Linda Nochlin

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Linda Nochlin
Born (1931-01-30) January 30, 1931 (age 84)
New York City, United States
Education Vassar College
Columbia University
New York University
Occupation Art historian

Linda Nochlin (née Weinberg; born January 30, 1931) is an American art historian, university professor, and writer. A prominent feminist art historian, she is well known for her pioneering article, published in 1971, called "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?".[1]

Education and Career[edit]

Nochlin was born in Brooklyn, New York.[2] She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Vassar College, an M.A. in English from Columbia University, and a Ph.D in the history of art from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 1963.

After working in the art history departments at Yale University, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (with Rosalind Krauss), and Vassar College, Nochlin took a position at the Institute of Fine Arts, where she taught until retiring in 2013.[3] In 2000, Self and History: A Tribute to Linda Nochlin was published, an anthology of essays developing themes that Nochlin has worked on throughout her career.

Nochlin has also been involved in publishing other essays and books including Women, Art, and Power: And Other Essays (1988), The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society (1989), Women in the 19th Century: Categories and Contradictions (1997), and Representing Women (1999).

Her critical attention has been drawn to investigating the ways in which gender affects the creation and apprehension of art, as evidenced by her 1994 essay "Issues of Gender in Cassatt and Eakins".[4] Besides feminist art history, she is best known for her work on Realism, specifically on Gustave Courbet.

Complementing her career as an academic, she serves on the Art Advisory Council of the International Foundation for Art Research.[5] In 2006, Nochlin received a Visionary Woman Award] from Moore College of Art & Design.[6]

Nochlin was the co-curator of a number of landmark exhibitions exploring the history and achievements of female artists.

Feminist Art History and Women in Art[edit]

In 1971, ArtNews published Nochlin's essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" in which she explores the many assumptions embedded in the title's question. For example, she considers the very nature of art along with the reasons why the notion of artistic genius has been reserved for male geniuses such as Michelangelo. Nochlin argues that significant societal barriers have prevented women from pursuing art, including restrictions on educating women in art academies and "the entire romantic, elitist, individual-glorifying, and monograph-producing substructure upon which the profession of art history is based ".[1] The thirty-year anniversary of Nochlin's ground-breaking inquiry informed a conference at Princeton University in 2001. The book associated with the conference, "Women artists at the Millennium", includes Nochlin's essay ""Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" Thirty Years After". In the conference and in the book, art historians addressed the innovative work of such figures as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Francesca Woodman, Carrie Mae Weems and Mona Hatoum in the light of the legacies of thirty years of feminist art history, appeared in 2006.

In her 1994 essay "Starting from Scratch: The Beginnings of Feminist Art History," Nochlin reflected on her awakening as a feminist and its impact on her scholarship and teaching: "In 1969, three major events occurred in my life: I had a baby, I became a feminist, and I organized the first class in Women and Art at Vassar College."[7]

Nochlin deconstructs art history by identifying and questioning methodological presuppositions.[8] Across an arc of decades, she has been an advocate for "art historians who investigate the work before their eyes while focusing on its subject matter, informed by a sensitivity to its feminist spirit."[9]

Selected works[edit]

Nochlin's published writings encompass 156 works in 280 publications in 12 languages and 20,393 library holdings.[10]


  1. ^ a b Nochlin, Linda. "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" ARTnews January 1971: 22-39, 67-71.
  2. ^ Chinese University of Hong Kong, Linda Nochlin
  3. ^ Pierce, Richard (2007-01-29). "CAA Names Linda Nochlin 2007 Distinguished Scholar". NYU Today. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  4. ^ Nochlin, Linda. (1994). "Issues of Gender in Cassatt and Eakins" in Nineteenth Century Art: A Critical History, pp. 255-273.
  5. ^ "About IFAR". International Foundation for Art Research. 
  6. ^ "Moore College of Art & Design – Visionary Woman Awards Gala". Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  7. ^ Broude, edited by Norma; al.], Mary D. Garrard ; contributors, Judith K. Brodsky ... [et (1996). The power of feminist art : the American movement of the 1970s, history and impact. New York: H.N. Abrams. p. 130. ISBN 0810926598. 
  8. ^ Nochlin, Linda. (1999). "Memoirs of an Ad Hoc Art Historian" in Representing Women, pp. 6-33.
  9. ^ "Book Overview," Representing Women.
  10. ^ WorldCat Identities: Linda Nochlin


External links[edit]