Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!

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Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
The Chess Game, by Sofonisba Anguissola, Photo Credit: curiator.com

Sofonisba Anguissola was an artist in the 16th century, who painted self-portraits where she performed various activities, actively participating rather than just watching.

Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
Elizabeth Vigée Lebrun

Elisabeth Vigee le Brun was one of the most important female artists of the 18th century and was 1 of only 4 women who were allowed into the French Academy of Art.

Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
Mary Cassatt, painting of a Mother and Child

Mary Cassatt was one of a few women who was allowed to exhibit her paintings with the French Impressionists in the 19th century.

Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait with Monkey, Photo Credit: fridakalo.org

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter in the 1900s. Her self-portraits challenged the way that society at that time showed women.

Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
Yayoi Kusama In Infinity Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Photo Credit: www.trendland.com

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist whose installations and sculptures played a large role in the feminist and anti-war movement in the 1960s.

Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
Shamsia Hassani, Kabul Street Artist, Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times

Shamsia Hassani is the first 3D graffiti street artist in Afghanistan. She currently paints and uses the walls of bombed out buildings as her canvases and tries to lighten the mood in this war-torn country.

Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
Anjolie Ela Menon, Photo Credit: cuberadsstudio.com

Anjolie Ela Menon from India is celebrated for her immense talent of painting in different styles ranging from the Renaissance to abstract art. She has won several awards one of the most prestigious being the Padma Shree in 2000.

Let’s celebrate Women Artists through the Ages!
Georgia O' Keeffe, Jimson Weed, Photo Credit: www.georgiaokeeffe.net

Georgia O’Keefe is one of the most important figures in American Modernism. Inspired by photography she developed a new style never seen before. She cropped images up close and painted them in great detail. In 2014, this painting Jimson Weed sold for over $44 million, three times the amount of the prior world auction record for any female artist.


Women’s Day is on March 8, 2018. So today, we would like to discuss women in the field of art. The gallery of pictures above showcases some extraordinary women artists over the years, but as you can tell from the captions, it is only recently that the world has really been receptive to art by women. 

Over many centuries, only men were allowed to paint professionally. They would study painting in different guilds or groups. Women did things that could be done at home – they sewed and embroidered and worked with textiles. A woman’s job was to bear babies and take care of the family!

Does this mean women didn’t paint? No, there were several women who taught themselves to paint. Others were born into wealthy, more broad minded families where they were allowed lessons, or had a male artist in the family to teach them. A lot of women entered convents where they dedicated their lives to God, and while living there, in the company of other nuns, were allowed to paint and engage in the creative arts. The world saw some of their work.

The big turning point for women in the art world came during the 1960’s and 70’s with the rise of feminism, where women started expressing their equality to men. Female artists were then able to present their view of the world, TO the world. 

Where are we today? Earlier this month, the official portraits of the former President of the United States, Barrack Obama, and First Lady, Michelle Obama, were unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. This couple chose Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, one woman, and both artists of colour to paint their official portraits. This was a historical milestone, as until now, no Presidential Portrait has ever been painted by a female artist OR an artist of colour!

What is a Presidential Portrait? It is a tradition for the President of the United States to have a portrait painted of himself when he holds his position. These portraits are hung in The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. They usually show the President in a serious manner. Take a look at these ones!

Barack and Michelle Obama with their official portraits. Photo Credit: Cnn.com

Written by: Tanika Thacker

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