Artwork of the Week: August 23, 2020
Ethel Myers (1881-1960), The Flowered Gown, c.1920s, posthumous cast 1960s, bronze, 8 3/8 x 5 3/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Downes.
Ethel Myers was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 23, 1881. After being orphaned, Ethel was adopted by parents that supported her youthful dream of becoming an artist. She studied under important American painters like Robert Henri and quickly gravitated towards creating images inspired by life in the New York slums. After marrying a fellow realist artist, Jerome Myers, Ethel shifted to sculpting small, dynamic figures also inspired by contemporary life and society, like The Flowered Gown—a caricature of a woman enrobed in a lavish evening dress. Myers’ creativity not only benefitted her art but enabled her to successfully juggle various pursuits, including a notable career as a women’s fashion designer, which she did for 20 years to help support her artist husband and daughter.