I’ve started reading Women, Art, and Society by Whitney Chadwick. It explores the art historical assumptions that have classified women artists unfairly and feminism. Ms. Chadwick is currently a San Francisco State University Professor of Art.
In the preface of the book, Chadwick discusses the painters Angelica Kauffmann and Mary Moser. Both women were founding members of the British Royal Academy and weren’t allowed to study the male model that was the foundation of academic training at that time. They represent two examples of competent painters that fought for a place in history. Their gender didn’t fit but their art sure did.
Chadwick on her book: “It seeks also to identify major issues and new directions in research that might enrich the historical study of women artists and to summarize the work which has been done to date. The focus on the intersection between women as producers of art and women in representation helps to unravel the discourses that construct and naturalize ideas about women and femininity at specific historical moments.” This is very important in understanding the roles of women artists and the impact art history has played.
Which women artists have come before me? How hard was their path? What obstacles did they have to encounter? How does this affect my art career? What influence does art history have in my art? All questions, I ask myself to help understand my place in the art world. This helps frame my understanding behind the decisions I’ve had to make as an artist, educator, advocate, wife, sister, aunt, and woman.
Here are the links: