traditions, with specific atmospheres and landscapes. Turner created two pieces for an exhibition at Cheekwood Continuity of Context: Five Artists in Dialogue with Cheekwood’s Collection (September 2018-January 2019). Turner’s work is in permanent collections of 21C Museum Hotel, Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Tennessee State Museum and the Egon Schiele Art Centrum.

Vadis Turner. Laurel, 2018. Satin ribbon, sweat, tears, charred wood, acrylic resin, acrylic paint, and metal. Courtesy of the artist and Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN.


Beth Lipman (b.1971) is a multi-media artist from Philadelphia, PA who currently lives and works in Sheboygan Falls, WI. Lipman’s material of choice is glass and through the medium Lipman’s oeuvre explores the Dutch still-life tradition and the associations of these depictions. Lipman’s work is featured in Cheekwood’s latest exhibition Derived from the Decorative (open until June 2019). Lipman’s work has a direct precedent in Dutch still-life painting, and specifically in pictures by Golden Age masters such as Willem Kalf, Pieter Claesz and Balthasar van der Ast. Beneath the guise of a sumptuously laden table adorned with blossoming flowers, ripe fruit and shiny vessels, viewers were reminded to act with moderation. This was particularly meaningful for a newly emerged middle class that found themselves with both expanded riches and expanded curiosity, hence the commodities that are found on the tables. Each object in Lipman’s composition is hand sculpted and composed of vulnerable glass that according to the artist is representative of a moment in time. The pictorial framework she employs is undeniably influenced by the still life tradition and through it she relays a contemporary message in a historic context. Lipman has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Pollock Krasner Grant, Virginia Groot Foundation Grant, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant. She has exhibited broadly at institutions such as RISD Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her work has been acquired by numerous museums including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Kemper Museum for Contemporary Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Jewish Museum, Norton Museum of Art and the Corning Museum of Glass.

Beth Lipman. Margin for Error, 2014. Glass, adhesive. Courtesy Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Gift of Kohler Foundation, Inc.


Marilyn Murphy (b. 1950) is a painter based in Nashville, Tennessee. Murphy is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Art at Vanderbilt University. Her oil paintings and drawings create curious situations implying a larger story that often explores dualities both formally and conceptually. Most often in Murphy’s work, her subjects are females, and often females showing strength, independence and intelligence. Her breadth of work seems to focus on women breaking from the archetype of the gentile southern homemaker and reclaiming their spot in the forefront of society. Most of her work forces viewers into a sort of fantasy that is only created and imagined by Murphy. Murphy’s work has been shown in more than 300 exhibitions nationally and abroad. Recently, she had solo exhibitions at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago and Cumberland Gallery in Nashville. In 2004, the Frist Center for the Visual Art had a mid-career survey of her paintings, drawings and prints. The Long Haul by Murphy is in Cheekwood’s permanent collection.

Diana Al-Hadid (b. 1981) was born in 1981 in Aleppo, Syria. She was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and currently lives and works in New York. Al-Hadid’s large-scale sculptures and wall hangings are the outcome of process-based investigations into materials, including fiberglass, polymer, steel, and plaster.

Exploiting the innate tension between mass and gravity, Al-Hadid is particularly interested in the point at which her works are fixed to the ground, often seeking to create what she describes as “something that seems improbable.” Making drawings since her adolescent years with her grandmother, Al-Hadid creates meticulous renderings driven by a fascination with the depiction of space and perspective. While critics often cite Al-Hadid’s Syrian background as influential to her ornate works, the artist is just as likely to reference to ancient Rome, the Renaissance, or Mannerist painting. In May, Al-Hadid’s work will be shown in Nashville for the first time. In a collaboration between Cheekwood and the Frist Art Museum, Al-Hadid’s works will be able to interact with the outdoors, as well as in the museum. This joint exhibition Sublimations will be on view May 24 – September 1.

Diana Al Hadid. Citadel, 2017-2018, (part of the exhibition Delirious Matter). Steel polymer gypsum, fiberglass, paint, aluminum, and bronze Commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York, and made possible at Williams College by a generous contribution from Seton Melvin ’82 and the Williams College Public Art Fund, established by the Class of 1961. Installation Photo by Elyse Mack.


Lillian Genth (1876-1953) was an American Impressionist painter. In 1900, Genth won the Elkins Scholarship and traveled to Paris. She studied under James McNeil Whistler. Under Whistler, her paintings began to adopt tonalist qualities. Her work focuses on female forms and landscapes, or Mother Earth. In 1908, Genth was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate. She was the youngest woman ever elected to this position. Cheekwood holds Summer Afternoon in its permanent collection. In this work, Genth presents an elegant woman pausing on a sunny porch, looking down to touch summer flowers in a brass bowl. Genth relates the woman to the vase of flowers by painting both in the same palette. Like the woman, the flowers are valued for their beauty. They have been cut from the garden and are separated from the earth, just as the woman is in some sense separated of her true nature. Genth’s work is in many private collections and museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Summer Afternoon will be on view in the exhibition In Bloom: Works from Cheekwood’s Collection from March 21 – September 1.

Lillian Genth. Summer Afternoon, c. 1910. Oil on canvas. Transfer from the Nashville Museum of Art. 1960.2.36


These #5WomenArtists and several others bring unique mediums, talent, and beauty to our collection. We are proud to display some of their work at Cheekwood and very excited to advocate for the acknowledgement of all women artists, past and present. Are you interested in supporting women artists alongside Cheekwood and the National Museum of Women in the Arts? We encourage you to keep learning about women in the arts, to start conversations with your friends, and to use the hashtag #5WomenArtists to promote this necessary campaign on social media. Learn more about the NMWA campaign here.

Privacy Policy Sitemap Web design by Speak
Back to top