“Women Artists in Paris: 1850–1900″ and their Contemporary Counterparts

New York, NY (July 17, 2017): On occasion of the upcoming exhibition Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900, the American Federation of Arts will present a conversation between the exhibition’s curator, Laurence Madeline, and scholar and catalogue contributor Bridget Alsdorf, to discuss the experience of women artists working in Paris at the end of the nineteenth century and that of their contemporary counterparts. The event will take place on September 7th at 6 pm at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City.

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900, which will begin its national tour at the Denver Art Museum in October, recognizes the creative and revolutionary force of a group of female artists during the second half of the nineteenth century, a time when males enjoyed immense privilege and exclusivity in many spheres of life. As a hub of opportunity and inspiration, Paris welcomed artists into circles of creative and intellectual dialogue and innovation. However, the persistence of restricting gender norms made it difficult for women artists to be recognized as creators and pioneers in their own right. Pursuing a career as an artist, at least for women, required them to challenge societal expectations and forge alternative paths.

Featuring close to 90 paintings by 37 artists from 11 countries, drawn from prominent public and private collections across the United States and abroad, this exhibition includes the work of renowned painters such as Mary Cassatt (American) and Berthe Morisot (French), and extraordinary yet lesser-known artists such as Kitty Kielland (Norwegian), Marian Stokes (Austrian), and Ellen Thesleff (Finnish).

The exhibition’s richly illustrated catalogue will be available for purchase. It includes texts by Laurence Madeline, Bridget Alsdorf, Richard Kendall, Jane R. Becker, Vibeke Waallann Hansen, and Joëlle Bolloch. It was published by the American Federation of Arts & Yale University Press (2017).


Laurence Madeline is the former Chief Curator of the fine arts division of the Musées d’art et d’histoire (MAH), Geneva. In addition, she has served as Director of the Musée Léon Dierx, Saint-Denis de La Réunion; Curator at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; and Curator at the Musée Picasso, Paris.

Bridget Alsdorf is an Associate Professor at Princeton University specializing in European art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is the author of Fellow Men: Fantin-Latour and the Problem of the Group in Nineteenth-Century French Painting (2012).


Participants: Laurence Madeline, Bridget Alsdorf

Date: September 7, 2017

Time: 6 pm Conversation / 7 pm Reception

Place: The Cultural Services, French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue, New York

Tickets: Free. RSVP Required


Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism
Denver Art Museum, Colorado (October 22, 2017–January 14, 2018)

Women Artists in Paris in the Age of Impressionism
Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky (February 17–May 13, 2018)

Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts (June 9–September 3, 2018)

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.





We thank The Cultural Services of The French Embassy in the U.S. for their support of this event.

The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.

Press Contact: Natalie Espinosa, 212.988.7700 x 205 or nespinosa@amfedarts.org


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