Exploring Art by Women

Despite accounting for only seven percent of the holdings of New York’s Metropolitan Museum, artworks by women in a range of media—painting and sculpture, photography, even “craft” works traditionally practiced by women—are gaining acceptance and respect in the art world. Art provides a deeper, more personal layer to history; understanding women’s important contributions to cultural life is overdue, enriching, and inspiring. You’ll see that women have explored art’s perennial subjects: portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, mythology and religious subjects. BUT they also brought images found in women’s lives and experiences—children, home life, marriage—into their works. And while we find women working in all the “isms” of Western art over the centuries, they enriched the art repertoire by bringing new materials, such as fabric and clay—materials once derided as mere “craft” supplies—into the art world.

Avril Angevine is an arts lecturer with a particular interest in modern and contemporary art and California art, and has lectured on both subjects at various locations in the Bay Area, including the OLLI programs at Cal State East Bay and Dominican College. Avril has an MA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and teaches English in the Fall Program for Freshmen at UC Berkeley, and Humanities at Diablo Valley College. She is also a museum guide at SFMOMA, and a docent at OMCA.

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