A perfect pin-up, a damsel in distress, a saintly mother, a femme fatale …
Women’s identity has long been stifled by a limited set of archetypes, found everywhere in pictures from art history’s classics to advertising, while women artists have been overlooked and held back from shaping more empowering roles.
Art historian Catherine McCormack asks us to look again at what these images have told us to value, opening up our most loved images – from those of Titian and Botticelli to Picasso and the Pre-Raphaelites. She also shows us how women artists – from Berthe Morisot to Beyoncé, Judy Chicago to Kara Walker – have offered us new ways of thinking about women’s identity, sexuality, race and power.
Her book Women in the Picture Catherine McCormack gives us new ways of seeing the art of the past and the familiar images of today so that we might free women from these restrictive roles and embrace the breadth of women’s vision.
Dr Catherine McCormack is an art historian and independent curator. She is the founder and course leader of the ‘Women and Art’ study programme at Sotheby’s Institute of Art where she teaches on art, race and gender. She is the author of The Art of Looking Up (2019) and Women in the Picture (2021).
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Twitter: @iconbook / @CathMcCormack