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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 7, September 1978
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 7, September 1978 - Page 5. September 1978. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 21, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1164/show/1159.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(September 1978). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 7, September 1978 - Page 5. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1164/show/1159

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 7, September 1978 - Page 5, September 1978, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 21, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1164/show/1159.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 7, September 1978
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date September 1978
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
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Title Page 5
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File Name femin_201109_543e.jpg
Transcript Dinner guests, left to right: S0ME LIVING AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS, by Mary Beth Edelson Lynda Benglis, Helen Frankenthaler, June Wayne, AlmaThomas, Lee Krasner, Nancy Graves, Georgia O'Keeffe, Elaine DeKooning, Louise Nevelson, M.C. Richards, Louise Bougeois, Lila Katzen, Yoko Ono The Joy Of Recognition by Anita Freeman Davidson WOMEN ARTISTS, Recognition and Reappraisal Front the Early Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century Karen Petersen & J. J. Wilson Harper & Row (1976) 212 pages, $5.95 Karen Petersen and J. J. Wilson do not consider themselves art historians; they are academically trained in comparative literature. WOMEN ARTISTS had its beginnings in a women's literature class at California State College, Sonoma, in the summer of 1971 when Petersen and Wilson were doing research on unknown (or ignored) women writers and philosophers. Petersen chose as a parallel project to research unknown women artists; Wilson became interested because the collection of over 1300 slides provided for humanities teachers contained only eight works by women. She hoped the college would photograph works turned up by Petersen's research. The search for color plates of women's works was painfully slow. Research methods varied from the "dogged perusal of indexes of artists' names," to the discovery that if they looked up the family names of well-known male artists-Diego Rivera, Jean Honore Fragonard, Marcel Duchamp, for example-they often found some account of a wife/lover/sister/ mother/daughter who was also an artist. As the slide collection grew, it was shown to classes and community groups. The response was good. 'The particular combination of women's biography and art seemed to reach a wide variety of people on a deep level." Translating the slide show into print was a natural next step. "We all know there is another story to be told," Adrienne Rich reminds us. WOMEN A R TISTS is intended as an overview of the "other" story of art, concentrating on what Judy Chicago calls "a new kind of art history, one that searched out women's work for women's point of view." The quantity of reproductions is a feast. Never before have so many been gathered in one place from such a wide time spectrum. An effort was made to choose works that were not included in the Harris and Nochlin exhibition catalogue, Women Artists 1550-1950, so that as many different works as possible would be made visible. Unfortunately, there are no color plates; however, 35mm slide sets are available from the publisher. The text focuses largely on the lives of the artists and the political climate in which they lived and worked. The works of women need exposure; they need sharing with their largest possible audience to develop a special vocabulary of appreciation and the same joy of recognition that men _ art has received over the centuries. It is not conducive to creativity to he denied an audience. Tillie Olsen, in her essay Silences, warns us of the terrible toll that being ignored can take. People are not just silent; they are silenced. The silence of the past is broken, and the myth of the historical anonymity of women is laid to rest by the reproductions of manuscript pages by nuns of the early Middle Ages. Guda not only signed her name to a homeliary that she illuminated, but included a self-portrait as well;Claricia signed her manuscript and drew a playful portrait of herself exercising on the initial "Q"; and Maria Ormani included with her signature a self-portrait and an inscription revealing the pride she took in her work. Women of the late Middle Ages were subject to an all-pervasive discrimination that incorporated such rules as those of the 14th-century guild on tapestry making which forbade pregnant or menstruating women from working on the big tapestry looms. Such prohibitions are part of a pattern that repeats itself wherever an industry is begun by women: Women work in or close by their homes, producing on a small scale, perfecting technique and developing their product to a high level of attractiveness and proven marketability, only to have male workers gradually replace them while so-called protective laws exclude them from all but the most menial aspects of the production. Nor did the Age of Enlightenment improve the position of women. Ironically, most women lost ground; the humanistic ideals and individual freedom of the Renaissance did not apply to women. Women slaves, witch-burnings, an increase in prostitution and the practice of looting convents and ousting the nuns left women no options. Without the protection of her family and/or an early marriage, a woman could find no respectable place in Renaissance society. Women artists who survived in this period were invariably either the daughter or the wife of a male artist. One notable exception was Sofonisba Anguis- sola who had the good fortune to be born one of the six daughters of Amilcare Anguissola, a widower who applied to all his children the humanist ideals of the Renaissance. He provided a full range of educational opportunities for all his children. Three of Sofonisba's sisters died young, but Anna and Elena were both working artists, though little of their work survives. Sofonisba's recognition began when Michelangelo praised and encouraged her in her work. She was invited to the court of Phillip II of Spain where she remained for twenty years. Her achievements cover a wide range, and scholars are currently reattributing many works to her. Another myth dispelled by WOMEN ARTISTS is that of the woman artist as dilettante. These were serious artists who supported themselves with their works, and many were the sole support of their families. In Bologna, that oasis of oppor- "These were serious artists who supported themselves with their works." tunity and education for women, Lavinia Fontana was appointed one of the official painters of the Papal court. In 17th-century England, Mary Beale earned her family's livelihood with her much sought-after portraits-she painted 83 in the year 1677. Her husband kept records of her commissions, ordered supplies for her studio and attended to domestic details. The Eighteenth Century introduced institutionalization. Academies were founded and membership became essential to obtaining commissions. The number of members was strictly limited; if women were accepted at all, only a token number were allowed. Many women did rise to prominence, however, and an important advance was made when women artists were asked to teach young women art students. Major teaching studios were operated by both Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun and Adelaide Labille-Guiard in prerevolu- tionary France. With the turn of the century, more and more women were gaining entrance to schools and "pressure was building to provided them with something other than a cow to model." Access to schools and live models would be only a partial victory; the struggle for more women instructors would continue to the present day. In France, women found a more agreeable climate for both work and study. The independent Mary Cassatt left a legacy of bold, experimental work, and also "furthered, in fact almost created, an interest in French impressionism...." Berthe Morisot succeeded in "saying in oil what can only be said in watercolour. " And Suzanne Valadon, abandoned as a child, taught herself to paint and achieved an affluence which she celebrated in "conspicuous consumption, such as feeding her cherished cats caviar every Friday." The body of work that she produced is remarkably innovative and leads directly into the artistic adventures of the 20th century.' The turn-of-the-century mysteries— Gwen John, Romaine Brooks, Florine Stettheimer and Seraphrine de Senlis, are HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH SEPTEMBER