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Posts Tagged ‘Women in art’

This post comes to us from Rena Tobey, Curatorial Intern.

Who wouldn’t want to know what the future holds?

Reading Tea Leaves, 1906.  Harry Herman Roseland (c.1867—1950).  Oil on canvas, 10 1/8 x 14 ¼ in.  Gift of Mrs. Valentine B. Chamberlain, 2000.87.

Reading Tea Leaves, 1906. Harry Herman Roseland (c.1867—1950). Oil on canvas, 10 1/8 x 14 ¼ in. Gift of Mrs. Valentine B. Chamberlain, 2000.87.

Over one hundred years ago, artist Harry Roseland tapped into that same yearning with a series of works he painted from 1890 to 1910 of tea leaf and palm readers.  Reading Tea Leaves from 1906, a gem in the NBMAA collection, represents this series perfectly.  You’ll find the painting in the Johnson gallery on the first floor.  Even though it’s a small work, we think you’ll be drawn right in to its story. (more…)

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East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel, 1928. Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986).Oil on canvas.New Britain Museum of American Art, Stephen B. Lawrence Fund, 1958.9.

The art world has long been a male-dominated domain. Although the ratio has shifted in recent years, men were traditionally afforded far more access to artistic training. One of the most important aspects of this training, the study of the nude model, was generally altogether barred from female students.

As women have been incorporated into the art world and art history in recent decades, many issues have arisen concerning the handling of these changes. These have included the attribution, collection, display and analysis of works by female artists. (more…)

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Girl with Red Hair, 1962. Jack LeVine (b. 1925). Oil on canas, 32 x 26 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Davis, 2003.13.

We have, more or less, as an audience become used to the idealized depiction of women. Often, particularly in classical styles, they were portrayed as reclining nudes who were there for the viewer’s pleasure. With averted eyes, they touched themselves sensually, typically innocent and oblivious that there is someone painting her for all to see. When they weren’t sexual-fantasy fodder, they were servile and obedient–particularly in the 1940’s and 1950’s after the end of the strong women era of World War II. They wore their hair in perfect curls, with their perfect dresses and worked merrily away in their perfect kitchens.  In Jack Levine’s Girl with Red Hair  there is a shift away from the perfect, care-free woman that came before. Rather, nudity is embraced as an aspect of the woman’s power rather than the viewer’s object. (more…)

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