‘There have been no great women artists’

I stole this title from the very-great Linda Nochlin’s 1988 essay of almost the same name.
If you think in the same way as I do, the first few paragraphs will be a little off-putting. If you can’t be bothered to read it all (shame on you), here’s a very brief and insufficient paraphrasing of it: by trying to furiously list women artists who compete with Michelangelo or Picasso, you will only prove the point. The truth is that there have been no ‘Great’ woman artists. Ridiculous claims (I could punch this woman in the face) can be made about, among other things, the supposedly intrinsic inferiority of women’s creativity, but the bloody obvious fact is that women rarely had the opportunity nor the training nor the money nor the space nor the freedom to even entertain the thought of becoming an artist until they at least had the right to own property and vote.
I’ve designed a deck of cards representing woman artists I think could have been Great had they truly had a chance in hell. Many of them were stunningly successful considering the time in which they lived. All of them would have been not only better appreciated but better artists if they’d only had the same chances as their male peers. Nonetheless, they are all artists who I think have made a truly important contribution to art, and I admire each for their own style, method and devotion. I’ve avoided anyone too modern (as inequality in the art world is diminishing bit by bit) or too overtly Feminist (that could be a whole other deck).



Filed under Self-initiated, Uncategorized

6 responses to “‘There have been no great women artists’

  1. great idea – love the cards – you should check out our film “a woman like that” our new film about artemisia gentileschi
    please sign our email list and friend us on facebook!


  2. eleanorpercival

    Thank you Ellen, I’ll do exactly that. I just watched the trailer and it looks fantastic. Is it going to be aired in the UK?

    • We hope to show it at some universities and possibly museums. If you have any thoughts or connections please let us know. We are self-distributing so all these social networks really help.

  3. Great idea. Informative too, for too long have I fed on the plates of art served up by general art historiae. I look forward to researching these women.
    I’d love to know about this film too!
    All the best!

  4. wow.. this is amazing!!

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