A Woman's Touch

Throughout history, women have been involved in making art, however, because of gender roles and biases in historical times, most of the art forms they dominated were dismissed as "crafts" as opposed to fine art. It has only been in recent years that women in art have been gaining proper recognition and can get the training they need to travel and trade their work. Their recognition can be credited to the 'Feminist art movement'  that began in the late 1960s and 1970s and helped by addressing the role of women in the art world and exploring their significance in art history. The purpose of this exhibit is to continue to explore, study, and appreciate the works of these female artists in history at a time when they struggled to produce their own art and be recognized. Women who practiced art began to blossom in Europe, especially during the Renaissance, which is where this exhibit begins and will span through to modern day where their important journey that brought them to this point in time can be understood. 

This stunning portrait is accredited to the talented Italian Renaissance painter, Anguissola, who became the court painter for the Spanish king. Her work was the inspiration for subsequent generations of artists and paved the way for larger numbers of women pursuing the arts as a career.
This famous portrait c. 1595 was done by Lavinia Fontana, an Italian artist recognized as the first woman artist, working within the same sphere as her male counterparts, outside a court or convent. Her oeuvre is considered the largest for any female artist prior to 1700.
Italian Baroque painter, Gentileschi, was considered one of the most accomplished painters of her generation. She painted many pictures of strong and suffering women from myth and the Bible, including the story of Judith. This is one of her best-known images.
Garzoni was an Italian painter from the Baroque era whose unusual style of painting helped to gain her recognition. She painted mainly decorative and luscious still-lifes of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Her skillful depictions were among the paintings most coveted by wealthy patrons.
Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter, Kauffman, managed to cross the gender barriers to gain the skills needed to build a reputation as a successful history painter (unusual for a woman painter in 18th century). She was admired by her colleagues and sought after by wealthy patrons.
Madame Lebrun was a French painter who is recognized as the most important female painter of the 18th century. So pleased was Marie Antoinette with her work, that Lebrun served as the queen's portrait painter. In a six year period, she would paint more than 30 portraits of the queen and family.
Bonheur was a French animaliére, realist artist, and sculptor. This particular painting is one of the chief works that brought her fame. She is widely considered to have been the most famous female painter of the 19th century.
Lewis was an African/Native American sculptor who worked in Rome for most of her career. She gained fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. Obstacles relating to Lewis' ethnicity did not stop her from becoming a talented sculptor whose works sold for large sums of money.
American artist, O'Keeffe, has been recognized as the Mother of American Modernism. Pieces, like this one, were inspired by her time in New Mexico where she collected many rocks and bones from the desert floor.
Whiteread is a contemporary English artist who primarily produces sculptures. She was the first woman to win the annual Turner Prize in 1993. Whiteread tends to the overlooked; in this piece she seeks to give spaces an authority they never had. This workaday door has been made to stand up for itself, commanding our sympathy.
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