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American Women Artists: The Rise to Professionalism, 1845-1945

The American experiment has allowed for many forms of societal rule-breaking, but historically, women artists often found themselves bound by old-world conventions. In this course, we take a deep look at the artworks of extraordinary American women artists, some familiar and most less so. You’ll get a better understanding of the strategies these artists employed to become professionals, a reflection of the challenges urban women faced overall. Most of these artists have fallen into obscurity upon death, regardless of the successes they achieved while living. Together, we will resuscitate and celebrate the art careers of notable women, including Lilly Martin Spencer; the Gilded Age breakthrough sculptors and painters; the Red Rose Girls; Elizabeth Okie Paxton and the Boston School; Theresa Bernstein and urban realism; and Peggy Bacon, Isabel Bishop, and social realism. Join us!

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of American women’s contribution to the fine arts
  • Familiarity with notable women artists between 1845 and 1945
  • Awareness of the historical and social context of important artworks by women

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Prospective and practicing arts professionals
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.