After 200 years, the CT’s Way sisters get their first exhibition
In the 1890s, when professional women artists were scarce, the new exhibit at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum shows how the Way Sisters of New London were creating art that was quite unique for its time.
Mary Way (1769-1833) and Elizabeth “Betsy” (Way) Champlain (1771-1825) were among the first professional women artists in the United States. Living far from art centers or schools, both were completely self-taught. According to “The Antiques Magazine”, Elizabeth never signed her works and only one piece signed by Mary is known. While their art was known regionally, it was attributed to unknown artists. Their history and heritage in the art world was largely forgotten until 1992. An academic researching their work published an article in the magazine in the fall and it was the first time the name de Way had been associated with their works for over a century.