The Struggle for Equality - Women Artists in Victorian England with Hattie Bennett

The Struggle for Equality - Women Artists in Victorian England with Hattie Bennett


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The "fair" artist of the 19th century was expected to paint in watercolor, usually landscapes or a domestic still-life. Seen as an accomplishment, never a profession, the woman artist was limited in subject matter partly to the limitations of training. This seminar will tell the story of the Victorian woman artist, from a curated collection of women, their art, their difficulties, and their legacy.

Studying from the human body was strictly prohibited and teaching was limited to a few private academies. Male artists were able to train at the Royal Academy, founded in the 18th century with two women academicians. We’ll learn that by the nineteenth-century, there was a total ban on women academicians: the first appointment was in the 1930s.

In this conversation, we will look at the group of women artists who exhibited work as professional artists. We will look at their chosen subjects (often feminist) and influences. The call for access to training was finally answered with the establishment of the Slade Art School in the 1870s where a woman could study the human figure from life and heralded a generation of women artists, from the Pre-Raphaelite Evelyn de Morgan to Graphic Artist Kate Greenaway to Bloomsbury artist Dora Carrington.

Led by an expert on art history, Hattie Bennett, this interactive seminar will focus on the Victorian Woman artist. Designed to inform, curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the struggle of the nineteenth-century woman artist.

Hattie has a degree in History of Art and an MA in Historic Interiors, she has a life-long passion and fascination in Fine and Decorative Arts, particularly works produced in Europe from the 16th to 18th century. After working for the Royal Collection in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, she was a curator for a private collector of 17th and 18th century prints and drawings. Hattie has worked for London's foremost framer of important old master paintings during which time she sharpened her appreciation and understanding of the decorative arts and the changing tastes of collecting. Recently she has been dealing in prints and works of art as well as taking groups of all ages to museums and galleries.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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