The Lack of Recognition of Women in Art

A professor once asked us:

“Why have there been no great women artists?”

Of course, she was trying to stir up trouble in hopes of a passionate, heated class discussion. The majority of my classmates in Women in Art, Literature and Music were, in fact, women. There were approximately two straight males who were the exception and blatantly admitted to only signing up for the course because they know absolutely nothing about women. Points for honesty, gentlemen.

We immediately felt defensive. The names of who we considered to be extraordinary female artists were being spat out by everyone in the room. Fiona Apple, Sofia Coppola, Audrey Hepburn, Sylvia Plath… I could easily list these women. But what was interesting was when she told us to pull out our iPods and look through the artists. The vast majority of musicians included in my own personal collection of music were men. And the same went for the rest of my classmates. And it isn’t because there aren’t women making music. Ladies are prominent in this artistic field and everyone knows it.

It turns out the question was the title of a piece written in 1971 by Linda Nochlin, a prominent presence in the studies of feminist art history.

(In progress…..)

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2 thoughts on “The Lack of Recognition of Women in Art

  1. This is an intriguing point. Perhaps you could begin to post about women artists on some regular basis (weekly? monthly?) and use that as a category in your blog. Over time, you would collect the background research and probably a story idea that you could then report and write.

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