|Aimee Lamb's Snow Storm (1954)|
Notwithstanding my disappointment in the paintings, I did find the commentary about the show interesting. It was noted that the mere fact that a show about 19th century women painters is being held is a statement about what a rarity female professional artists were at that time. There of course is no need for a show that focuses on paintings done by men, since that was the norm. (This calls to mind the riddle about a boy and his father who are in a car accident. When they get to the hospital, the doctor says, "I can't operate on this child. He's my son." It's baffling, isn't it? Eventually, though, you realize that it's the mother who's the surgeon. Perhaps our expectations about gender roles haven't progressed quite as far as one would hope. But I digress.)
Any number of obstacles faced women who did paint during this era. Needless to say, it was difficult for women to pursue their creative aspirations at a time when they were expected first and foremost to be wives and mothers. But have you thought about the restrictions that women's clothing put on their ability to paint freely, especially on a large canvas? Or about the fact that women didn't have the opportunity to take anatomy or other classes that would have helped them hone their craft? Or that those women who were brave enough to be artists were generally encouraged to paint domestic scenes that focused on children and flowers?
|Pas de Basque by Philip Jackson|
|Gale Force Nun II by|
In my next post I'll tell you about the other exhibits that I had the chance to view. As you'll see, it was an extremely varied day of art, with something for everyone's taste.