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Women, Art, and Society (World of Art)

Whitney Chadwick


A new edition of a groundbreaking classic – one of the bestselling World of Art titles, updated for this urgent moment for women artists, and feminist history in general

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Whitney Chadwick’s acclaimed study challenges the assumption that great women artists are exceptions to the rule, who ‘transcended’ their sex to produce major works of art. While acknowledging the many women whose contribution to visual culture since the Middle Ages have often been neglected, Chadwick’s survey amounts to much more than an alternative canon of women artists: it re-examines the works themselves and the ways in which they have been perceived as marginal, often in direct reference to gender. In her disussion of feminism and its influence on such a reappraisal, the author also addresses the closely related issues of ethnicity, class and sexuality.

With a new preface and epilogue from an exciting new authority on the history of women artists, this revised edition continues the project of charting the evolution of feminist art history and pedagogy in recent years, revealing how artists have responded to new strategies of feminism for the current moment.


'Packed with information, controversy, argument and very good art'
Times Educational Supplement

'An enormously useful work'
The Sunday Times

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Sixth edition

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 600 pp

Illustrations: 331

Publication date: 27 August 2020

ISBN: 9780500204566

Contents List

Foreword • Preface • Preface to the Fifth Edition • Introduction: Art History and the Woman Artist • 1. The Middle Ages • 2. The Renaissance Ideal Chapter • 3. The Other Renaissance • 4. Domestic Genres and Women Painters in Northern Europe • 5. Amateurs and Academics: A New Ideology of Femininity in France and England • 6. Sex, Class, and Power in Victorian England • 7. Toward Utopia: Moral Reform and American Art in the Nineteenth Century • 8. Separate but Unequal: Woman’s Sphere and the New Art • 9. Modernism, Abstraction, and the New Woman • 10. Modernist Representation: The Female Body • 11. Gender, Race, and Modernism after the Second World War • 12. Feminist Art in North America and Great Britain • 13. New Directions: A Partial Overview • 14. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart • 15. A Place to Grow: Personal Visions, Global Concerns • 16. The Enduring Legacy of Feminism • Epilogue, Bibliography and Sources

About the Author

Whitney Chadwick is Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University. Among her other books are Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement, Women, Art and Society and Significant Others: Creativity and Intimate Partnership. Flavia Frigeri is an art historian and curator, and Teaching Fellow at University College London. She is the author of several books, including Pop Art and Women Artists, both in Thames & Hudson's Art Essentials series.

List of Contributors

Flavia Frigeri

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