Museums And Women’s History Month

Hi everyone! With Women’s History Month underway I thought I’d explore how museums are celebrating and recognizing women artists. My search landed me at The National Gallery in London. I love how museums are putting things together for people to explore at home while places remain closed. The National Gallery is closed at the moment and so for Women’s History Month, they’ve put together some information about the women artists in their collection. 

Not only is the museum exploring these women artists, but they are also exploring women patrons and subject matter, as well as the issues that women artists face. Now, in The National Gallery’s collection, out of 2300 paintings, only 21 have been done by women. Why you ask? Well, simply put, women have not had the same opportunities as male artists. They have not been as well accepted in the field and have long had many obstacles to face, resulting many times in being written out of or erased from history. 

What the museum is trying to do is explore the women in their collections, whether they are artists, patrons, or part of the subject matter, and celebrate these women, their positions, and their accomplishments. They specifically looked at four women artists, Artemisia Gentileschi, Rachel Ruysch, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, and Rosa Bonheur. I really enjoyed looking at Self Portrait in a Straw Hat by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, where we see how these women artists were powerful and talented beings. With paint and brushes in hand, she stares confidently at the viewer.

Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Self Portrait in a Straw Hat

By promoting this recognition of women artists they are making these sometimes unknown artists more known to the public. Therefore, they’re spreading a positive message of the need for better awareness and appreciation of women artists. I think this is a really great challenge to explore more women artists and great especially now with Women’s History Month. 

Have a great week!

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