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LibrlSt 722: Special Topics in Contemporary Cultural Studies
Dr. Linda Brazeau, Lecturer, Department of Art History

Women and the Development of Modernism in Western Art, 1880-Present: Artists, Patrons, Critics

Selected Readings (partial) from:
Mary Ann Calo, ed., Critical Issues in American Art (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1998)
Marianne Doezema and Elizabeth Milroy, eds., Reading American Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998)
Paul Fabozzi, Artists, Critics, Context (Upper Saddle Ridge, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002)
Eleanor Munro, Originals, American Women Artists (Scranton, PA: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000)
Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock, Old Mistresses, Women, Art and Ideology (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981)
Wendy Slatkin, ed., The Voices of Women Artists ((Upper Saddle Ridge, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993)
Kirstin Swinth, Painting Professionals: Women Artists and the Development of Modern Art, 1870-1930 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001)

Course Description

Modernism in Western art was profoundly shaped by women who, from the late-nineteenth century, entered the art world in unprecedented numbers and launched professional careers as artists, patrons and critics. This seminar will study women's ever-increasing presence in the art world and how feminine positioning modified the dynamics of professional art and influenced the development of a modern aesthetic. The focus will be prominent and influential female artists, patrons, and critics who played crucial roles in modernist and avant-garde trends in art. Modernist gender dynamics will be explored through selective and critical examination of images and texts.

The course will be chronologically structured into periods of developing trends in modernism:
  1. 1880-1915;
  2. Between the Wars;
  3. 1940-1960;
  4. 1960-1980;
  5. 1980-Present.
For each of these periods, those women artists, patrons and critics who were integral in advancing modernism and the feminist cause will be considered. Specific topics will be addressed weekly through both review of slide images and discussion of texts culled from diverse sources including autobiographical texts, personal narratives, published and video interviews, and essays about, and authored by, European and American female artists, patrons and critics.

Class members are expected to attend all classes and any special lectures. As well, they must submit a written one-page critical commentary on assigned readings and participate in classroom discussion. By the end of the semester, each class member will be required to submit a more substantive paper on a mutually agreed upon topic discussed in class.

Wed, 6:30-9:10pm

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