100 Years: The Topeka Art Guild

David Overmyer's portrait of Shakespeare's Iago is part of a large gift from the Topeka Art Guild.

David Overmyer’s portrait of Shakespeare’s Iago is part of a large gift from the Topeka Art Guild.

Mrs. Frances Whittemore and members of the 1916 Topeka Art Guild, courtesy of the Topeka Art Guild

Mrs. Frances Whittemore and members of the 1916 Topeka Art Guild. Many of her students became professional artists. Courtesy of the Topeka Art Guild

On October 16, 1916, a group of Topeka artists, patrons and enthusiasts met to organize a new art group. Its purpose was “to bring more and better art in Topeka,” to promote education about the arts, to teach art classes, and to enrich the lives of Topekans.

One hundred years later, the Topeka Art Guild will celebrate its centennial.

George M. Stone was the first President of the Topeka Art Guild. He studied art in Paris, where he met his wife, Marie Lamy.

George M. Stone was the first President of the Topeka Art Guild. He studied art in Paris, where he met his wife, Marie Lamy.

The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library has art by most of the original founders of the Topeka Art Guild in its collection. Some of the founders were highly trained professionals, others were self-taught.

All of them shared a love for art, and the desire to learn and share their knowledge. The members taught each other their skills, exchanged ideas, and encouraged each other to grow as artists.

Helen Iserman (later Helen Hodge) was the first Treasurer of the Topeka Art Guild.

Helen Iserman (later Helen Hodge) was the first Treasurer of the Topeka Art Guild. The first meeting was held at her studio.

Over one hundred years of continuous organization, generations of artists in Topeka have brought world-famous artists to Topeka, taught classes, organized art exhibitions, provided scholarships, and helped our community to grow.

 

 

Come visit our art gallery on October 10 to see artwork from the Topeka Art Guild!

Sherry Best

Our library has a very cool art collection, and I get to be in charge of it. I started drawing when I was 4 years old, and never stopped making art. I want to do more than show you art, I want to help you understand it, relate to it, and 'get' it. Art lets us share what it is to be human.