Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900

  • Ellen Thesleff (Finnish, 1869-1954) | Echo, 1891 | Oil on canvas | 24 x 17 1/8 in. | Anders Wiklöf Collection, Andersudde, Åland Islands | Photo: Kjell Söderlund
  • Louise-Catherine Breslau (German/Swiss, 1856-1927) | The Friends (Les amies), 1881 | Oil on canvas | 33 1/2 x 63 in. | © Musée d’art et d’histoire, ville de Genève, 1883-0002; Photo: Bettina Jacot-Descombes
  • Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895) | The Sisters, 1869 | Oil on canvas | 20 ½ x 32 in. | National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Carstairs, 1952.9.2
  • Cecilia Beaux (American, 1855-1942) | Ernesta (Child with Nurse), 1894 | Oil on canvas | 50 ½ x 38 1/8 in. | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York/www.metmuseum.org, Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1965, 65.49
  • Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926) | Children Playing on the Beach, 1884 | Oil on canvas | 38 3/8 x 29 3/16 in. | National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Alisa Mellon Bruce Collection, 1970.17.19
  • Anna Ancher (Danish, 1855-1935) | The Harvesters, 1905 | Oil on canvas | 17 1/8 x 22 1/8 in. | Art Museums of Skagen, Denmark, SKM1465
  • Marie Bashkirtseff (Ukranian, 1858-1884) | In the Studio, 1881 | Oil on canvas | 60 5/8 x 73 ¼ in. | Dnipropetrovsk State Art Museum, Ukraine KH-4234 | Photo: Dnipropetrovsk / Bridgeman Images
  • Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895) | Self-Portrait, 1885 | Oil on canvas | 24 x 19 11/16 in. | Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, 6022 | Photo: Bridgeman Images
  • Harriet Backer (Norwegian, 1845-1932) | Evening, Interior, 1890 | Oil on canvas | 32 x 34 in. | National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, Oslo, NG.M.02216; Photo: Børre Høstland | © The National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design
  • Louise Abbéma (French, 1853-1927) | Lunch in the Greenhouse (Le déjeuner dans la serre), 1877 | Oil on canvas | 76 3/8 x 121 ¼ in. | Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau, France
  • Marie Bracquemond (French, 1840-1916) | On the Terrace at Sèvres (Sur la terrasse à Sèvres), 1880 | Oil on canvas | 34 5/8 x 45 ¼ in. | Musée du Petit Palais, Geneva | Photo: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY
  • Kitty Kielland (Norwegian, 1843-1914) | Stokkavannet, 1890 | Oil on canvas | 45 5/16 x 78 ¾ in. | The Royal Collections, Oslo, DSK. 001128; Photo: Jan Haug
  • Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895) | The Lesson in the Garden, 1886 | Oil on canvas | 23 9/16 x 28 ¾ in. | Collection of Frederic C. Hamilton, bequeathed to the Denver Art Museum
  • Emma Löwstädt-Chadwick (Swedish, 1855-1932) | Beach Parasol, Brittany (Portrait of Amanda Sidwall), 1880 | Oil on panel | 11 7/16 x 19 11/16 in. | Private Collection, Stockholm; Photo: Lars Engelhardt
  • Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926) | Autumn, Portrait of Lydia Cassatt, 1880 | Oil on canvas | 36 5/8 x 25 5/8 in. | Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris | Photo: Bulloz © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
  • Lady Elizabeth Butler (British, 1846-1933) | Balaclava, 1876 | Oil on canvas | 40 5/8 x 73 5/8 in. | Manchester Art Gallery, Gift from Robert Whitehead, 1898, 1898.13
  • Marie Bashkirtseff (Ukrainian, 1858-1884) | The Meeting, 1884 | Oil on canvas | 76 x 69 11/16 in. | Musée d’Orsay, Paris | Photo: Jan Schormans © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
  • Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899) | Plowing at Nivernais, 1850 | Oil on canvas | 52 ½ x 102 in. | Bequest of John Ringling, 1936, SN433, Collection of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, Sarasota, Florida
  • Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau (American, 1837-1922) | La Confidence, ca. 1880 | Oil on canvas | 68 x 47 1/8 in. | Georgia Museum of Art, Athens
  • Elin Danielson-Gambogi (Finnish, 1861-1919) | Girl with Kittens in a Summer Landscape, 1892 | 43 5/16 x 53 15/16 in. | UPM Kymmene Cultural Foundation, Helsinki, UKK S56 | Photo: © UPM Kymmene Cultural Foundation, Helsinki
  • Marianne Stokes (Austrian, 1855-1927) | The Passing Train, 1890 | Oil on canvas | 24 x 30 in. | Private Collection | Photo: Dominic Brown, D.G.A. Brown Photography
  • Mina Carlson-Bredberg (Swedish, 1857-1943) | Académie Julian, Mademoiselle Beson Drinking from A Glass, u.d. | Oil on canvas | 20 7/8 x 29 1/8 in. | Dorsia Hotel, Gothenburg, Sweden

VENUES

Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO: October 22, 2017–January 14, 2018
Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY: February 17–May 13, 2018
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA: June 9–September 3, 2018

Paris was the epicenter of art during the latter half of the nineteenth century, luring artists from around the world with its academies, museums, salons, and galleries. Despite the city’s cosmopolitanism and its cultural stature, Parisian society remained strikingly conservative, particularly with respect to gender. Nonetheless, many women painters chose to work and study in Paris at this time, overcoming immense obstacles to access the city’s resources.

Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900 showcases the remarkable artistic production of women during this period of great cultural change, revealing the breadth and strength of their creative achievements. Guest Curator Laurence Madeline (Chief Curator at Musées d’art et d’histoire, Geneva) has selected close to seventy compelling paintings by women of varied nationalities, ranging from well-known artists such as Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Rosa Bonheur, to lesser-known figures such as Kitty Kielland, Louise Breslau, and Anna Ancher.

Drawn from prominent collections in Europe and the United States, this rich and beautiful survey is organized in loose thematic groupings to highlight common subjects to which women artists were drawn, or which they embraced due to the gender-based constraints they encountered.

PUBLICATION

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, featuring an introductory overview by guest curator Laurence Madeline and contributions by Bridget Alsdorf, Jane R. Becker, Joëlle Bolloch, Vibeke Waallan Hansen, and Richard Kendall. Topics addressed include the influential work of women Impressionists; representations of the female artist in portraiture; the unique experiences of Nordic women artists; and the significant presence women artists occupied in the annual Paris Salon. The book is published by the American Federation of Arts in association with Yale University Press.

CURATOR

Laurence Madeline is an independent curator and former Chief Curator of the fine arts division of the Musées d’art et d’histoire (MAH), Geneva. She served as Director of the Musée Léon Dierx, Saint-Denis de La Réunion; curator at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; and, from 2000 to 2006, curator at the Musée Picasso, Paris. Her exhibitions include Courbet: les années suisses (2014, MAH); James Ensor (2009–10, Musée d’Orsay and Museum of Modern Art, New York); Picasso-Manet (2008–9, Musée d’Orsay); and Picasso-Ingres (2004, Musée Picasso and Musée Ingres), among others.

CREDIT

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 is organized by the American Federation of Arts and curated by independent curator Laurence Madeline.

The exhibition is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the JFM Foundation, Elizabeth K. Belfer, the Florence Gould Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Clare McKeon, Steph and Jody La Nasa, Victoria Ershova Triplett, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Finlandia Foundation.

Support for the accompanying publication provided by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.