We’re celebrating Women’s History Month in March with a new online exhibition that spans the Museum’s collecting areas. Hosted on the Google Art Project, #5WomenArtists actually features works by 10 female artists of varied generations, nationalities, and schools of art. The exhibition highlights the lasting impact and contributions these women have all made—and continue to make—to the history of art.
A Very Good Place to Start
#5WomenArtists begins with a work by 18th-century Swiss painter Angelica Kauffmann, one of only two female founding members of London’s Royal Academy, and an important society portraitist.
The Art of Photography
After the advent of photography in the 19th century, women became pioneers in the medium. Botanist and photography enthusiast Anna Atkins was the first person to publish a book illustrated entirely with the cyanotype photographic process, and Julia Margaret Cameron—known for her striking portraits of family and friends—was an important advocate for the acceptance of photography as an artistic medium.
ineteenth-century France was a fertile breeding ground for innovative artists, including Impressionist painters Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, both of whom developed bold and energetic painting styles. Originally from Philadelphia, Cassatt encouraged wealthy American collectors to buy Impressionist art, securing the Impressionist movement a place in many significant collections.
The Contemporary View
The exhibition ends with contemporary works, highlighting the central role that women play in current practices of artistic production. Colombian artist María Fernanda Cardoso creates elaborate installations and sculptures from organic materials, as in the featured work Woven Water: Submarine Landscape. American painter Mequitta Ahuja explores the construction of both image and identity in colorful, richly textured canvases in which she poses herself as triumphant epic heroes, warriors, and other archetypal power figures.
Can You Name #5WomenArtists?
We are thrilled to share the contributions of women artists to the history of art with all of our audiences, both online and in the Museum galleries. Our goal is that the next time you’re asked to name five women artists, you’re empowered with the knowledge you need.
This is just a highlight of some of the artists in the online exhibition, which we encourage you to check out to learn more! Then, read more about our #5WomenArtists activities happening this month.