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Women's History 

I am taking a class on women in the arts and was wondering if you had any insight about it. What was the biggest struggle for women to overcome regarding the arts? When was women's art considered art and valuable? Will women ever become better than men in this area? 

I was an Art History major in college, and though that was some time ago, I do take a great interest in women in the arts. In general, I don't think that women artists in all mediums get a fair share of the spotlight—most of the funding goes to men, as well as most of the prestige. In general, much of women's art is considered craft, where as “art” is synonymous with male creations. I think there are many reasons for this—one, a general discrediting of women's creations, and two, women's resistance to trumping themselves up and putting themselves out there—something that the art world requires of artists.

Certainly women have made great strides —Faith Ringgold, Kiki Smith and others are very revered in the current art scene. And there are many galleries that prioritize women artists—AIR Gallery, White Columns (both in NYC and certainly others exist elsewhere). There was a great film made – Our City Dreams by Chiara Clemente that was about female artists living in NYC.

Linda Nochlin, Mary Garrard, and others are academics who have written extensively on this topic—mostly in a historical context. There is also The Guerrilla Girls—who work contemporarily to get more women artists out there.




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