In the cases of both sculptor Camille Claudel (1864-1943) and Britney Spears, we see situations where talented women were declared mentally unfit after family interventions.
(Wikimedia Commons/CP PICTURE ARCHIVE/Paul Chiasson)
Family members seeking to control women artists isn’t new. In the 1920s, doctors thought sculptor Camille Claudel could be released from the care of an asylum, but her family refused.
Clarice Beckett, Australia, 1887 - 1935, The red sunshade, 1932, Melbourne, oil on board; Gift of Alastair Hunter OAM and the late Tom Hunter in memory of Elizabeth through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
Known for her soft capturing of tonal shifts and poignant moments, painter Clarice Beckett’s legacy was almost lost to time and decay. Now her work is being celebrated in a major exhibition.
Detail of a collage work by Rosemary Karuga, Untitled, 1998.
© Karuga family/Courtesy Red Hill Art Gallery
The first female student at the famous Makerere University art school, Karuga only began an art career when she retired at 60. She ended up showing internationally.
Judith Beheading Holofernes, painted by Artemisia Gentileschi c. 1614-20.
Museo di Capodimonte, Napoli/Wikimedia Commons
50 years ago Art News published Linda Nochlin’s essay, Why have there been no great women artists? It would change how we see art and its institutions, and still reverberates today.
Why is the gender pay gap wider in the arts than other fields of employment? We mined the data looking for possible reasons.
Dorothea Tanning Estate
At a time when surrealists were objectifying women’s bodies, American artist Dorothea Tanning was looking deeper at the transformative potential of female experience and the unconscious.
Pat Larter (England; Australia, b.1936, d.1996) Pat’s anger 1992.
acrylic and mixed media on board, 91 x 60.5 cm; 92.5 x 62 cm.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Gift of Frank Watters 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program © Estate of Pat Larter. Photo: AGNSW 32.2018
Best known as the subject of her husband Richard’s work, Pat Larter was herself a major artist.
The 2002 installation ‘Rape Garage’ displayed statistics about rape, along with first-person narratives about sexual trauma.
Stefanie Bruser, Josh Edwards, Katie Grone and Lindsey Lee. Mixed media site installation at “At Home: A Kentucky Project with Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman.” 2001-2002. Courtesy the Flower Archive, housed at the Pennsylvania State University Archives.
Many Renaissance-era masterworks depicted rape and sexual assault as erotic. Beginning in the 1970s, artists worked to redefine rape as a crime of aggression and act of female subjugation.
An 1808 painting by Marie-Gabrielle Capet titled Atelier of Madame Vincent, showing Labille-Guiard at work (centre) as Capet fills her palette.
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard was a supremely skilled artist. But like so many talented women before and since, she suffered from snide allegations that she could not be capable of such brilliance.
Male monks were not the sole producers of books throughout the Middle Ages.
Detail from Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, c. 1616. Her role playing predates by centuries the preoccupations of artists such as Cindy Sherman.
Born into late-16th century Papal Rome, Gentileschi transcended the path of utter obscurity that was the lot of her female peers to become one of the most famous painters of the day.
Dorrit Black, The Bridge, 1930.
Oil on canvas on board,
60.0 x 81.0 cm.
Bequest of the artist, 1951, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
Dorrit Black, Grace Cossington Smith and Grace Crowley were some of many talented modernist women artists. But only with the advent of second wave feminism in the 1970s was their work properly acknowledged.
They’re silly, but the singer’s statement pants are an important comment on female storytelling.
The income gap between men and women is wider in the arts than the average gap across all industries in Australia. This is especially so for female writers, visual artists and musicians.
The average Australian female artist is better educated than her male counterpart but earns significantly less than him, new research shows. And artists’ incomes are declining in real terms.
There is a gender gap in the music and sound industry. Inspiring young girls about careers in these fields has never been more important.
Detail from Paula Modersohn-Becker’s Reclining Mother and Child.
Paula Modersohn-Becker painted female nudes unlike anything seen before. A new book brings to life this groundbreaking artist, who died at just 31.