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Catalog Number ORG 2003.02
Title Studio Guild Records
Collection Organizations
Object Name Records
Date 1938-1996
Scope & Content The collection includes organizational records of the Studio Guild from 1938-1993 with a gap in the 1980s when the secretary did not make written records.

The collection contains membership lists, store records, secretary's and treasurer's reports, as well as the Guild's constitution, correspondence, and papers of the Guild's first two years.

The Fortnightly Club is a related collection.
Admin/Biographical History The Studio Guild spun off from the Fortnightly Club, which was originally established in 1881, the third women's club to be organized in Massachusetts.

As its name implies, the Fortnightly Club met every fourteen days for the purpose of improving the mental, moral, and physical well being of its members and the community. Individual members took turns being responsible for the club's programs, alternating the focus of attention among Literature and the Drama, Current Events, Education, History and Travel, Domestic Economy, Government, Art, Social Science, and Economics.

In 1935 the club launched a series of craft classes in oil painting, ceramics and weaving. The oils class started with six or eight women who eventually decided to meet each week under the tutelage of Elizabeth Lobingier, an amateur artist who was also the wife of a local religious educator and author. By 1937, the group had expanded to ten enthusiastic regulars who severed their ties to the Fortnightly Club, rented a studio and became known as the Studio Guild.

Mrs. Lobingier continued as the Studio Guild's instructor for several years. In the beginning the group was limited to ten members, the maximum number that could be accommodated in the studio space then available. Initially, membership in the group was closely controlled by the stipulation that formal sponsorship by two existing members was required in order to nominate anyone for admission, and new applicants had to be approved by the governing board. But as more people became interested in joining the group and as more commodious quarters were procured, the membership limit was gradually increased to thirty before it was done away with altogether, following World War II.

Mrs. Lobingier was succeeded by a number of professional art instructors, beginning with King Coffin who served in that capacity for many years. The Studio Guild was the only organization in town to offer artists formal training, as well as a place to set up and store their artwork.

During the first ten years of its existence, the Guild moved its studio from place to place, finally settling down in 1947 in the former Fortnightly Hall on the second floor at 9 Mount Vernon Street in the building that housed Randall's Restaurant. In 1985 the building was bought by the owners of Lucia's Restaurant and the studio space was renovated for offices. The Guild then moved to the Old Parish Hall at the Church of the Epiphany at 70 Church Street, where it remained until the organization disbanded in the late 1990s. Many members joined the Arlington Art Association because no studio space was available in Winchester.
Copyrights Permission to publish material from this collection is subject to approval by the Town of Winchester.
Finding Aids A finding aid with detailed information about the contents of the collection is available. Contact the Archives for a copy.
Subjects Art
Art clubs
Search Terms Fortnightly Club
Randall's Restaurant
People Coffin, King
Lobingier, Elizabeth
Containers Studio Guild
Leases and Rents
Treasurer's Reports
Treasurer's Reports
Secretary's Reports
Secretary's Reports
Members Survey