Friday, November 30, 2012



Gender, race, class and art history occupy most part of the course of mankind. And artists of different background have demonstrated a greater commitment to this course by projecting the unearned privileges that seem to sustain inequality among people and societies.  So art spans the entire history of humankind, from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century. Nevertheless, Chadwick notes that “any study of women artists must examine how art history is written” and it is with strong passion for arts that most of the artists, notably Alice Barbara Stephens, Mary Ellen Mark, Sofoniba Anguissola, Gertrude Käsebier and Marina Abramović have embarked on separate artistic agenda to bring to bear various issues of concern and also to project the role of arts in society (17).  They have for years been influential in 19th century American Arts- Angels and Tomboys, Woman Behind and in front of the camera, Renaissance, feminism and performance arts respectively.

Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art is a major traveling loan exhibition, which is the first to examine nineteenth-century depictions of girls in paintings, sculpture, prints and photographs.  The exhibition analyzes the myriad ways that artists vigorously participated in the artistic and social construction of girlhood while also revealing the hopes and fears that adults had for their children. While the sentimental portrayal of girls as angelic, passive and domestic was the pervasive characterization, this project also identifies and analyses compelling and transgressive female images including tomboys, working children and adolescents. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the American girl seemed transformed—at once more introspective and adventurous than her counterpart of the previous generation. She took center stage in the stories of Louisa May Alcott and Henry James at the same moment that contemporary painters, illustrators, photographers, and sculptors asked her to pose. For the first time, girls claimed the attention of genre artists, and girlhood itself seized the imagination of the nation. Although the culture still prized the demure female child of the past, many saw a bolder type as the new, alternate ideal. Girlhood was no longer simple, and the complementary images of angel and tomboy emerged as competing visions of this new generation.

        Alice Barber Stephens, 1858 – 1932

Alice Barber was born on a farm near Salem, NJ, where she attended local schools. The family moved to Philadelphia, and by 1873 she was a full time student at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art). There she became proficient at engraving, an important skill in the days before photo-mechanical reproduction. In 1876 she enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she studied under Thomas Eakins. Among her classmates was Emily Sartain. Financial considerations finally forced her to turn to full-time engraving, but by 1885, the long hours and close work affected her health. She turned to pen and ink drawing and was soon supporting herself by illustration in that medium. During a trip to Europe she took up painting in oils. When she returned, she supported herself with pen and ink illustration and painted for relaxation.

In 1890 she married another fellow Academy student, Charles Hallowell Stephens, by this time a teacher at the Academy. She continued to work as an illustrator, now in color and with a softer effect produced by paint instead of pen and ink. Her talents were equally effective in the domestic genre stories then popular in magazines, and with more dramatic illustrations for works by Conan Doyle. With Emily Sartain, Alice Barber Stephens was one of the founders of The Plastic club in 1897. She served as vice president every year from 1897 through 1912. Stephens was also active in the establishment of the Fellowship of the Academy of fine Arts, and served on the Board for several years. Her career spanned fifty years, during which time she earned the respect of her fellow artists, male and female. She was active in lecturing and teaching, and in demand as a judge of art and photography. There were numerous exhibitions of her work during her lifetime. In 1984, more than 50 years after her death, the Brandywine River Museum held an exhibition of her work.

“The woman in Business”, 1897


Rich consumers and the working poor are contrasted in this powerful grisaille, a painting composed of just black, grey, brown and white. Set in the cavernous interior of John Wanamaker’s Philadelphia department store, this scene includes a juvenile shop assistant with a sad, serious and retired expression in the foreground juxtaposed to a fashionably dressed shopper reviewing merchandise behind her.

Mary Ellen Mark, Christian Bikers, Arizona, 1988

Finding inspiration in the outer fringes of society, photographer Mary Ellen Mark is known for her highly humanistic images. Born in 1940 in Philadelphia, Mark attended the University of Pennsylvania earning a B.F.A in art history and painting and an M.A. in photojournalism. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Cornell Capa Award from the International Center of Photography in 2001. Mark has photographed a diverse range of subjects, including homeless families, Bombay prostitutes, Seattle runaways, drug addicts, and the sick.  In stark contrast, Mark has also photographed actors and directors, shooting primarily on Hollywood movie sets. Many of these images, intended for reproduction in periodicals, have earned Mark recognition in the media world in addition to the art world. Shooting primarily in black and white, Mark provides the viewer a chance to look at other worlds outside their own
Mary Ellen Mark
“Private School, Miami”, 1986
“Sisters-Christian Bikers, Arizona”, 1988




Both photographs by Mary Mark depict adolescent girls from different parts of the United States. The subjects’ shyness is obvious. Nonetheless, these girls do not hide their insecurities or mask their awkwardness. Mark captures their vulnerability, noticeable especially by the girls wearing their school uniforms; their body language, restrained similes and stern gazes suggest certain timidity. The two sisters leaning on the motorcycle convey a tougher appearance and confidence, particularly the girl on the right. Her piercing eyes, hairstyle and posture grant her a tomboyish look and she appears as though she owns the vehicle. It is evident from these images that the photographer established a close relationship to her subjects.


Sofoniba Anguissola- Renaissance Painter

Renaissance movement that took place from roughly 1300 to 1500 also meant “rebirth,” and the term “Renaissance Man” was coined. “Renaissance Man” is still used to today to describe a person who is creative, artistic, musical, and worldly and can seemingly be able and willing to do it all. Not until the sixteenth century did a few women manage to turn the new Renaissance emphasis on virtue and gentility into positive attributes for the women artists. Therefore, Guerilla Girls notes that if a “woman wanted to be work as an artist, she most likely would have had to be born into a family of nobility” (29). Many women of the Renaissance were illiterate or not well educated. They couldn’t make their own money and seemed to survive through marriage and raising a family.

The woman’s role in the Renaissance was to be a child-bearer, a keeper of the home and a good wife. The family as a unit was vital to Italian society, and the class system of these families was in full effect. The Renaissance masters represented the woman’s role in very interesting and strange ways within their paintings.  Even though women were seen as domestic creatures, rarely were they depicted in domestic settings. Instead, they were shown as Biblical figures, in high society portraiture or, most interesting of all, as nudes portrayed in a very sexual manner. These representations are almost the exact opposite of their daily role and this could be an interesting examination on the psychology of the Renaissance male artist. It is possible that the representation of women were projections of what men wanted Renaissance women to be, or an unconscious rebellion of what society was like at that time. Whatever the reason, the depictions of women during the Renaissance are vital to the study of women in art as they reveal the way Renaissance life was and how women were viewed during these years.

Sofonisba Anguissola was a rare exception and was the best known of the sisters, she was trained, with Elena, by Bernardino Campi and Gatti. Most of Vasari's account of his visit to the Anguissola family is devoted to Sofonisba, about whom he wrote: 'Anguissola has shown greater application and better grace than any other woman of our age in her endeavours at drawing; she has thus succeeded not only in drawing, colouring and painting from nature, and copying excellently from others, but by herself has created rare and very beautiful paintings'. Sofonisba's privileged background was unusual among woman artists of the 16th century, most of whom, like Lavinia Fontana, Fede Galizia and Barbara Longhi, were daughters of painters. Her social class did not, however, enable her to transcend the constraints of her sex. Without the possibility of studying anatomy, or drawing from life, she could not undertake the complex multi-figure compositions required for large-scale religious or history paintings. She turned instead to the models accessible to her, exploring a new type of portraiture with sitters in informal domestic settings. Aristocratic, intelligent, extraordinarily well-connected, she amazed all her contemporaries. Her self-portraits and portraits of her family are considered her finest works; they are somewhat stiff, but can have great charm. Chadwick, in reference to Anguissola maintains, that “the first woman painter to achieve fame and respect did so within a set of constraints that removed her from competing for commissions with her male contemporaries and that effectively placed her within in a critical category of her own” (79). Being a female artist her achievements were even more extraordinary considering the social attitudes of her time to the notion of a female as artist.
Sofonisba Anguissola self-portrait 1561


Chadwick notes that “among the small group of documented self-portraits from the period is a “self-portrait of 1561” depicting the artists as a “serious, conservatively dressed young woman at the keyboard of a spinet” and so it evident that a great care was taken to create a self-image that was reflective of herself (79). Again, the presence of the musical instrument may show Anguissola’s skills as a member of a cultured noble family at a time when musical accomplishment, long recognized as desirable for noblemen and women, was becoming a mark of culture for artists of both sexes. It is important to note that Anguissola was very influential and has indeed made a great mark in the arts world. Here, Chadwick states that “ her example opened up the possibility of painting to women as a socially acceptable profession, while her work established new conventions for self-portraiture by women and for Italian genre painting” and this makes one of the leaders in arts movement (77).

Self Portrait 1554


Not only was Sofonisba Anguissola influential within her community, but she was one of the first female artists to receive international renown. Word of her talents spread when she was being taught by one of the most influential artists of the Renaissance, Michelangelo himself.



Gertrude Käsebier
American, 1852-1934

Gertrude Käsebier was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her evocative images of motherhood, her powerful portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women. On her twenty-second birthday, in 1874, she married twenty-eight-year-old Eduard Käsebier, a financially comfortable and socially well-placed businessman in Brooklyn. Käsebier later wrote that she was miserable throughout most of her marriage. She said, "If my husband has gone to Heaven, I want to go to Hell. He was terrible…Nothing was ever good enough for him.” At that time divorce was considered scandalous, and the two remained married while living separate lives after 1880. This unhappy situation would later serve as an inspiration for most of her striking works as a feminist. Gertrude Kasebier, while studying painting in her late thirties, shifted her interests to photography. With a minimum of professional training, she decided to become a portrait photographer and opened a studio in 1897. Success came very quickly and she was recognized as a major talent by Alfred Stieglitz who brought her into the Photo-Secessionist group and reproduced a number of her photographs in the first issue of Camera Work. Gertrude Kasebier, was well known for her work in portraits, employing relaxed poses in natural light. She emphasized the play of light and dark, and allowed the sitter to fill the frame so little room was left in the edges of the photograph. In addition, Gertrude Kasebier was very creative and talented in the printing process. Her background in painting gave her the ablility to manipulate the surface of her photographs producing beautiful images that often have a painterly quality. The University Gallery at the University of Delaware is the repository of the largest collegiate collection of Gertrude Kasebier photographs. Barbara Michaels wrote a book on Gertrude Kasebier in 1991 entitled, Gertrude Kasebier: The Photographer and Her Photographs. Käsebier generally printed in platinum or gum bichromate emulsions and frequently altered her photographs by retouching a negative or by rephotographing an altered print. She was the leading woman pictorialist photographer of her day and, as a married woman with children who attained success and fame, she became a model for others, including Imogen Cunningham.


Gertrude Käsebier
“Blessed Art Thou amongst Women”, 1899





Here, two generations are dramatically contrasted. The mother in a white flowering dress appears as an “angel in the house”, the Victorian ideal of the true woman who devotes her life to family and domesticity. She is contrasted to her daughter dressed in black and standing confidently in the doorway, a symbol of transition. The daughter is about to leave the security and confinement of home, suggesting a radically different life than that of her nurturing and subservient mother.



Marina Abramović- Performance Artists

Marina Abramović was born November 30, 1946 in Belgrade, Serbia and is a New York-based Serbian artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Active for over three decades, she has recently begun to describe herself as the "grandmother of performance art." Abramović's work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. To test the limits of the relationship between performer and audience, Abramović developed one of the most challenging (and best-known) performances. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being the force which would act on her. As a pioneer of performance art, Marina Abramović began using her own body as the subject, object, and medium of her work in the early 1970s. Visitors and art enthusiast are encouraged to sit silently across from the artist for duration of their choosing, becoming participants in the artwork. This makes her one of the most engaging artists in arts and without question one of the seminal artists of our time.

Marina Abramović
“Portrait with Flowers”, 2009.
Black-and-white gelatin silver print


Since the beginning of her career in Yugoslavia during the early 1970s where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Abramovic has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in the quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. Abramovic's concern is with creating works that ritualize the simple actions of everyday life like lying, sitting, dreaming, and thinking; in effect the manifestation of a unique mental state.

The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. New York: Penguin, 1998. Print

Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art, and Society. New York, NY: Thames and Hudson, 1990.Print.

Newark Museum, Angels and Tomboys, Women in front and behind the camera

Thursday, November 29, 2012



Girlhood in the 19th C.,  American Artist

These extraodinary paintings and pictures are part of an exhibition that takes a look at 19th century girls from paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs. It is a display of how artists participated in the artistic and social evolution of girlhood, while sharing the dreams and fears that the adults felt for the children of that period.  Depicting girls as angels and domestic, it explores images of females as tomboys and working class children.

                                                    Odestry & Innocence

                                          Marion Harland
                                                 "Daughters: or Commons Sense for Maid, Wife &
                                                  Mother", 1882 (best selling novel)
Harland was an American author who was a best seller of biographies, novels, short stories and essays.  She specialized in women fictional books and homemaking and cookbooks.  "Common Sense in th Household:Manual Practical Housewifery" was a book she became well known for.  She went blind in her 90's, but published her last novel in 1919. A true pioneer for women in the 19th century.

                                       Artist, Erastus Salisbury Field 
                                  "Mrs. Paul Smith Palmer and her twins"

This painting depicts the child on Mrs. Palmer's lap who is the girl, although the boy is wearing a dress also.  There is no modeling of the children or the mother and the feet of the child sitting is drawn incorrectly purposely, as well as the mother's left hand. Clearly the mother is not holding the child with both hands. Typical photo of mother and children.

                                      Artist, William Henry Lippincott
                                                            "Childish Thoughts", 1895

This is a material cultural painting. Model scared for posing for what an artist is admired for which is societal art set in a puritan idea.

                                       Artist, Abbott Handerson Thayer
                                                                      "Angel", 1887

This painting is an idea figure of a woman being portrayed in a virtuous way, wearing a flowing white dress or blouse with angel wings and feathers attached.  Artist sometimes mixed dirt in his paint for a different texture.

                                        Artist, Louisa May Alcott
                                         "Little Women", 1868-69

Paintings and novel follows the life, love and family problems of four sisters growing up during the Civil War. Set in Massachusettes, it is based on Alcott's childhood.

"Mother said real flowers were the prettiest ornaments, for young girls." 
by Alcott

Works Cited,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=ee40912ea7ea8986&bpcl=38897761,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=ee40912ea7ea8986&bpcl=38897761&biw=1525&bih=694,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=ee40912ea7ea8986&bpcl=38897761&biw=1525&bih=694,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&cad=b&sei=ibe2UKvZOsSq0AGwm4DAAg,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=fb06bac3926ed0b9&bpcl=38897761&biw=1525&bih=694

Channeling Emotions Through Art

Christine de Pizan, Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo, Claude Cahun, and Kara Walker are well-known aritists who chose art as a medium to illustrate their emotions and their beliefs. Some of these women, like Christine de Pizan, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Frida Kahlo were lucky to get exposed art and education because they were either into a wealthy family or their father or husband was a painter. Others, like Claude Cahun and Kara Walker were either inspired by their father or wanted to make a statement. Nonetheless, they all challenged men, pain, and societal norms in one way or another through the form of art.

Christine de Pizan was one the most famous women writers of the Middle Ages. She was born into a wealthy family from Italy. Her father, Thomas Pezano played a huge role in shaping her education as she was growing up. She was able to read and write as well as getting exposed to other areas of education like philosophy and Latin that were originally taught to men. She had strong belief in the equal rights of women. She wrote Cité des Dames (City of Ladies) in response to Boccaccio's De Claris Mulieribus. Boccaccio believed that women were talent-less and that it was very rare to find women who had talent. Pizan went on to refute his remarks by creating City of Ladies to challenge him. According to Chadwick, City of Ladies was based on a metaphorical city in which great women lived safe from slanders of men (35). Within the text, Pizan offered evidence of women's great achievements and was able to use examples to prove her point against Boccaccio. (Her point being that women are capable of being talented.) City of Ladies was a "defense of women in the face of centuries of misogynist writings" (36).

In this painting from the Book of City of Ladies portrays women being at work and taking charge.

Artemisia Gentileschi, 1630s

Judith Slaying Holofernes, 1620
Artemisia Gentileschi was the daughter of famous painter, Orazio Gentileschi. She was raped by her father's apprentice, Agostino Tassi at nineteen in 1612. Her case was taken to trial and afterwards, Artemisia Gentileschi assumed autonomy of her life as a woman. One of her famous works was Judith Slaying Holofernes. According to the Guerrilla Girls, it was based on the biblical story of a Jewish woman who decapitates an Assyrian general, an enemy of her people, by pretending to seduce him (37). Gentileschi's touch on the painting was different than of the traditional paintings of Judith where she was depicted as weak in her action of decapitating Holofernes. Gentileschi's version of Judith Slaying Holofernes portrayed action and bravery in the face of carnage and death. She believed that women should not be painted as passive weaklings. She believed they should be painted as being in control and taking charge of their own actions. Therefore, Gentileschi painted the right facial expressions and course of action in the painting. It can lead a person to draw a parallel between the expression painted in Judith Slaying Holofernes to the anger she felt when she was raped by Agostino.

The Memory of the Heart, 1937
Frida Kahlo was most famous for her self-portraits. The unique aspect of her paintings were that Kahlo was often the subject in her paintings. Also, she depicts emotions, usually painful emotions in her portraits. These were a result of the trolley accident that Kahlo experienced at the age of eighteen. The severity of the accident led her to be crippled for the rest of her life and undergo about 32 operations throughout her life. She channeled her emotions and the pain she felt into her artwork. Kahlo inserted her everyday life experiences into forms of paintings. The Memory of the Heart depicts the betrayal she felt from her husband, Diego Rivera cheating on her with Kahlo's youngest sister, Cristina. The big heart in the picture depicts the amount hurt and betrayal she felt. Kahlo dressed herself in European clothing with shortened hair to spite her husband who liked seeing her in indigenous clothing with long hair. Most of her portraits are similar to this painting in which they contain a lot of symbolism and emotion despite the fact the Kahlo's face is always expressionless.

Claude Cahun was most famous for taking pictures of herself "in a range of gender-bending stereotypes. She began taking pictures of herself by the age of eighteen. Cahun works offered a broad exploration of gender, sexuality, and the representation of female nudity in art. Her photographs challenged gender roles. In this autoportait taken in 1929, two Cahuns are separated by a wall. The Cahun in the mirror seems strong and rebellious. The Cahun upfront is boldly drawn withing shiny hair, deep colored lips and pointed gaze. Cahun's reflection portrays two different people in which lets us get a chance to assign the genders based on what we see.

The End of Uncle Tom

Kara Walker was inspired to become an artist by her dad at a very early age. Her works are based on creating narratives of the blacks in the "antebellum South" by using large-scale silhouettes. Walker's plan in using silhouettes was to weaken the "preconceptions about the past" by exploiting stereotypes (Chadwick, 492). This caused a controversial issue because some saw it as negative stereotyping and reminding viewers that "racism is subtle and persistent till present day. The End of Uncle Tom is a visual that retells Harriet Beecher Stowe's, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The amazing aspect of all five artists is that they were able to challenge society and men as well as putting emotion throughout their artwork.

Work Cited:

The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. New York: Penguin, 1998. Print. 

Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art, and Society. New York, NY: Thames and Hudson, 1990.Print.

"Frida Kahlo." Frida Kahlo, Frieda, Paintings, Works, Photos, Drawings, Sketches, Biography, Books, Films, Chronology, Bio, Art, Self Portrait, Painter, Mexican Artist. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. <>.

Barber, Jeremieh. "Always A Multiple: Claude Cahun at the Jeu De Paume." Public Media. KQED, 02 July 2011. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. <>.
                                                                  5 Woman Artists:
                                                                 By: Amanpreet Pall

This class has taught us all so much: gender, class, sexism and what women have dealt with and continue to deal with in the art world. It shows strength and perseverance of one gender throughout history emerging into a revolution. A movement where women can be seen as equal to men, especially where art lies. Of course equality is not present yet, but hopefully one day, within our generation it will be. One should not be judged by their genitalia but by their character and in this case their artwork. One set of women that most particularly stick out to me are the ones who I find the most bold. Ones whose work is the exact opposite of the status quo and a bit unnerving to those who have "old-school" values. Meaning where women should be painted as angels, in domestic settings or near pretty little flowers. Beautiful as that may be, paintings or sculptures of taboo are very intriguing. Such as the sexual sculptures of Camille Claudel, or the moving paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi, the puzzling photographs of Claude Cahun, the cross dressing of Rosa Bonheur and the introduction of animal painting, and finally the eye-opening photographs of Dorothea Lounge.

 The Newark Museum had two excellent exhibitions, "Angels and Tomboys" and "In her Eyes". Learned how the smallest symbols such as a piece of fruit, certain parting of the hair can be feminine and a hammer or the stance of a child can be masculine. In most of the paintings of young children, it was difficult at first glance to see which one was female and male. Yet the dead-giveaways were how the female would be leaning on something, whereas the male would stand tall and strong. Why was that necessary? To make a male strong and a female needing to lean on something which would be portrayed intentionally to make her seem weaker than her male counterpart. The boy would hold a leaf next to his Adam's Apple and the girl would hold a flower near her womb to signify fertility.
 For the "In her Eyes" exhibition the women in the photographs were either fully clothed or partially exposed. At times cross dressing or wearing masculine clothing to hide their true identity as a woman. 

Richmond, Californina, 1942
Gelatin silver enlargement print on cardstock
During the 1920s-1940s World War I and World War II were going on. With men being drafted to battle, who was going to fill their shoes in the work field? Women of course. Dorothea Lange took photographs of immigrants and the era where two world wars and a Great Depression took place. This one photograph sticks out because it shows a woman dressed as a man yet she still has a slight feminine touch to her, her hair and the way she has a piece of cloth tied around her head despite her wearing a hat. "Women were required to wear masculine clothes so as to not distract their male co-workers. The functional purpose of the woman's overalls, however, also alters her identity making her appear genderless" (Newark Museum). This is an eye-opening photograph because it shows a man and woman having the same job and both  standing with strength. Usually a woman would be depicted as leaning on something such as a wall, table etc but that is not evident here. I respect how with this simple picture Lange was able to capture a moment in time so long ago where equality is shown! 
Rosa Bonheur "The Horse Fair" 1887

Another example of a strong woman who did not follow the norm of her time was Rosa Bonheur. Luckily her father was a part of Utopian society and believed in gender equality. Next, Rosa obtained a license for cross-dressing from the French government. Bonheur had a life partner, female to be exact, not a fiance or even a husband. One quote that she is known for is, "I have no patience for women who ask for permission to think" (Guerrilla Girls 48). What a strong statement. During a time where men had more power than they do today she was able to stand out by the way she spoke, dressed, but most of all the way she painted. She also hunted, smoked cigars and rode her horse throughout the streets of Paris. One painting that truly sticks out is the one to the right. This piece of art is a true masterpiece and one of her most noted works. 
Artemisia Gentileschi "Judith Slaying Holofernes" 1620

Artemisia Gentileschi is probably one of the most brilliant woman who has ever lived. Her father was an artist, his apprentice unfortunately raped Artemisia and she had the courage to speak against him and go to trial. What had happened was that the rapist promised to marry her to save her reputation, he did not fulfill his promise. Later on she set up her own Atelier and learned how to read and write as well. One piece of art which is so moving because even though it is of "Judith Slaying Holofernes" it reminds the   spectator of Artemisia killing her rapist. 

Camille Claudel is another woman artist who is known for her erotic sculptures and tumultuous love affair with sculptor Auguste Rodin. She has a major impact on his work and most of it can be credited to her and their love affair. This "overt sexuality" that was expressed in her works were mind blowing and scary. Women were meant to be angelic and pure not sexual or care this much about it to the point of it being sculpted! When Rodin refused to be faithful to her and openly acknowledge their relationship, it took a toll on her. For 30 years she was sent to an insane asylum against her will. Even though though this was the life she lived, her work is to be respected not only because of it's beauty but also because of the deviance she possessed against the norm of that time. 

"Claude Cahun was one of the first 20th century females to dress up and photograph herself in the name of art" (Guerilla Girls 62). Homosexuality was extremely taboo during her time and she openly expressed it in her photographs because of her modeling as male and female in a large range of gender-bending stereotypes. Her work is admirable as well because it is scandalous as well. For a woman to photograph herself dressed as a man. Overall her work has been done with bravery and should be respected as well. 

In conclusion, all of these women are admirable because of the strength they possess to go against the status quo and truly indulge in their passions and not care what society has to say about them. 

Can You Name 5 Women Artists?

The role of women artists has transformed over the century in terms of their role in society. Traditionally women were objectified and were painted to appeal to men. Women artists painted on selective themes and continued to be under the oppression of males. In art, women were painting about their position in society; it was clear to see how their roles transformed from being under speculation to having a sense of importance in society. The artists I will be discussing are Mary Cassatt, Cecilia Beaux, Emily Mary Osborne, Lilly Martin Spencer, and Barbara Kruger. These artists portray women as are having a significant role, as well as highlight their prominence in society. One of the prevailing themes across the peices of art that i will discuss, is based on how women are defying their conventional roles and are making their presence known. 

Nameless and Friendless 1857
The subject of this painting "Nameless and Friendless" by Emily Mary Osborne is depicting the young woman, and her position in society. She is trying to make a living and gain a worthy position by selling her work. It is clear that her work is being scrutinized by the male figures in this painting. In the background they are giving her a look of disdain, implying that she is crossing her boundaries as a “woman” and does not belong in this specific arena. She is not accepted in this new role of being independent, and deviating from what women “ought to do.” Overall, Emily Mary Osborne is illustrating the continuous struggles that women have to endure, as well the constant judgment they receive.

The exhibition of "Angel and Tomboys" at the Newark Museum featured Lilly Martin Spencer's paintings. As an artist, Lilly Martin Spencer did not fit into the stereotypical role of women. Specifically, she supported her family, which inlcuded seven children and her husband who were dependent of her. Therefore she was extremely independent and had strong willpower.

War Spirit at Home 1886

In this painting "War Spirit at Home," the women is depicted as not taking care of the home, and leaving it to be a mess. This is somewhat a haphazard environment because the children are running around, and the maid servant seems overwhelmed with work, looking to the mother for assistance. On the other hand the mother is reading a newspaper, which shows she is concerned with current events. In terms or the children, the girl has more emphasis place on her because she is dressed in bright colors and stands out in the painting because of her clothes and her actions.

Home of the Red, White, and Blue 1867
In Lilly Martin Spencer's painting of Home of the Red, White, and Blue focuses on the central group of three female figures, a self-portrait of Spencer herself, in addition to her two daughters. There are also other members of the family present, such as the son, husband, and grandmother. The tattered blue stars torn from the red-and-white stripes portray the battered American flag. Home of the Red, White, and Blue is the last of several paintings in which Spencer used domestic settings and situations to comment on the monumental tragedy of the Civil War. As a woman artist in mid-nineteenth-century America, Spencer was restricted to "womanly" themes of family and home. In her many domestic paintings, however, she consciously transcended such limitations, subtly and humorously challenging gender roles and domestic politics. Overall, the painting suggests that in the aftermath of a war that had emasculated the nation, its future necessarily lay in the hands of its women. 

Women in Black at the Opera 1880

During the 19th century women were starting to be portrayed as non-submissive and not appearing in art, simply for men. Mary Cassatt's "Women in Black at the Opera" shows the woman dressed in black, and attempting to “blend-in” with their surroundings. She is shown as acting as not merely appearing. Her role in this painting is not to please anyone, on the other hand she is watching the opera. There is also a male figure in the distance who is looking at her, although she does not acknowledge his gaze. This is symbolic for women because they are starting to have an identity of their own. Cassatt also illustrates the importance of impressionism. Please view this video for background information on this topic. 

Another female artist of the 19th century, Cecilia Beaux gave up the traditional role of a woman to become a painter. The girl in this painting is holding pansies, which symbolizes thoughtfulness. From her facial expression and her overall demeanors she resembles a doll. She also looks pensive and intelligent. She also lacked fear and seemed to be confident. Although at this age she looks calm, composed, and passive, her transition into becoming a woman involves social activism. Her eyes are a focus point in this painting because they hint at her intelligence and the woman she would become. As a social activist, she “infiltrated factories and get arrested for organizing sit-down strikes.” Thus this painting shows how the artist as well the subject deviated away from domesticity and “what was expected of women.” The role of women continued to change and this was depicted in their artwork as well. Young women were being painted without male counterparts, and in different settings. It is interesting to see in this case how the young girl turn out to be a social activist. 
A Little Girl (Franny Travis Cochran) 1887
Kruger goes beyond illustrating the traditional forms or art and expands the possibilities for interpretation. She address the limitations places on art and culture, and more specifically on women. Kruger's work critiques the forces that attempt to objectify women. She blends text with images in order to prominently highlight the message she is trying to portray. Her work at times uses humor and sarcasm as well. Specifically for his photograph,  the woman is shown in form of a statue and symbolizes beauty. In relation to the “male gaze” is it shown how the woman is try to avoid it and therefore it is merely hitting the side of her face, and not affecting her as a whole. She is shown as looking past the male gaze, although it is persistent and judgmental.  Thus showing how women's roles in society are evolving because they are no longer passive and subjecting themselves to male scrutiny.
Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face 1981

Works Cited:

"Barbara Kruger's Artwork Speaks Truth to Power."$00401057/0/dateBegin-asc/alphaSort-asc?t:state:flow=1d86f799-d9e5-4ed0-bf9d-dc6fa4274b68

Newark Museum, Angels and Tomboys Exhibition.

Chadwick, Whitney. "Women, Art, and Society."