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Women, Art, and Society

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This acclaimed study challenges the assumption that great women artists are exceptions to the rule who transcended their sex to produce major works of art. While acknowledging the many women whose contributions to visual culture since the Middle Ages have often been neglected, Whitney Chadwick's survey reexamines the works themselves and the ways in which they have been pe This acclaimed study challenges the assumption that great women artists are exceptions to the rule who transcended their sex to produce major works of art. While acknowledging the many women whose contributions to visual culture since the Middle Ages have often been neglected, Whitney Chadwick's survey reexamines the works themselves and the ways in which they have been perceived as marginal, often in direct reference to gender. In her discussion of feminism and its influence on such a reappraisal, the author also addresses the closely related issues of ethnicity, class, and sexuality. This expanded edition incorporates recent developments in contemporary art. Chadwick addresses the turn toward autobiography in much recent women's art. She considers issues such as the personal versus the political and the private versus the public, and analyzes the differences between women's art today and the seminal feminist work of the 1970s and 1980s.


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This acclaimed study challenges the assumption that great women artists are exceptions to the rule who transcended their sex to produce major works of art. While acknowledging the many women whose contributions to visual culture since the Middle Ages have often been neglected, Whitney Chadwick's survey reexamines the works themselves and the ways in which they have been pe This acclaimed study challenges the assumption that great women artists are exceptions to the rule who transcended their sex to produce major works of art. While acknowledging the many women whose contributions to visual culture since the Middle Ages have often been neglected, Whitney Chadwick's survey reexamines the works themselves and the ways in which they have been perceived as marginal, often in direct reference to gender. In her discussion of feminism and its influence on such a reappraisal, the author also addresses the closely related issues of ethnicity, class, and sexuality. This expanded edition incorporates recent developments in contemporary art. Chadwick addresses the turn toward autobiography in much recent women's art. She considers issues such as the personal versus the political and the private versus the public, and analyzes the differences between women's art today and the seminal feminist work of the 1970s and 1980s.

30 review for Women, Art, and Society

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christy Sherrill

    Ahh, Dr. Kontars Class. She is a woman who continuing calm made the study of this subject so interesting. She did her homework and if not knowledgeable on a subject would comeback to class with information. She often had information to give that was not in the book. I know I am supposed to commenting on the book, so is was definitely added to my knowledge of women in art history. Though I am glad I read it at the end of my college career in which I had study many semesters of art history. So tha Ahh, Dr. Kontars Class. She is a woman who continuing calm made the study of this subject so interesting. She did her homework and if not knowledgeable on a subject would comeback to class with information. She often had information to give that was not in the book. I know I am supposed to commenting on the book, so is was definitely added to my knowledge of women in art history. Though I am glad I read it at the end of my college career in which I had study many semesters of art history. So that the normal history facts were already know, and what is not normally mentioned in art history stood out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This was a pretty decent book. I definitely learned about a few new women from history that I hadn't heard before (none of the big names, naturally). One caveat: the title needs "Western" in there somewhere. This is a book pretty much solely dedicated to Western women and their art. Chadwick doesn't even start discussing Russian women until it comes to the turn of the 20th century and the revolution (which had a large impact on the Western world). Otherwise, good.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Carolina

    Completely interesting from a historical angle, but often I felt the writing really lacked.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Zebranie całej historii sztuki tworzonej przez kobiety to oczywiście karkołomny pomysł. O ile do XX w. losy artystek są na ogół bliźniaczo podobne, o tyle później trudno o spójne podsumowania. Widać to też mocno w strukturze książki. Jako solidne, przekrojowe opracowanie może być ona przede wszystkim dobrym punktem wyjścia do dalszego zagłębiania się w wybrane tematy. Dla mnie najciekawsze były fragmenty odnoszące się do samego sposobu pisania o dawnych artystkach. Sama wielokrotnie stawałam prz Zebranie całej historii sztuki tworzonej przez kobiety to oczywiście karkołomny pomysł. O ile do XX w. losy artystek są na ogół bliźniaczo podobne, o tyle później trudno o spójne podsumowania. Widać to też mocno w strukturze książki. Jako solidne, przekrojowe opracowanie może być ona przede wszystkim dobrym punktem wyjścia do dalszego zagłębiania się w wybrane tematy. Dla mnie najciekawsze były fragmenty odnoszące się do samego sposobu pisania o dawnych artystkach. Sama wielokrotnie stawałam przed opisanymi dylematami i szczerze mówiąc nie dla wszystkich znajduję satysfakcjonujące rozwiązania.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ania Gaska

    I wish I had read this so much earlier than I had. How is it that I went through art school and wasn't familiar with my art ancestors?! I was thrilled to read this and also furious that I haven't had the comfort and confidence that this book brought much earlier.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    Utterly fascinating. Obsessed with the history of feminist art, I love it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tania

    Desactualizado (hay una enorme laguna respecto al arte de los últimos veinte-treinta años).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    thesis

  9. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    I liked it! I could relate to much of the writing angst and decisions about stepping away from the novel writing. Not sure I’d recommend it for non-writers though.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bookaholic

    Women, Art and Society de Whitney Chadwick (Thames and Hudson, ajunsă în 2012 la a cincea ediţie) nu s-a tradus în română, dar sper să se traducă la un moment dat pentru că este o poveste pasionantă, scrisă cu nerv şi implicare, despre vieţile şi operele unor artiste excepţionale şi până de curând ignorate de întemeietorii canonului. Sigur mulţi dintre noi ne-am pus la un moment dat întrebarea „De ce istoria artei occidentale n-a înregistrat nume de mari pictoriţe, aşa cum a făcut-o c Women, Art and Society de Whitney Chadwick (Thames and Hudson, ajunsă în 2012 la a cincea ediţie) nu s-a tradus în română, dar sper să se traducă la un moment dat pentru că este o poveste pasionantă, scrisă cu nerv şi implicare, despre vieţile şi operele unor artiste excepţionale şi până de curând ignorate de întemeietorii canonului. Sigur mulţi dintre noi ne-am pus la un moment dat întrebarea „De ce istoria artei occidentale n-a înregistrat nume de mari pictoriţe, aşa cum a făcut-o cu marii pictori” (pentru cine se interesează de subiect, există un eseu celebru, din anii 70, criticabil, dar important, care se numeşte chiar aşa: Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists) Se poate răspunde în multe feluri: fie pentru că abilitatea de a picta magistral este un har pe care natura, Dumnezeu sau extratereştrii n-au binevoit să-l dea decât bărbaţilor (vi se pare un răspuns medieval? Ia uite ce zice acest respectabil domn pictor contemporan.) Fie pentru că diversele tipuri de condiţionări socio-culturale le-au împiedicat pe femeile occidentale din clasa de mijloc să exercite la capacităţi maxime această meserie. (recenzie: http://bookaholic.ro/o-carte-despre-m...)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Martha Anne Davidson

    Whitney Chadwick's book entitled Women, Art, and Society (4th ed., 2007) has been a very good read. The book was suggested reading for a lecture series on Women in Art/Art of Women given by Dr. Karen Pope, art historian, as part of her Art inSight "Adventures in Art History" activities (http://www.artinsight.info/artinsight...). In the book, part of the Thames & Hudson World of Art series, Chadwick surveys "Art History and the Woman Artist" from the Middle Ages thr Whitney Chadwick's book entitled Women, Art, and Society (4th ed., 2007) has been a very good read. The book was suggested reading for a lecture series on Women in Art/Art of Women given by Dr. Karen Pope, art historian, as part of her Art inSight "Adventures in Art History" activities (http://www.artinsight.info/artinsight...). In the book, part of the Thames & Hudson World of Art series, Chadwick surveys "Art History and the Woman Artist" from the Middle Ages through the first decade of the twenty-first century. A new fifth edition (2012) extends the history even closer to our present time. Encompassing scores of artists and hundreds of illustrations, many in color, the book is a beautiful reading experience. Although the focus is on the social and especially the political/feminist context of the woman artist, the reader also learns a great deal about art history in general. Chadwick, a Professor Emerita of Art at San Francisco State University, presents a scholarly study that also speaks to a more general interested reader. Definitely a good read. [Posted to Goodreads 12/23/16.]

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennpants

    At times a fairly overwhemling survey: it covers art from the middle ages up to 2006. While highlighting some of the more widely recognized women artists over the ages (Sofonisba, Gentileschi, Niki de Saint Phalle, Nanci Spero, Cindy Sherman, etc) it does also highlight others -- including a range of artists active in non-western countries, artists identifying as lesbian/not-straight, and women of color (Mine Okubo, Yayoi Kusama, Kimsooja, Lee Bul, Shirin Neshat, etc). Artist historie At times a fairly overwhemling survey: it covers art from the middle ages up to 2006. While highlighting some of the more widely recognized women artists over the ages (Sofonisba, Gentileschi, Niki de Saint Phalle, Nanci Spero, Cindy Sherman, etc) it does also highlight others -- including a range of artists active in non-western countries, artists identifying as lesbian/not-straight, and women of color (Mine Okubo, Yayoi Kusama, Kimsooja, Lee Bul, Shirin Neshat, etc). Artist histories interspersed with critical feminist theory -- a whirlwind art history book that I found myself able to read without losing interest.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joe Higgins

    Not exactly a page turner, as this sort of thing usually needs to cater to the freshman text trade, and pay respects to the academic/feminist/cultural studies tenure track convo as well, but relatively free of post-modernist jargon. And filled with detail and insight about the artists that art history loves to ignore. As such, it’s a tidy little overview of some of the issues and societal shifts that have kept all but the least well-behaved (and most talented) women out of the history books. Als Not exactly a page turner, as this sort of thing usually needs to cater to the freshman text trade, and pay respects to the academic/feminist/cultural studies tenure track convo as well, but relatively free of post-modernist jargon. And filled with detail and insight about the artists that art history loves to ignore. As such, it’s a tidy little overview of some of the issues and societal shifts that have kept all but the least well-behaved (and most talented) women out of the history books. Also: not likely to, nor intended to, make you proud to carry a Y chromosome.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Watson

    As an art history student I found this is a fascinating and essential read, particularly as mentions of female artists in class were only notable by the Impressionist period; and even then, it was only Mary Cassatt and Berthe Merisot who were privileged enough to achieve an acknowledgement. I wish my lecturers would read this.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    An excellent history of women's often overlooked contribution to the visual arts. A book that is still standard reading for art historians.

  16. 4 out of 5

    crm

    Bought this book as foundation reading for course I teach on Women and the Art of Collecting: Isabella Stewart Gardner, Helena Rubinstein, Peggy Guggenheim, Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beth A

    Have read most of this book and it was really good, skipping around; wanna start from the beginning and read it all.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jez

    This book is a college classic, but it really just gives an overview. A good place to start for research, but expect cursory attention given to all but the biggest names.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jest

    Like all survey books, some chapters are better than others.

  20. 4 out of 5

    rani

    I have two copies of this book because uhhh it rules

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Scargill

    I took art history as my major in college.I read this book after I graduated, I found it very hard to read at certain times throughout the book but I finished it

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Only up to medieval manuscripts right now, but it's a great read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    704.042 C432w 2012

  24. 5 out of 5

    F.J. Commelin

    Thames and Hudson in this series give very informative books with good iluustrations.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A useful overview of women in the history of western art.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kayenne

    i'm taking a women in art class and this is the text. I probably wouldn't read it on my own as it is dense and full of art history jargon. But its great to have as a reference book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Connor

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lilian Conte

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lowe

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