Women in the art history field

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Not to be confused with Women artists.

Women were professionally active in the academic discipline of art history already in the nineteenth century and participated in the important shift early in the century that began involving an "emphatically corporeal visual subject", with Vernon Lee as a notable example.[1] It is argued that in the twentieth century women art historians (and curators), by choosing to study women artists, "dramatically" "increased their visibility".[2] In fact, women art historians are one of two groups (besides authors of high-school texbooks) "who say there have been great women artists" in the first place, according to the authors of a study of the representations of women artists in US textbooks.[3]

Education and employment[edit]

In the United States professional, academic employment for women art historians was, by the early 1970s, not commensurate with the number of female PhDs in art history. Between 1960 and 1969, 30.1% of PhDs were awarded to women but those numbers increased significantly during that period: between 1960 and 1965 it was 27%, but between 1966 and 1967 it had gone up to 43.5%. But in 1970-1971, women art historians in art departments in the US made up 23.1% of instructors, 21.6% of assistant professors, 17.5% of associate professors, and only 11.1% of full professors. Comparison with the numbers for the same years for women in the languages, from a study done by the Modern Language Association, showed that "women in C.A.A. [College Art Association] professions face[d] rather more severe discrimination than women in M.L.A. fields". Similar tendencies were reported for salary and employment in studio teaching ("preliminary statistics...indicate that women artists receive a disproportionately small share of full-time studio jobs") and in museums ("particularly significant was a tendency to hire women with BAs to be secretaries and men with BAs for trainee programs which rapidly advanced them to more challenging positions).[4]

The history of women in the profession also suggests that art education itself has benefited from the increased presence of professional women art historians, since women students sometimes found it necessary to "redo" an education in which only a male point of view had been provided given. Paula Harper, "one of the first art historians to bring a feminist perspective to the study of painting and sculpture",[5] and Moira Roth shared the same experience of a "one-sided training", of feeling left out.[6] Discrimination against "women in college and university art departments and art museums" was, in the early 1970s, the immediate cause for the foundation of the Women's Caucus for Art (see below).[4]

In a statistical study of US employment among art faculties published in 1977, Sandra Packard notes that "in art departments women have been decreasing in number since the 1930's", and that the number of women in art faculties at institutes of higher education "decreas[ed] from 22% in 1963 to a low of 19.5% in 1974", and cites statistics suggesting that "although women are concentrated at the lower ranks in art faculties, they have more Ph.D. degrees than their male colleagues."[7]

Representation[edit]

The Women's Caucus for Art (WCA), a caucus for woman art historians, artists, and curators was founded at the 1972 meeting of the College Art Association (CAA), but re-established itself as an independent organization in 1974 after the CAA told them they could not use the CAA name anymore. According to Judith Brodsky, the CAA was, at the time, very much a male-dominated organization; she notes, though, in a 1977 article that the Caucus is given space and time at the annual CAA conference and in the CAA's journal, Art Journal.[8] A Lifetime Achievement Award was installed in 1979. The organization's objectives include "providing women with leadership opportunities and professional development" and "expanding networking and exhibition opportunities for women", and to that purpose publishes a newsletter, organizes sessions at conferences, and runs databases for "art and activism". In 2012 the WCA celebrated its 40th anniversary, and published a pamphlet for the annual awards ceremony that also includes a number of historical essays and reflections from the past presidents.[9]

Women art historians and feminist art theory[edit]

Feminist scholars have argued that the role of women art historians is connected to the study of women (as artists and as subjects) by art historians.[10] In 1974, Lise Vogel noted that there were few feminist art historians, and that women art historians in general seemed unwilling to ask "the more radical critiques" a feminist scholar should engage in.[11] In a 1998 essay, Corine Schleif argued that women and feminist scholars need to challenge the "Great Master" canon, and that they need to focus less on "style as evidence of authorship", seen as a traditionally masculine way of viewing the history of art, but rather on style as "one of many sites on the production of meaning". The topic of women scholars in art history is thus intricately connected with what scholars have called feminist art theory;[10] Kerry Freedman, for example, claims that "women art historians often interpret art that is about and by women differently than their male colleagues".[12] However, Carol Armstrong and Catherine de Zegher, in Women artists at the millennium (2006), argue that by the 1980s many "women art history scholars" had begun to think of feminism as irrelevant to the discipline.[13]

Notable women art historians[edit]

Name Nationality Dates Specialization Profession
Alpers, SvetlanaSvetlana Alpers American 1946 Dutch Golden Age Painting Art historian
Antonelli, PaolaPaola Antonelli Italian 1963 Modern Art, Design Curator
Mouriki, DoulaDoula Mouriki Greek 1934 - 1991 Byzantinologist, Historian of Art Professor
Arscott, CarolineCaroline Arscott English Victorian art, 19th century art Art historian
Ashton, DoreDore Ashton American 1928 Modern Art, Contemporary Art Writer, professor, art critic
Atasoy, NurhanNurhan Atasoy Turkish 1934 Ottoman art and architecture Art historian
Bal, MiekeMieke Bal Dutch 1946 Modern Art, Contemporary Art Cultural theorist, video artist
Banti, AnnaAnna Banti Italian 1895–1985 Italian Baroque, female artists Writer, art historian, art critic, translator
Barnes, RuthRuth Barnes British Material culture, South and Southeast Asian Textiles Art historian, curator
Beckett, WendyWendy Beckett (aka 'Sister Wendy') British 1930 Catholic art Art historian, Catholic nun
Berenson, MaryMary Berenson [14][15] American 1864–1945
Dorléac, Laurence BertrandLaurence Bertrand Dorléac French 1957 Modern and contemporary Art historian, professor, curator
Bieber, MargareteMargarete Bieber [16] German 1879–1978 Theatre, sculpture, and clothing of ancient Rome and Greece Art historian, professor
Bing, GertrudGertrud Bing [17] German 1892–1964
Boggs, Jean SutherlandJean Sutherland Boggs [18] Canadian 1922 Nineteenth-century French art, Degas Curator, art historian, and first female director of the National Gallery of Canada
Brookner, AnitaAnita Brookner [19] English 1936
Browse, LillianLillian Browse British 1906–2005 Art dealer, art historian
Bruggen, Coosje vanCoosje van Bruggen [20] Dutch-American 1942–2009 Artist, art historian
Bulling, AnnelieseAnneliese Bulling German, American 1900–2004 Sinologist, Chinese Art and Arch. Art lecturer, art historian
Caws, Mary AnnMary Ann Caws American 1933 Modern Art, Contemporary art Author, literary critic, art historian
Churcher, BettyBetty Churcher[21] Australian Art historian, first female director of the National Gallery of Australia)
Cooke, LynneLynne Cooke Australian Modern art, Contemporary art Curator
d'Harnoncourt, AnneAnne d'Harnoncourt American 1943–2008 Curator, and Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Dickerman, LeahLeah Dickerman American Modern art, Contemporary art Curator, art historian
DilkeEmilia, Lady Dilke[22] English 1840–1904
Joan Evans British 1893–1977 Art historian
Graevenitz, Antje vonAntje von Graevenitz German 1940- Art historian, Art critic
Harper, PaulaPaula Harper American 1930-2012 Feminist art, Pissarro, contemporary art Art historian, art critic, art lecturer, author
Hoff, UrsulaUrsula Hoff German, Australian 1909–2005
Hoffmann, MeikeMeike Hoffmann German 1962
Holly, Michael AnnMichael Ann Holly American Historiography of Art History Art historian
Jones, AmeliaAmelia Jones American
Klonk, CharlotteCharlotte Klonk German Modern Art, Contemporary Art, Museology Art historian
Krauss, RosalindRosalind Krauss American
Lanckorońska, KarolinaKarolina Lanckorońska Polish 1898–2002
Mulvey, LauraLaura Mulvey English 1941 feminist film theorist
Lewis, SamellaSamella Lewis American 1924 African-American art Art historian, art critic, and artist (printmaker)
Lippard, LucyLucy Lippard American 1937 Contemporary Art Art critic, curator
Müller-Ebeling, ClaudiaClaudia Müller-Ebeling German 1956
Philip, Lotte BrandLotte Brand Philip German 1910–1986
Nochlin, LindaLinda Nochlin [23] American 1931 Art historian
Pollock, GriseldaGriselda Pollock [24] English/Canadian 1949–
Rebay, HillaHilla Rebay
Robbins, TrinaTrina Robbins American 1938 History of comics Artist and writer
Rose, BarbaraBarbara Rose American
Rottenberg, AndaAnda Rottenberg Polish 1944–
Schopenhauer, JohannaJohanna Schopenhauer [25] German 1766–1838 Artist, author
Shabout, NadaNada Shabout American 1962 Modern Iraqi art Art historian
Silverman, KajaKaja Silverman American 1947– Film theorist, art historian
Stafford, Barbara MariaBarbara Maria Stafford American Art historian
Steinitz, KateKate Steinitz [26] German-American 1889–1975 Artist, art historian
Stiles, KristineKristine Stiles American 1947– Art historian, curator
Stokes, MargaretMargaret Stokes [27] Irish 1832–1900 Antiquarian
Stokstad, MarilynMarilyn Stokstad [28] American 1929–
Swindler, Mary HamiltonMary Hamilton Swindler [29] American 1884–1967
Temkin, AnnAnn Temkin American
Thompson, Dorothy BurrDorothy Burr Thompson [30] American 1900–2001
Tietze-Conrat, EricaErica Tietze-Conrat [31] Austrian, American 1883–1958 Contemporary Viennese Art, Renaissance art, the Venetian school Academic lecturer
Tipping, MarjorieMarjorie Tipping [32] Australian 1917–2009 Historian
Toynbee, JocelynJocelyn Toynbee [33] English 1897–1985
Tucker, MarciaMarcia Tucker [34] American 1940–2006
Vetulani, CecyliaCecylia Vetulani Polish 1908–1980
Wagner, AnneAnne Wagner
Wagner-Rieger, RenateRenate Wagner-Rieger [35] Austrian 1921–1980 Architecture, historicism Academic lecturer
Welch, EvelynEvelyn Welch
Wharton, EdithEdith Wharton [36] American 1862–1937
Whinney, MargaretMargaret Whinney [37] English 1897–1975
Williams, SylviaSylvia Williams American 1936–1996 African art Curator, museum director
Wilson, SarahSarah Wilson English
Wischnitzer, RachelRachel Wischnitzer German 1885–1989
Wittkower, MargotMargot Wittkower German-American 1902-1995 Neo-Palladian Architecture, Italian Renaissance, Baroque Writer, Interior Design
Woodall, JoannaJoanna Woodall British Portraiture, Netherlandish Art
Woodall, MaryMary Woodall British 1901–1988 Thomas Gainsborough scholar Museum director, curator
Yates, FrancesFrances Yates [38] English 1899–1981 Renaissance
Zahorska, StefaniaStefania Zahorska Polish 1890–1961 Polish prosaist

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fraser, Hilary (1998–1999). "Women and the Ends of Art History: Vision and Corporeality in Nineteenth-Century Critical Discourse". Victorian Studies 42 (1): 77–100. doi:10.2979/vic.1998.42.1.77. 
  2. ^ Tannenbaum, Judith (1994). "East Coast- C Is for Contemporary Art Curator: Curiosity, Contradiction, Collaboration, Challenge". Art Journal 53 (3): 47, 49, 51, 53 55, 57, 59. doi:10.2307/777431. 
  3. ^ Clark, Roger; Ashley Folgo (2006). "Who Says There Have Been Great Women Artists? Some Afterthoughts". Art Education 59 (2): 47–52. 
  4. ^ a b Harris, Ann Sutherland (1973). "Women in College Art Departments and Museums". Art Journal 32 (4): 417–19. doi:10.2307/775692. 
  5. ^ Grady, Denise (25 June 2012). "Paula Hays Harper, Art Historian, Is Dead at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Harper, Paula (1985). "The First Feminist Art Program: A View from the 1980s". Signs 10 (4): 762–81. doi:10.1086/494182. 
  7. ^ Packard, Sandra (1977). "An Analysis of Current Statistics and Trends as They Influence the Status and Future for Women in the Art Academe". Studies in Art Education 18 (2): 38–48. doi:10.2307/1319477. 
  8. ^ Brodsky, Judith K. (1977). "The Women's Caucus for Art". Women's Studies Newsletter 5 (1/2): 13–15. 
  9. ^ "Women's Caucus for Art: 40th Anniversary Celebration". Women's Caucus for Art. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Schleif, Corine (1998). "The Role of Women in Challenging the Canon of 'Great Master' Art History". In Amussen, Susan Dwyer; Seeff, Adele F. Attending to Early Modern Women. U of Delaware P. ISBN 9780874136500. 
  11. ^ Vogel, Lise (1991). "Fine Arts and Feminism: The Awakening Consciousness". In Raven, Arlene; Langer, Cassandra L.; Frueh, Joanna. Feminist Art Criticism: An Anthology. IconEditions. pp. 21–58. ISBN 9780064302166. 
  12. ^ Freedman, Kerry (1994). "About This Issue: The Social Reconstruction of Art Education". Studies in Art Education 35 (3): 131–34. doi:10.2307/1320214. 
  13. ^ Mathews, Patricia (2008). "Art and Architecture: Art History". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Oxford UP. pp. 142–43. ISBN 9780195148909. 
  14. ^ "Mary Berenson". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  15. ^ "Mary Berenson". Villa I Tatti. 2013. 
  16. ^ "Margarete Bieber". Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  17. ^ "Gertrud Bing; Gertrude Bing". Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  18. ^ "Jean Sutherland Boggs". Dictionary of Art Historians. 1966-08-07. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  19. ^ "Dictionary of Art Historians". Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  20. ^ "Dictionary of Art Historians". Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  21. ^ "Churcher, Betty, AO AM FAHA". Humanities.org.au. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  22. ^ "Lady Dilke; Emilia Francis Strong; Emily Francis Strong; Mrs Mark Pattison". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  23. ^ "Linda Nochlin". Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  24. ^ "Griselda Pollock". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  25. ^ "Johanna Henrietta Schopenhauer". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  26. ^ "Kate Steinitz; Kate Traumann Steinitz". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  27. ^ "Margaret Stokes". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  28. ^ "Marilyn Stokstad". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  29. ^ "Swindler, Mary Hamilton". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  30. ^ "Dorothy Burr Thompson". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  31. ^ "Erica Tietze-Conrat; Erika Tietze-Conrat". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  32. ^ "Tipping, Marjorie Jean (1917 - 2009)". The Australia Women's Register. Australia Women's Archives Project. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  33. ^ "Jocelyn Toynbee, J.M.C. Toynbee". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  34. ^ "Tucker, Marcia, née Silverman". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  35. ^ "Wagner-Rieger, Renate [née Rieger]". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  36. ^ "Wharton, Edith [née Newbold Jones, Edith]". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  37. ^ "Whinney, Margaret [Dickens]". Dictionary of Art Historians. 
  38. ^ "Yates, Frances [Amelia], Dame". Dictionary of Art Historians.