1894: The year of the new woman art critic

Clarke, Meaghan (2015) 1894: The year of the new woman art critic. BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History.

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Abstract

In 1894, satirical journals such as Punch mockingly identified the phenomenon of the New Woman, as found in novels, plays and articles, as an intellectual and independent figure. These mannish representations of professional women seem impossible to reconcile with the aesthetic and fashionable realms of late Victorian art and culture. Studies have frequently considered the role of Victorian women as models or sitters—objects of a male artist’s inspiration. However, other career paths for women were possible. Many women were successful artists and an alternative entrée into the art world was journalism. This article will posit that women art journalists provided a living example of professional opportunities for intellectual New Women. Although their work has been largely left out of accounts of the period, they contributed to key developments in art history at the end of the century. To begin with, I will touch on the history of art writing and its development as a professional avenue for women. Then, I will explore specific themes in order to consider the diversity of their critical responses to contemporary British art circa 1894. This will encompass women’s writings on Pre-Raphaelite and academic artists as “celebrities,” groups influenced by French Impressionism in Newlyn and St. Ives, London Impressionists and Glasgow Boys, as well as art and culture beyond Britain.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general > NX0420 Exhibitions
Depositing User: Fiona Allan
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 11:21
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 12:04
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/73251

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