Olga Boznańska. Japanese self-portrait. 1892.
Photo: Public domain Wikimedia Commons. National Museum Wrocław, Poland
In ages past, women have always had a hard path towards even becoming an artist, much less being recognized as one. By late 1500, some of them, like an Italian painter Sofonisba Anguissola, have achieved enough recognition to live as a professional, commissioned artist. However, even some as famous as Sofonisba (Anthony van Dyck sought her advice when he visited her), her gender was a reason that she was soon forgotten after her passing. Only in the late 20th century some of the most famous portraits of the Spanish royal family have been re-attributed to her.
Till this day, museums have relatively small collections of art by women, often dispersed, not exhibited regularly, sometimes mis-attributed, and not much understood. Sometimes just learning about their biographies makes us re-evaluate their creations but since female artists are less known, it takes some searching to learn about them.
In our virtual museum of “Women & Art,” we seek to spotlight some of our favorite the female painters or sculptors, or report about exhibitions dedicated to women in arts.