Still Life with Watermelon

Acrylic on Canvas

Alice Rubenstein Ehrlich studied with Gregory Ivy, founder of the Department of Art and the Weatherspoon Art Museum at Woman’s College, in the mid to late 1940’s. Ivy recommended her for a job teaching art at Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, where she taught until her retirement in the mid 1970’s. Still Life with Watermelon shows the Ivy modernist influence. Modernism is concerned primarily with qualities of color, shape, and line applied systematically or expressively, and marked over time by an increasing concern with flatness and a declining interest in the actual subject matter. In 2003, an exhibition entitled, Alice Ehrlich & Her Students: Tributes from Her Former Students, was mounted at the Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh. Ehrlich continued to paint well after the age of 90. Carolyn Harris, one of Ehrlich’s students and a Weaver Collection Artist, said the following of her teacher, “Alice Ehrlich captivated us with her love of art and her unquestioning faith that it was, for the lucky souls among us, the center of the universe. I went on to have other teachers, but none came close to making us feel we were simply, auspiciously gifted. That was the secret to her teaching…she waited, expectantly, confidently.”

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Robert W. Blevins, 2002