More than muses: A feminist guide to art history: Module one: Breaking into the boy's club

Friday 22, 29  March & 5, 12 & 19  April  2–4pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Katy Tarbard, Christina Bradstreet, Carol Jacobi, Belinda Smith, Annette Wickham, Allison Deutsch

Book for individual weeks: £40/ £38 conc./ £35 Members & Patrons - 

Friday 22 March - BOOK  TICKETS

Friday 29 March - BOOK TICKETS

Friday 5 April - BOOK TICKETS

Friday 12 April - BOOK TICKETS

Friday 19 April - BOOK TICKETS

Book for the entire module (One): £195/ £185 conc./ £170 Members & Patrons - BOOK TICKETS

Book all three modules and save: £555/£525 conc./ £480 Members & Patrons - BOOK TICKETS

More than muses: A feminist guide to art history

Do women have to be naked to get into a national gallery? The Guerrilla Girls put this question to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1989 via their iconic poster proclaiming that ‘less than 5% of the artists in the modern art sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.’

Find out how women have broken into and reshaped the ‘boys’ club’ art establishment; whether the female nude can survive #MeToo; and how women leaders are redressing the balance when it comes to the representation of women artists.

This course explores the work of women artists, patrons, collectors, art writers, and leaders in the arts. It considers how women have represented themselves in paintings, the challenges women artists grapple with, and how feminism has opened up an alternative history of art.

On this course you will hear from Gallery experts and some feisty guest speakers. Expect their provocative talks to get you thinking, even if you take a different view.

Module one: Breaking into the boy’s club

Why have women artists not achieved the status of their male counterparts? What barriers have they faced and how have some women beaten the odds?

Week one: 22 March 2019

Why have there been no great women artists?

Tutor: Katy Tarbard and Nicola McCartney

What difficulties did women who wanted careers as artists face? Katy Tarbard discusses the barriers to professional status for women artists from the Renaissance to the 19th century, and some of the ways in which they were able to overcome them.

After the break, Nicola McCartney reflects on why women artists are still underrepresented in museums. How are groups like the Guerrilla Girls campaigning for change?

Week two: Friday 29 March

What women paint

Tutor: Belle Smith

What subjects have women traditionally painted? And which women artists have defied conventions?

After the break, we reflect on the issues women artists engage with today. How are they responding to #MeToo?

Week three: 5 April

Rebel girls and the establishment

Tutor: Christina Bradstreet and Annette Wickham

Find out how women artists professionalised in the 19th and 20th centuries, gaining greater access to art education and increased representation by prominent dealers.

After the break, Annette Wickham discusses the pioneering role of female Royal Academicians. Discover the women who fought to be a part of the Royal Academy’s foundation – and the ones helping to secure the Academy’s future.

Week four: 12 April 2019

Makers and muses

Tutor: Carol Jacobi

Discover two side-lined female artists. Carol Jacobi discusses the status of artist and poet Elizabeth Siddal, best known as the wife and muse of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

After the break, Carol Jacobi presents new research on the painter Isabel Rawsthorne, whose art has been eclipsed by her renown as muse to giants of the Modernist canon, among them Jacob Epstein, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso.

Week five: 19 April 2019

Feminism and art history

Allison Deutsch discusses the importance of the work of the late feminist art historian, Linda Nochlin. How did the iconic article, ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ impact art history?

After the break, she discusses how the work of feminist art historians has transformed our understanding of 19th-century French women artists, including Rosa Bonheur, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Eva Gonzalès.

Breaking into the boy’s club is Module one of our three module course ‘More than muses: A feminist guide to art history’.

See Module two: Women on canvas

See Module three: Movers and shakers

Image above: Detail from Edouard Manet, Eva Gonzalès, 1870