WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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mary Brewster Hazelton was a lifetime resident of Wellesley and one of the most important artists in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century. She was a quiet but powerful trailblazer during an era not particularly receptive to women in art. At the end of the nineteenth century, many women, when allowed, followed their passion for art into the prestigious art schools of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. However, their considerable efforts were marginalized, and they were viewed as hobbyists in the male- dominated art world of the time. Mary was at the forefront of a new generation of Boston women such as Gertrude Horsford Fiske and Lilian Westcott Hale, who helped to change these opinions. Perhaps no quote better exemplifies her impor- tance than that of John Singer Sargent, perhaps Boston's most revered artist, who expressed that she was "one of the foremost portrait painters of her time." In the latter part of the nineteenth century, a group of Boston artists developed a considerable reputa- tion for their artistic philosophy and practice. Now referred to as the "Boston School," this regional style was based on the artistic principles of careful composition, handling of color, and skilled draftsmanship. Its members revered the techniques of such artistic giants as Vermeer and Velasquez. The leading propo- nents of the Boston School included artists such as Edmund Tarbell and Frank Benson who were Mary's teachers, colleagues, and longtime friends. Mary was fortunate to have been born into a talented and reasonably well-off family. Her father, Dr. Isaac Hills Hazelton, was an early advocate for the care of the mentally ill and in 1861 was appointed as an The Mary Brewster Hazelton Collection at the Wellesley Historical Society and Boston Art of Wellesley R O B E R T C . S AVA G E , M . D . writer I M A G E S C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y H I S T O R I C A L S O C I E T Y 97 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8

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