Marian MacDowell and the MacDowell Clubs
Yackley, Elizabeth Anne
Davis, Shelley G.
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The women's club movement in the United States gave women the opportunity not only to hold leadership positions and serve the community, but also to enhance their education and practice of literature, drama, art, and music. The MacDowell clubs (listing, Appendix A), named for the composer Edward MacDowell (1860-1908), were unique in their appreciation of the allied arts; i.e., the contention that all forms of art are mutually beneficial and artists from different disciplines may influence one another's work. Some of the clubs had two-fold goals: to work for the advancement of the arts in their respective communities, and to support the MacDowell Colony, an artist's retreat founded in 1907 by MacDowell's widow, Marian MacDowell (1857-1956). Marian MacDowell became a leading figure for the arts in the U.S. by touring the nation performing concerts of her husband's music, uniting MacDowell clubs and other music organizations in support of the Colony.