Monday, May 19, 2008

A Brief Lesson in Art History

Found via Feministing:

Women Artists Win

It's a discussion of how Linda Nochlin eventually dealt with her own essay-question "Where are all the great women artists" and the history that has come out/been marginalized/was there all along about women in art, both under the rigid academic sense (great masterpiece paintings) as well as in ways/techniques/practices in which women were made to be forgotten.

I never realized either, that Artimesia Gentleschi wasn't always part of the art history canon. I remember, waaaay back when, learning about her in my later high school art classes, and thinking, "Well, at least there's one woman in there". The thought "I bet there are more..." had always lingered in the back of my mind as well...

All criticisms aside of the tokenism aside, my high school art teacher, in teaching cannonical western art, always did try to spend a great deal of time on the few women artists in the books. I remember videos and lengthy presentations (including my own on Frida Khalo) as well as test questions focusing on Gentileschi, Vigee-Lebrun, Mary Cassat, Khalo, Berthe Merisot and so on...I guess she wanted to make sure that in this all-girl high school of ours, that we could see a little of ourselves in the curriculum.

(My drama teacher was really really good for this too.)

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