An Exhibition of Watercolors by Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker
The Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation in conjunction with The San Diego Watercolor Society, is pleased to announce their 30th Anniversary year celebrations, which began with the opening of Contrasts that Complement at the San Diego Watercolor Society Gallery in December 2017.
The Grand Opening events on December 8th included a multimedia presentation, American Masters: The Whitaker’s and the Watercolor Tradition, by former Chief Curator at SDMA, Scott Atkinson and an all day watercolor workshop, Love of Life: Nature and Culture Through the Whitaker’s Art, by renowned artist and mentee of Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, Ken Goldman.
Established in 1987 by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, The Fred Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation was created to preserve the works of her late husband and herself, and to promote the American watercolor medium. Over the past three decades, the Foundation has used innovative programs and technology to breathe new life into the Whitakers’ legacy and inspire the next generation of watercolor artists. This outreach has included a comprehensive online exhibition of the Whitakers’ watercolors through the Google Cultural Institute, publication of the biographical book, Contrasts That Complement, a bi-annual art scholarship program to assist students majoring in art, and the use of social media to engage with artists, curators, collectors, and other watercolor enthusiasts from around the world.
The San Diego Watercolor Society’s connection to the Whitakers dates back to 1965, the year the Whitakers moved to La Jolla. A few local artists asked Fred, knowing his many memberships/offices in art societies, to mentor them in their efforts to establish the SDWS. Fred was happy to assist and consult. The Whitakers were invited to be honorary members of SDWS, exhibited in a number of their shows and occasionally juried shows. Susan Hewitt, the president of SDWS, is a fellow alumna of Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s alma mater, MassArt, and had known her for many years.
The exhibition, Contrasts That Complement, pairs selected watercolors by National Academicians and lifetime partners Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, evoking a sometimes subtle and often dramatic dialogue between two celebrated artists. From the exquisitely detailed architecture of Frederic’s Baroque Facade, to Eileen’s exuberant rendering of Horton Plaza, this exhibition celebrates the historical magnitude of both Whitakers’ contributions to the American watercolor medium. Featuring some of Frederic and Eileen’s most iconic work, the watercolors in the Contrasts That Complement traveling exhibition highlight the distinctive voice of each artist in such a way that the paintings become counterparts, reflecting a visual articulation of the Whitakers’ professional and personal relationship during their lifetimes.