Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Feature: Julia Eckel You Really Must Check This Out!

"Radio Broadcast" by Julia Eckel 1934 oil on canvas 40 x 55
 Have you ever visited a museum and become transfixed by a piece of art?  I visited the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art's new exhibit The New Deal.  This piece is captivating.  It is very large at 40 x 55 but it is still so intimate because of the composition.  I was struck by the amazing colors and brush strokes which are unfortunately lost by photographing the piece.  The way the paint was so lusciously applied made me want to go out and buy oil paints and start painting!  I wish I could give you the experience of seeing this in person there is really no substitute.

"Revival" by Julia Eckel 40 x 56 oil on canvas
I couldn't find very much biographical information about the artist Julia Eckel.  She was born in Washington D.C. 1907 and died in D.C. in 1988.  Her father was a WWI Major, Edwin C Eckel.  He was a geologist with the US Geological Survey.  From what I could find she never married.

"Street Scene" 40 x 55 by Julia Eckel oil on canvas
 Julia produced her pieces for Public Works Art Program which was a component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal economic recovery program which lasted for a 6 month period during 1933-1934.  The purpose of this program was to alleviate the distress of professional, unemployed American artists by paying them to produce artwork that could be used to embellish public buildings.  The program was administered by the Treasury Department by art professionals in 16 different regions. 

"Band Concert" by Julia Eckel 40 x 56 oil on canvas
During this brief period 4,000 artists from around the nation were commissioned to produce some 15,000 paintings reflecting  the every day life in America.

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art has a portion of these paintings on exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian American Art's Museum.  It's on exhibit now through the beginning of Jan. For a look at a few more of the New Deal pieces on exhibit click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  I'm planning on doing a post each Friday, called Friday Feature, where I spotlight art that strikes me and do artists interviews. 

Have a great weekend,

**the sources of information for this post were
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art
Images used were from the Smithsonian's American Art Museum


  1. Wodnerful, Carrie.....hope things are good with you and yours.
    Carol B.

  2. Amazing paintings, Carrie!! thanks for sharing!. Nice strong colors in each of them!

  3. Hi Carrie,

    Thank you for introducing Julia Eckel and a lovely exhibit. I understand what you mean by saying about the excitement when looking at a painting in the museum. It happened to me twice for the last two weeks. Somehow Dutch Art Period is following me these days. Not only we learn this period in my Art History class this specific month; also, I went to Legion of Honor to see Dutch Art from private collection and was stunned by Dutch still life. And the last week I went to Washington, DC and saw Dutch still lives there. Amazing! How precise they are! How detailed and symbolized! I also love that in that period (mid 17th century) because Dutch was a Republic there were women were able to actually earn money making their art. As I learned before 17th century it was extremely difficult for woman to go public and show her art. They would even not allow women to practice.

    Aren't we lucky to live in our time when we can follow our hearts and paint what we want :).

    Thank you again,

  4. Those are really great paintings! Very inspirational!

  5. Lovely post and an excellent idea featuring art work and artist interviews. It would be interesting to find out how much the artists who were commissioned to do these paintings were paid for their work and why this program lasted only 6 months.

  6. Carrie: thanks for all you have said about my mother. I would be glad to fill in any blanks for you. Mrs. Riley Eckel Schiffaeley (on FB)