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The Women Who Made Art History: From the Renaissance to the 21st Century

4 Session Afternoon Course

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to Tuesday, January 31, 2023 - 1:15 p.m. ET
Upcoming Session:
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0753
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Mother and Child, A Goodnight Hug (detail) by Mary Cassatt, 1880

We live in a moment in which formerly marginalized groups of artists, including people of color and women, are being celebrated. But for centuries, women were conspicuously underrepresented in—and indeed almost absent from—art history books. Yet despite the multitude of barriers that kept women from achieving prominence, a critical mass did find their way into the annals of art history.

Join art historian Judy Pomerantz as she examines the role women have played in Western visual arts from the Renaissance to the present through an exploration of the works and lives of female artists who made significant marks on the art of their time and on the course of art history. She also looks at the challenges women artists have faced in their chosen profession and at some of the reasons women are now being more widely recognized for their contributions.

January 10  Renaissance to mid-19th Century

Pomerantz examines some of the early barriers encountered by women. Artists include Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi, Sofonisba Anguissolola, Judith Leyster, and Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun, among others. 

January 17   Late 19th Century to Early 20th Century

Trace the slow acceptance of women into the art world. Artists include Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Cecilia Beaux, Kathe Kollwitz, Gabriele Munter, Rosa Bonheur, and Hilma af Klint. 

January 24   Modern Artists up to the mid-20th Century

Survey the lives and works of modern artists including Frida Kahlo, Barbara Hepworth, Georgia O’Keefe, Louise Bourgeois, Alma Thomas, Alice Neel, and Louise Nevelson. 

January 31   Abstract Expressionists and Those Who Came After

Explore the careers of Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, Elaine De Kooning, and Grace Hartigan, as well as several women who subsequently made a notable mark on the art world, including Cindy Sherman, Marina Abramovich, Yayoi Kusama, and Kara Walker. 

4 sessions

World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for online programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our online programs presented on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This online program is presented on Zoom.