About Edward MacDowell
Edward Alexander MacDowell was born in New York City in 1861. He studied in
Paris, Wiesbaden, and Frankfurt, and pro- duced his first mature composition,
the First Modern Suite, in Zurich at the age of 21, under the patronage of
Franz Liszt. He returned to America in 1888 and founded the School of Music
at Columbia University in 1896, becoming its Dean. He left the school in 1904,
a point which, unhappily, marked the start of his physical and mental decline.
While at Columbia, he became the Director of the prestigious Mendelssohn
Glee Club. During that time, he often escaped the pressures and distractions
that invade creative activity by retiring to his farm near Peterborough, New
Hampshire, where he worked amid the vista of rolling hills in sight of Mount
MacDowell’s compositions reveal a broad palette of musical creativity, ranging
from full-blown symphonic works, many of them incorporating “native
American” themes, to piano work of deceptive simplicity. They are not simple,
but rather, of great charm, and include the attractive Woodland Suite with its
ever- popular “To A Wild Rose.”
Even before the composer’s death in 1908, his wife, Marian, had begun the
organization of the Edward MacDowell Memorial Association, to the support
and enhancement of which she devoted her entire long life (she died in 1956).
The Mendelssohn Glee Club had sent a gift of $30,000 for MacDowell’s care in
his declining years and she utilized all her time and efforts in giving lectures
and recitals to augment this nest egg. With the money realized, Mrs.
MacDowell bought more land and built more studios so that others might share
the inspiration her husband had experienced at Peterborough. She thought
much of the plight of the artist in a land where material expansion was the
kinesis, and contempt for the dreamer was ingrained.
Founding of the MacDowell Society of Cincinnati
One result of Marian MacDowell’’s personal dynamism was to win the
strong friendship of three Cincinnati ladies, Mrs. John J. Emery, Miss Clara
Baur, and her niece, Miss Bertha Baur, the latter two being founders of the
Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. The most important result of the
enthusiasm Mrs. MacDowell generated was that Miss Clara Baur and her
friends formed the organization which became MacDowell Society of
Cincinnati, with its dual purpose being “to further the appreciation and
creation of art, music, dance, drama, letters, architecture, paint- ing,
sculpture, decorative and allied arts, for their mutual support and
enhancement,” and “to foster the ideals of Edward MacDowell by
contributing to the support of the Colony at Peterborough, New
The first meeting was held on April 30, 1913 at the Cincinnati Woman’s
Club. Nearly one hundred persons attended, and effected a permanent
The organization was a success from the very first, and it soon became a
center of cultural interest. The Cincinnati MacDowell Society has been a
strong force in the life of the Queen City. Membership has always been
open to those interested in artistic work, whose achievements and talents
meet the requisites of the Membership Committee, and who are willing to
contribute to the programs of the Society.
The Cincinnati MacDowell Society also awards Artist Grants in a program
initiated in 2000 by Mrs. Lorrence T. (Barbara) Kellar.
Edward MacDowell 1860-1908
This year’s medal was awarded to Barbars Kellar,
for receving a 2019 Regional Emmy for her CET
show, “Showcase with Barbare Kellar” as well as
for her service to MacDowell
Past President Janet McDaniel presented the medal to honoree
Barbara Kellar with her husband Larry Kellar. The portrait was
painted by Setsuko Lecroix as a personal surprise.
Because of her personal
relations with the women
who founded the Cincinnati
Conservatory of music, the
MacDowell Society of
Cincinnati was formed.
Marion MacDowell 1857- 1956
About the MacDowell Society Cincinnati, celebrating 116 years
"The Cincinnati MacDowell Society is an independent organization founded
in 1913, that adheres to the integrity and goals of the nationally recognized
MacDowell Clubs for the support, promotion, and enhancement, of musical,
visual and performing arts. …..."
Cincinnati MacDowell Society
Founders April 30, 1913
Miss Bertha Baur
Mrs. McLean Blair
Mrs. Thomas J. Emery
Miss Helen Hinkle
Mrs. N.D.C. Hodges
Miss Isabel Hopkins
Edgar Stillman Kelley
Mrs. A.J. Redway, Jr.
Miss Dixie Selden
Miss Josephine P. Simrall
Mrs. Charles P. Taft
member and past president, Ernest Bruce Haswell.
Mr. Donald Siekmann
Mrs. Kurt (Trudie) Seybold
Mr. Gerald Silvers
Mr. Scot Woolley
. Mary E. West
John A. Ruthven