GWA News Oct II
US Tour Dates; the GWA Podcast is back; proto-feminist art historians – and more!
Hello Readers — coming to you from sunny NYC! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be speaking across Canada and the US, and doing some very exciting activations in the City (announced soon!). Come and join me:
Thursday 2 Nov: Barnes & Noble, Upper West Side, New York City
Sunday 5 Nov: Montclair Art Museum, NJ
Tuesday 7 Nov: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Sunday 12 Nov: National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC
Tuesday 14 Nov: ICA San Francisco, CA
“Most artists… their work comes from the most simple things because what artists do is just reinterpret the world. What we do is search out the strangeness within that, and that's what I've done… I’ve looked for something and tried to unfold it and made a deeper way of looking at it – and, hopefully, made a more profound way of looking at yourself…” Listen now.
This week for the Guardian, I wrote my column how art speaks to our shared humanity. While art can’t give us the answers, it can, I think, convey emotion on a primal level, in ways that transcend time, class and demographics. A preview:
“Artists look at the world from within, drawing on real, human experiences. They take us to places we have never been to before, but that we recognise instantly. They teach us about basic emotions that headlines can’t touch. They make individual suffering universal. But they can also provide a lesson for those in power, showing how their actions affect communities, cause trauma down the generations, and harm those who have done nothing wrong. Art, no matter when it was made, can teach us that violence is never the answer.” Read now.
Lately, I’ve been looking into who gets to tell the story of art. While my shelves are stacked with the legendary feminist art historians of the 1970s and today, I recently asked myself, did any exist pre-1900? Turns out they did – and they championed women artists. I wrote about them for paid subs. Sign up now + here’s a preview:
Elizabeth F. Ellet was an American art historian who produced one of the first surveys of art by women, entitled Women Artists in All Ages and Countries (1869). The book crosses centuries, from the 13th century sculptor Sabina von Steinbach to Margaretha von Eyck, Rosa Bonheur to Emma Stebbins.
On Sabina von Steinbach – “The First Sculptress”:
“…it may well be said that in these works are embodied the ideal and supernatural elements that pervade the sculpture of the Middle Ages; and it seemed most appropriate that the taste and skill of woman should develop in such elements the purity and depth of feeling which impart a charm to these sculptures acknowledged by every beholder.”
On why she wrote the book:
“I did not know any work on Female Artists - either grouping them or giving a general history of their productions - has even been published.”
Her aims for the book:
“…should the perusal of my book inspire with courage and resolution any woman who aspires to overcome difficulties in achievement of honourable independence, or should it lead to a higher general respect for the powers of women and their destined position in the realm of Art, my objective will be accomplished.”
I’ll be back at the beginning of November with 5 of your Top 5! Katy Xoxo
That’s it from me! Happy GWA’ing. Thank you for reading this Substack. If you think someone else might enjoy this too, please spread the word and share this article. If you have any feedback, please comment below.