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Feminist Art History Essay

1633 words - 7 pages

Feminist art history-A literature review
Broude states that female feminist art history students are of the belief that they have to rewrite art (Broude & Garrard 1982, 183). However, Broude and Garrard posses questions on the “how and what” female feminist artists would go about achieving the task of rewriting art, and what led to this notion of rewriting the history of art and what they intend to achieve by rewriting the history of art (Broude & Garrard 1982, 183). However, as Pollock & parker accounted, there have been variance in affiliation of men and women to arts and social structures, thus in order to expose these difference art history has to be revamped (Pollock & Parker 2013, 3). This paper aims at exploring the works of some famous feminist historians such as Linda Nochlin, Norma Broude, Pollock and Parker, who focused their literature on the issues of women and art history form the 19th century through the 20th century.
Feminist inquiry in art history began in 1971 with Linda Nochlin’s article “why have there been no great women artist” (Peterson & Mathew 1987, 325), to answer her question she stresses that, “art is not a free autonomous activity of a super endowed individual influenced by previous arts or social factors, but rather art is an integral element of structure and is determined by specific social institutions such as arts academics, patrons, patriarchal culture or the myth of the divine creator” (Peterson & Mathew, 1987 325). On the contrary, Pollock and parker accounted that the Victorian women writers prepared the grounds for the dismissal of women’s art in the twentieth century, as a result of their differentiation of women arts to men art (Pollock &Parker 2013, 4), opposed to Nochlins’s conception that institutions led the dismissal of women’s art. Nonetheless, while Nochlin took a defensive approach in evaluating women and art, Parker and Pollock took an entirely different approach, they evaluating the historical and ideological position of women in relation to art (Peterson & Mathew 1987, 327). However, Pollock and Parker identified that the legacy of the Victorian views on women resulted in a change of perspective from history to nature and from sociology to biology, thus instead evaluating the women and art through the lens of history and sociology, they are now views in terms of nature and biology. Therefore, as a consequence people are of the belief that women lack of the talent and natural predisposition to create significant art, meanwhile not all Victorian writers are responsible for this notion, like Elizabeth Ellet (Pollock and Parker 2013, 10). As a result women had to struggle in the realm of art so to prevail against such notion (Pollock and Parker 2013, 44).
Consequently, despite the increase of female artist in the twentieth, the belief that women lack the talent and natural disposition to create art was still prominent, and is...

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