Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
University Art Gallery | Frick Fine Arts Building
In the early 20th century, Mary Ethel McAuley’s name was regularly in newspapers and on exhibition rosters, but she has been nearly forgotten today. Mary Ethel McAuley: Behind the German Lines sets out to find her again. McAuley (1882-1971) was not only one of the inaugural members of the Associated Artists Pittsburgh, she was also a journalist, author, illustrator, painter and teacher. During World War I, too, McAuley as a wartime correspondent in Germany for The Pittsburgh Post Dispatch.
The set of paintings that form the core of Behind the German Lines, was created around 1919 to illustrate McAuley’s first-hand account of life in wartime Germany. From ration lines for butter and beer to the building of the railway, McAuley’s paintings depict scenes that she witnessed as an American woman. She captures the nuances of quotidian life at that time, paying special attention to women in wartime. Her paintings depict German soldiers in uniform standing alongside chimney sweeps in town squares, women shoveling coal, mothers and children alone on the streets while fathers and brothers were on the front line.
From the Collection of Rebecca and Tasso Spanos.