Piece of art was a donation from club

Published 7:01 am Sunday, May 31, 2015

A picture donated to the YWCA by the Junior Business Girls Club hangs in the second floor sitting room of the Hormel Historic Home. The print is called “Flower Girl in Holland” and was painted by artist George Hitchcock in 1887.

This print depicts a young woman holding flowers, looking into a house. The flowers in her basket and her bonnet are highlighted in the painting. Hitchcock was known for landscape, figure and floral genre paintings. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, Hitchcock practiced law in the second half of the 1870s but found little success as a lawyer. He took up painting, and, at age 29, left America and became one of the more well-known expatriate painters at the turn of the century.

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From www.askart.com I learned that “his specialty became images of the sea with depictions of fishing activity and peasants. His early work was quite muted, but he later became known as the “painter of sunlight” because of brightly colored florals and landscapes with abstract patterns of contrasting color.” His art is displayed in the Chicago Art Institute, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Dresden gallery to mention a few. The painting complements the floral theme in the Sitting Room, and it is valued because of its donors.

I do not know when the Junior Business Girls Club presented the painting, but they were an active organization at the YWCA for many years, even before moving in to the new headquarters in 1927. “The purpose of the monthly gatherings of the young employed girls was to combine something helpful with a social hour,” according to a newspaper article in February 1925. The group held themed events each month and supported one another in their endeavors as young women in a business environment. In 1929 they joined with another group known as the Industrial Girls and their name changed to Business and Industrial Club.

Many items in the HHH came to be here through the generous donations of those who valued the Hormels or the YWCA, and we are grateful for their thoughtfulness.

 History Happy Hour

5:30 p.m. social; 6 p.m. presentation, June 8

Antique Evaluations with expert Mark F. Moran. Guests can bring one item for Mr. Moran to evaluate. Some exclusions do apply. Must pre-register by calling the HHH 507-433-4243. Free to members of the HHH, The Mower County Historical Society, or the Friends of the Library.  $5 for non-members. 15 spots remaining. Light refreshments included. Cash bar available.