Talking figuratively: ISM hosts lecture on the art of Eleanor Spiess-Ferris
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Talking figuratively: ISM honors art of Eleanor Spiess-Ferris with lecture, exhibit

The Illinois State Museum in Springfield is hosting on Nov. 20 a “brown bag” lecture on the works of Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, a Chicago-area artist known for her use of the female figure in her paintings.

Titled “Daphne’s Sister: The Art of Eleanor Spiess-Ferris,” the lecture by ISM Curator of Art Doug Stapleton will be free and open to the public at the museum’s Research and Collections Center.

Stapleton plans to discuss the influences, ideas and references in Spiess-Ferris’ paintings, some of which are on display on the museum’s second floor gallery in an exhibition of the same name. The exhibit covers over 40 years of Spiess-Ferris’ career and runs through Feb. 16, 2020.

The lecture will also dive into a broader history of narrative painting and will review the various artist movements that have influenced Spiess-Ferris’ signature style.

According to the museum, Spiess-Ferris’ work is unique in Chicago art history in its attention to “narrative bodies, telling stories of personal, spiritual and environmental crises.” The roots of her work can be traced to Mannerist and Baroque arts, along with Symbolist and Surrealist approaches to the fantastic and unreal situations her female divas are often placed in.

Daphne’s Sister - The Art of Eleanor Spiess-Ferris

Daphne’s Sister: The Art of Eleanor Spiess-Ferris

November 20, 2019 12:00 pm – November 20, 2019 1:00 pm
Illinois State Museum Research & Collections Center 1011 E Ash St Springfield, IL 62703

Illinois State Museum invites you to explore the work of Chicago figurative artist Eleanor Spiess-Ferris in a lively presentation that will look at the influences, ideas, and references in her paintings. ISM Curator of Art Doug Stapleton will also look at the history of narrative painting and talk about the various artist movements that come to bear on her signature style.

Photos courtesy of the artist via ISM

Susan Barreto

Written by Susan Barreto

Susan is an award-winning journalist who has worked for a number of regional and global publications. Much of her career has been covering the global finance industry for publications published by Crains, Reuters and Euromoney/Institutional Investor. She also interned and later freelanced for Rockford Magazine as well as the Northwestern Illinois Farmer newspaper.

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