HISTART 334-001

Women in the Visual Arts: Images and Image Makers

130 Tappan
MW 2:30-4pm
3 Credit Seminar
Cross-listed with WOMENSTD 334.001

The course studies women as producers of art and as images in art in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe. We will investigate the professional opportunities available to women artists for training, exhibition, association, and selling during this period, and the kinds of art they consequently produced. We will also explore the political and social restrictions placed on women in the aftermath of the French Revolution and consider the paradoxical effects this repression had through increased feminine presence in the cultural imaginary of the nineteenth century. Art of the period saw a shift from the male to the female nude as the dominant figure of ideal beauty, the invention of new mythologies around the figure of the woman, and the transformation of women into signs of fashion and modernity. The implications of these changes will be examined not only for women artists, patrons, and critics but also for male artists and writers presented with possibilities for identifying with and through the female figure in their work.

Textbooks/Other Materials: Recommended texts include Mary Sheriff, The Exceptional Woman: Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun and the Cultural Politics of Art; Laura Auricchio, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard: Artist in the Age of Revolution; Gen Doy, Women & Visual Culture in 19thCentury France, 1800-1852.

Course Requirements: Modes of assessment include participation in class discussions and preparation of weekly readings, written responses to readings, a group oral presentation, a mid-term examination, and a final paper.

Intended Audience: The course offers an introduction to how meanings about women and gender are produced by visual images and how gender structures peoples' responses to art.

Class Format: The course is taught as a combination of lecture and seminar discussion. A field trip to a local museum will be arranged and is required.

Estimated cost of materials: $0 - $50

HISTART Distribution Requirements: D. Europe and the US, 4. Modern and Contemporary

This course fulfils the LSA Humanities Distribution requirement