In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to take some time to celebrate women in the arts, and the significant strides that have been made. We have complied a collection of women who changed the landscape of the art community, pushed through adversity, and stayed true to their vision. These women have inspired, and continue to inspire up-and-coming artists.
Italian Renaissance: Sofonisba Anguissola
Born in 1532, Sofonisba Anguissola envisioned herself as a successful painter, and she did not let the constraints of her time period hold her back. She traveled across Europe, studying famous painters. She was taught to simply replicate her . Her style mainly consisted of portraits of her family as well as royals and dignitaries. Her determination and perserverance showed the would that female artists could complete with their male peers. Before Anguissola, there was no precedent for women attending art schools or becoming apprentices. Anguissola’s succes opened the way for countless women to pursue serious careers as artists. Sofonisba herself once said, “Life is full of surprises, I try to capture these precious moments with wide eyes.”
Georgia O’Keeffe: Defining Modernity
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, specifically for her contribution to modern art. Deemed the “Mother of American Modernism”, her paintings have a uniqueness about them that cannot be sorted into a single art movement, though they include features of Abstract Modernism, Surrealism, and Precisionism. O’Keeffe stayed unapologetically true to her own vision and was not afraid to show what she was capable of. She was one of the first female painters to achieve worldwide praise from both critics and general public alike. She remains one of the most important and innovative artists of the twentieth century.
Feminist Art Movement
Beginning in the 1960’s, Feminist artist used a variety of mediums including painting, performance arts, and “crafts” (historically considered “women’s work”). The Feminist Art Movement has been defined as ” Art that seeks to challenge the dominance of men in both art and society, to gain recognition and equality for women artists, and to question assumptions about womanhood” (MoMA). The artists sought to create dialogue between the viewer and artwork through the inclusion of a woman’s perspective. Typically, before this movement majority of women artists were unknown to the pubic and often denied exhibitions and gallery representation. Some of the most notable influencers of this movement are Judy Chicago, Frida Kahlo, Barbara Kruger, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Both feminism and feminist art continue to evolve.
Wilhelmina Holladay: National Museum of Women in the Arts
Wihelmina Holladay was an American art collector and patron. Holladay and her husband began collecting art in the 1950s and were dismayed to find many women artists whose pieces they had acquired were not mentioned in the leading art texts of the time. The Holladay’s collected 500 works by 150 artists and opened the National Museum of Women in the Arts in November 1981. The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is “the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. The museum seeks to inspire dynamic changes about art and ideas, and advocates for better representation of women artists” (NMWA).
Elsie Arredondo & Elisa Valerio: The Women of Arredon Art
Since 2013, Elsie Arredondo has worked with contemporary artists in paintings, sculptures, sketches and prints. She is the owner and operator of the ENA Art Group and Arredon Art Gallery. An experienced Gallery Director, Art Consultant and Fine Art Appraiser, Arredondo has built long-term relationships with private collectors, auction houses, framers, shippers and installers. Elsie is not only an Accredited Member of the International Society of Appraisers, but a proud member of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD).
Arredon Art is also proud to feature female artist Elisa Valerio! Born in Cuba, Valerio’s talent and love for art developed at the early age of five as she painted portraits of her sisters and the gardens around her home. She continued her studies under some of the most influential Cuban artists of their time including Dionisio Rene, Luis Cernuda, and Carlos Trillo. Valerio’s work can best be described as “satirical beauty” and she and continues to paint from her home in Florida with collectors in Europe, Latin America, and the United States.
Celebrating Women in the Arts:
Celebrating women’s arts is not just important to the artists themselves, but also museums and curators. Women continue to break barriers and set new standards. We hope to inspire and encourage you to continue research and celebrate women in the arts. For any questions or general inquiries, please contact us.