Friday, July 31, 2009

Why So Few Women in Museums?

Looking through the galleries of an art museum, whether it is LACMA, the national gallery, or the Louvre, you are unlikely to find more than a handful of female artists. This is not due to a lack of talented women, it is because women were not allowed in art academies or to apprentice under mentors. Art was seen as a distraction from a woman's true work- taking care of her family.

Those women who did learn to paint were most often related to male artists who would sign their work and claim it as their own. Judith Leyster, the only well known female artist of the Dutch Baroque, was often passed off as her male contemporary Franz Hals by art dealers trying to get a higher price. Art Historians suspect that some of Jan Van Eyk's greatest masterpieces were painted by his sister.

Thanks to feminist art historians, female artists throughout history are beginning to get notice. While women still may be scarce in museums, the internet is a great resource for finding out more about female artists.
This awesome website highlights the work of women throughout the centuries and provides links to other websites that tell the story of women in art.

photo courtesy of

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This is a great blog, Sal! :D I love it.