WOMEN CULTURAL AGENTS
100 WOMEN ARTISTS
IN ART HISTORY
Women cultural agents work to enlighten Art History by uncovering women artists of the past. Women artists have been underrepresented Art History, hardly recognized, ignored, abused, and/or marginalized, compared to men artists of the same époque. Each contemporary woman artist has been assigned a woman artist in art history worldwide. The artist has chosen one of her pieces and created a unique and significant piece with her own style. This project has the objective to recover and elevate women artists in art history and their histories but at the same time to promote contemporary women artists.
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Represented by contemporary men and women artists. Inclusive.
Catharine van Hemessen (1528-1565) was a Flemish Renaissance painter who mostly created small-scale portraits and religious scenes. Catharine learned and worked in her father's studio. She was the first male/female artist in Europe at her époque, creating a self-portrait with not only a palette but an easel.
Madeleine Lemaire (1845-1928) lived most of her adult life in Paris, and unlike most female artists of her era, was not discriminated against or under-represented in the art world. On the contrary, she was a Socialite and held herself a Salon where she received high society in her hotel on the Rue de Monceau. She specialized in elegant genre works and flowers in oils, watercolors, and pastels and was called "The Empress of Roses". She was known to have many writers, actors, artists, and politicians of the times flock to her very sought-after literary and musical Salon. For example, she was tutored by Charlie Chaplin. She was dear friends with Alexander Dumas, cemented her position within the artistic elites, and marked her emancipation and move towards a more personal output.
Romaine Brooks (1874-1970) was an American painter who worked mainly in Paris and the island of Capri in Italy. She was born into a very wealthy American family but soon after Romaine was born, and her alcoholic father abandoned the family. She was raised in New York by her unstable and emotionally abusive mother. At age seven, her mother abandoned Romaine, leaving her with a foster family in New York City without financial support. Being in financial debt, the foster family learned about Romaine’s wealthy grandfather and reached out to him for support. He sent Romaine to a girls’ school in New Jersey. She would end up living with her mother intermittently during this time. At age 19, Romaine left her family and moved to Paris, where she took voice lessons and sang in a cabaret, living on a small allowance from her mother. She became pregnant, gave up the baby, and moved to Rome to study art. Due to a lack of sufficient funds and experiencing near starvation, she suffered a breakdown and moved back to New York. A year later, her mother died, leaving Romaine independently wealthy. Despite being a lesbian, Romaine married her friend John Brooks. The marriage ended after a year. She
moved to England, where she re-immersed herself in painting. During this time, she
transitioned from bright colors and began learning to create finer gradations of gray.
She had her first solo exhibition in Paris in 1910, where she established her reputation
as an artist. Romaine became romantically involved with several women but the
longest and most important relationship of Brooks' life was her three-way partnership with an American writer, Natalie Barney, and a French aristocrat, Lily de Gramont. They formed a trio that lasted the rest of their lives. Romaine Brooks and Una (Lady) Troubridge were introduced through Natalie Barney, who was known to bring together the brightest and most forward-thinking women. The two women formed a strong friendship as they represented a generation of women in the 20s that broke the female stereotype: they were freethinking, living on their own, and becoming renowned and respected figures. Brooks painted Lady Troubridge in 1924, depicting her as a
headstrong and demanding woman. In the late 1940s, Brooks moved from Paris to
Nice, alone, where she became a recluse, spending weeks at a time in a darkened
room. She was paranoid and feared that her drawings were being stolen and that she
was being poisoned. Romaine Brooks died in Nice, France, in 1970 at 96.
Rosalba Carriera was a Venetian Rococo portrait artist. She worked in miniatures and pastels. Her work was widely collected, and she was very successful. I am pleased to draw a fellow artist who appreciated the figure and heads.
She looks solemn in her self-portrait. I have reinterpreted it showing her as proud as she should be for having accomplished so much. While she chose neutral colors, I see her as a more lively and colorful character. She broke barriers, so I have her breaking out the boundary at the top of her page.
Who is Sonia Delaunay?
In 1885, Sonia Delaunay (Sarah Stern) was born into a poor Ukrainian Jewish family. At
an early age she went to live in St. Petersburg, Russia with her well to do uncle, Henri
Terk and his wife, Anna who were childless. There she became known as Sonia Terk.
She was afforded a fine education and was introduced to the arts and culture. She
traveled throughout Europe visiting museums and galleries. Her drawing skills were
recognized and she entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany. Being
multilingual, she later moved to Paris where she attended the Academy de la Palette.
Though the art community, she met her husband and painter, Robert Delaunay.
Together, they were active in the early 20th Century’s avant-garde circles and the
development of an approach to painting called Simultanism, a method of using strong
colors and geometric shapes. Her interests in modern technology, urban life and cultural
happenings influenced her usage of composition and color to create movement, rhythm
and space. Sonia’s career spanned all disciplines including textile design, fashion,
costume and stage set design, illustration and interior design. After Robert died in 1941,
she continued an active exhibition history with her paintings and works on paper. In
1964, she was celebrated as the first living female artist to have a retrospective at the
Louvre. She was an energetic creator up until the day she died in 1979. She was still
not truly recognized in her life time for her artistic accomplishments and networking
contributions in the early abstract movements as well as the later post war abstraction.
Hopefully, this has started to change. In 2018, the Tate Modern in London mounted a
retrospective, “Sonia Delaunay, Mother of Abstraction” which presented her entire
career with pivotal paintings and examples of all the disciplines in which she
contributed. And further exhibitions such as "100 Women Artists in Art History”, will bring
to light Sonia Delaunay’s accomplishments to a broader audience.
This is how I approached Sonia Delaunay’s artwork.
In my former career as an international art dealer, I frequently came across Sonia
Delaunay’s artwork. Primarily, I bought and sold her works on paper which were related
to her textile and fashion design. Now as an artist, I chose Delaunay because I have
always had an affinity for her artwork. From current research covering the breadth of her
long and prolific career, I settled on the painting, “Rythem coloré” dating 1946, oil on
canvas, 69” x 59”. Fascinated by her composition, I had a choice to make. Do I make
this a learning experience about Sonia Delaunay’s painting or do I create something
totally my own based on it? I chose to study the work and put a personal stamp into it.
Therefore, I created an analysis of her composition to better understand here usage of
diagonals and overlapping circles within circles within circles which continue as implied.
The next step was to figure out how to use the Prismacolors to match Sonia Delaunay’s
paint colors which were somewhat flat with slight transitions. What I learned in this
exercise was that I would need to layer different colors twice and in some cases three
times to get the desired result. So this is how I approached my drawing which is 17” x
14”. I chose to tighten up Sonia Delaunay’s composition and to stay within her color
choices as best as could with my method of applying Prismacolors. To change the
surface texture and personalize it, I chose to gradate some of the hues. And at the very
end, I inserted a few more personal touches into the composition.
7. Mary Moser by Diane V Radel
Mary Moser RA (1744-1819) was an English painter trained by her artist father, George Michael Moser, who was an enameler. She won her first award from the Society for the Encouragement of Art at age 14, and won first prize for her class, along with a silver medal for “her Extraordinary Merit” a year later. She exhibited floral paintings at the Society of the Artists, until she joined 35 other artists, including her father and the only other female artist, Angelica Kauffman, in forming the Royal Academy in 1768.
Moser, and the more well-known, Kauffman, could not attend the Academy’s schools, where students were given instruction in nude figure drawing. She was influenced by the Dutch Masters, using bold colors against dark backgrounds in her artwork. Along with her florals, she exhibited narrative scenes, portraits, and a landscape at the Academy. Her floral artwork was highly praised, while her other pieces received were not reviewed kindly. Perhaps, it was because London’s critics thought flowers a more suitable subject for a woman.
She was given several commissions by Royal Princess Elizabeth, and given her most notable commission, from Queen Charlotte in the 1790’s, to decorate a room at her country retreat, Frogmore House in Windsor, Berkshire. Moser painted the walls, creating the illusion of an arbor, and added large-scale canvases depicting floral arrangements. This artwork has survived to this day, and you can view the Mary Moser Room on guided tours.
She married Captain Hugh Loyd, at what was considered an advanced age of 49. She exhibited works as an amateur at the Royal Academy under the name Mary Lloyd, until her eyesight began to fail. As a woman she was not allowed to attend committee dinners, but she attended General Assembly meetings until 1802.
I admire Moser’s ambition to break boundaries as a woman, paint whatever subject she desired, and not be pigeon-holed into a certain style.
I was very happy and thrilled to have been assigned the Greek artist Thalia Flora Karavia. Born
in Greece myself but educated solely in the United States, I had no knowledge of this female
artist and her great struggles and achievements. This was a welcomed and eye-opening learning
process for me. I began the painting by starting with a sketch in order to get a feel of the pose
and overall composition. Then I started interpreting this oil painting called “Lady With a Hat” in
acrylics. Although the general idea and colors of the painting are the same as the original, I did
take some artistic license by adding a portrait of the artist herself, in the lower left hand corner. I
also added flowers and a paintbrush in the hand of the lady with a hat. Her mood appears
pensive as she looks upon the artist with a warm and caring gaze.
Thalia Flora Karavia (1871 - 1960) was a Greek artist born in Western Macedonia. She is
primarily known for her depiction and coverage of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. In 1936 she
published a book of her illustrations of the soldiers, refugees and scenes she saw during the time
she followed the campaigns of the Greek troops in northwestern Greece. For this she was
awarded a silver medal from the Academy of Athens in 1945.
When she was in her early 20’s she wanted to study art in Munich. The Academy of Fine Arts in
Munich was considered prestigious and highly regarded, but unfortunately for her, she was
denied entrance into the Academy because she was a woman. She did not give up. Instead,
while in Munich she enrolled in a private art school, learning from male artists who lived and
studied there. In 1907 she traveled extensively and found herself settling in Cairo where she
married and remained for 30 years developing her artistic style. In Cairo she also founded and
directed an art school. In 1940 Karavia moved to Athens where she lived for the rest of her life
until she died in 1960.
10. Remedios Varo by Tami Rounsaville
Remedios Varo, (December 6, 1908-October 8, 1963), was a Spanish born Mexican
Surrealistic painter and sculptor raised in Spain. Her artwork was inspired by her view on
the experiences and people in her life. She went to convent school because her mother was
a devout Catholic, but Remedios did not agree with that ideology and longed to be free from
oppressive religious constraints. Her father was an engineer with more liberal and
universalist philosophies that had an influence on her and inspired independent thought.
Her paintings also reflected her experience replicating technical drawings of her father’s
work that she did with considerable accuracy focusing on lines and perspective.
At the age of 15, she enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid,
the same school Salvador Dali attended, where she created significant artwork from 1926-
1935. Even though she attended the same school as Dali and was accepted within the
popular circle of surrealistic artists, she was aware of the favoritism towards her male
counterparts in opportunities to exhibit and sell her art. Her paintings often portrayed
androgenous characters with the more powerful subjects depicting distinctly feminine
power, mysticism, and enlightenment.
There was much turmoil and relocation in Varo’s life in the quest to be free. First from the
confines of her parents, then from the civil war in Spain and finally leaving Europe to
escape the deadly invasion of the Germans to take refuge in Mexico. There were times
when she was living in poverty with barely enough to eat and taking odd jobs.
In her lifetime, Remedios had many lovers and a few marriages, but she settled down with
Walter Gruen in 1952. He supported her artistic career, and she was able to dedicate the
rest of her life to painting.
My assigned woman artist is Teresa Diez. I couldn’t find much information on her, but I did
find a few images of her works. I combined elements from two of her works, “Una Pintora
Medieval No Anonima Pero Olvidada” and “Iglesia de San Sebastián de los Caballeros,
Roro”. She was a female Spanish artist active from 1310-1350. I have also included some
of my own frequently used design elements such as including series of 3’s and triangles to
symbolize the divinity of her haloed subjects. I also gave this subject a literal peace sign
and more diverse color than the original painting. I like the idea of having her be connected
to the tree and stars… an acknowledgement that we are all connected to nature and each
other, because we are all part of the One.
11. Teresa Diez by Jennifer Bothast
12. Anita Magsaysay-Ho by Ally Larese
Anita Magsaysay-Ho (1914-2012) was a 20th century artist from the Philippines. She was a
pivotal character in the modernist movement in the Philippines, named to an esteemed group
called the Thirteen Moderns. She was the only woman in the group.
Her education in the arts began at the University of the Philippines; School of Fine Arts.
Upon graduation, she continued her education at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. After she completed her coursework at Cranbrook, she moved on to New York City where she met her husband, Robert Ho. During their lifetime the two traveled extensively because of his
occupation in the shipping industry.
Even though they traveled, Magsaysay-Ho’s work continued to reflect on her time in the
Philippines. She often depicted working women in rural settings from her memory of the
Philippines. The style of her artwork can be described as post-cubist with the subject focused on
social-realist topics. The women in her artwork are often depicted with a serene gaze, rendered
with elongated and abstracted features. She uses repetition and vibrant colors in much of her
work to create a sense of peaceful movement in her subjects.
As her career in the arts progressed, she began to be acknowledged for her work and won
many awards at exhibits in the Philippines, including several over the course of many years at
the Art Association of the Philippines competition. Her most significant influence on art in the
Philippines though was her ability to straddle the line between the modern and the conservative
artistic trends during the 1950’s, which allowed modernism to grow in the Philippines. Because
of her influence on modernism in the Philippines, a senate resolution was filed to have her
recognized with the National Artist Award in the Philippines after her death in 2012; however,
because her citizenship was revoked upon marrying her husband, a Chinese citizen, the
resolution did not pass.
Laura Wheeler Waring (1887 - 1948) was considered a Harlem Renaissance artist. She was known for her portraits of prominent people, mostly African American, during this era, and for her illustrations for the NAACP’s The Crisis magazine. Wheeler Waring was also an art professor at a school now known as Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. She taught there for over 30 years, and eventually founded the school's art and music departments.
One of Wheeler Waring’s most famous portraits was of a woman who was not famous, Annie Marie Washington Derry. Washington Derry was an African American woman who reportedly worked as a domestic servant and a laundress for the majority of her life. Wheeler Waring painted the “Anna Washington Derry” portrait in the late 1920s. It exhibited nationally and internationally, and eventually became part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection.
13. Laura Wheeler Waring by Ama Appiah
14. Marie Laurencin by Candy Schultheis
15. Zilda Pereira by Patricia Korducavich
17. Hilma Af Klint by Cheryl Yellowhawk
The artist I was assigned to represent is Hilma af Klint who is known as the Mother of Abstract Art. I learned so much about her and also discovered that I deeply relate to her artistic journey even though I'm not an abstract artist.
The Young Bacchus, Mary Beale.
I was assigned Mary Beale as my artist for this project. Mary Beale was born in March 1633 in Barrow, Suffolk, and was a Baroque portrait painter, a prominent style in the early 17th century, and her style was described as vigorous and masculine, a great compliment in those times. She was an oil artist that learned her style from copying great masterpieces and became a semi-professional portrait painter. Through her commissions, the artist became the breadwinner for her house. Later, when her commissions began to diminish, she trained students and wrote books. Working on my interpretation of The Young Bacchus was very interesting and challenging. The expressions, bold colors, and details made this journey exciting and never dull. I am thrilled and feel honored to be part of this fantastic project, showcasing artists from history, and artists from these times, with different styles, techniques, and lots of talent.
18. Mary Beale by Ana Pantoja
19. Uemura Shōen by Karol Kusmaul
20. Liubov Popova by Beate Marston
My artist is Liubov Popova 1889 - 1924. She was one of the most prominent Russian female avant-garde artist of the era. It is impossible to ignore the impact that the tremendous occurrences in the the early twentieth century must have had on her personally and professionally.
As I read about her, it struck me how tumultuous her life was, filled with external upheaval and personal tragedy, and how at the same time there was this richly dynamic period in the arts. She was influenced by early Italian renaissance, Russian iconography, cubism, futurism, art nuveau, suprematism, and finally constructivism
Born in 1889, she attained her uncommonly broad liberal arts education because she was born into a wealthy family which afforded her from a young age, the opportunity to travel extensively in France and Italy in particular, to study with many well known contemporaneous artists. She also traveled throughout Russia intensely studying ancient Russian iconography in the early 1900’s. In the ten years between 1914 and her untimely death in 1924, she lived through WWI, and the Russian Revolution, events that affected ideology and artistic direction. Disease and natural disaster, like the drought in 1920 which killed 3 million were devastating. After the Revolution Popova became actively involved in numerous political activities. She married in 1918 and soon had a son, lost her husband in 1919 to typhus, an epidemic that killed millions at the end of WWI, which infected her too, and as a result left her with a serious heart condition. The artist died in 1924, from scarlet fever which she had contracted from her young son, who had succumbed to the disease only two days earlier. Circa 1915, based on her interest in combining the traditionally “flat” iconographic Russian style with the most avant-grade ideas of the times in a dynamic way, Popova put her own spin on a variation of non-objective art which she referred to as “Painterly Architectonics”.
It is one of her painterly Architectonics paintings created before her absolute rejection of easel painting when she moved into constructivism, that I chose as my artists painting to re-create in my own style.
Early on she painted cubist still lives, with vases or bowls recurring thematically. As I am a ceramicist, I decided to use one of those themes, a vase, as a canvas on which to re-create one of her paintings in the painterly architectonics style.
My artist is Sofonisba Anguissola. She was a young Italian woman artist in the mid-1500s. This was usually a position afforded only to men at that time. Her father was the one who made sure she was educated and studied art. This type of education was unique for a young woman.
In her later years, she was recognized internationally, and she became a lady in waiting and a tutor to Elizabeth of Valois, queen of Spain.
She was much ahead of her time, in the role of women in art, and was an inspiration to other women artist after her. She was able to capture the emotions of her subjects quite well and often did self-portraits.
I chose to use two of her works as inspiration for my own portrait of Sofi, as she was called. Her “Self Portrait at the Easel” 1556 and “Infantas Isabella Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela” are both intermingled in this piece. Taking quite a bit of liberty, I have reimagined a little bit of history, where, if cats were kings, I know Sofi would have painted them!
Choosing to draw her face was very intimidating to me. I have not studied art or even drawn many faces at all, especially in a digital format. In fact, I have shied away from humans, concentrating on animals and nature in most of my digital work. I draw on an iPad with an Apple Pencil, which takes hours to days to complete, then print and frame. My usual works are whimsical and illustrative pictures with cats acting in human settings, drawing attention to everyday life.
I hope my addition of the little black cats makes you smile!
21. Sofonisba Anguissola by Patrice Pfeiffer
22. Elisabetta Sirani by Elizabeth Johnson
Elisabetta Sirani was a prolific artist in the Baroque period in Bologna, Italy during the 1600's. In her short life she produced over 200 paintings, 15 etchings and hundreds of drawings. She was known for her dramatic contrasts of light and shade, brilliant color and virtuoso brush strokes. This is my attempt to create the artist in her style as she paints a self-portrait. (Note the portrait is not complete). In the background is the plan for a large catafalque which has a life-sized sculpture of the artist at work. This was the centerpiece of her elaborate funeral.
23. Chaïbia Talal by Dee Perconti
24. Dorothea Tanning by Debbie Bright
American painter, printmaker, sculpture, writer and poet. Born: August 25, 1910 in Galesburg, IL Died: January 31, 2012 in New York. Married to Max Ernst 1946 - 1976. Dorothea Tanning’s work explores womanhood and imaginary worlds. In her earlier years she lived in Paris trying to make it as an artist. She returned to New York in 1942, where she met Max Ernst, fell in love and they were later married. Tanning did not want to be called a “woman” artist, for she felt she would be “categorized”. In the end, she was completely overshadowed by her husband, Max. However, it is suggested that Tanning was so good as a surrealist artist that she should have been a household name.
The painting that I chose is Voltage 1942. In that period of time, male surrealists depicted women as objects of desire. Tannings paintings tackled themes of female sexuality with satisfying strange results. I painted this painting in my own style to bring it into today’s depiction of women.
25. Otagaki Rengetsu by Emily Shrider
Otagaki Rengetsu (1791 – 1875) Rengetsu was a Japanese Buddhist nun and artisan. A prolific poet and calligrapher as well as a potter, she created a unique style of pottery known today as Rengetsu ware and it can be found in many museums around the world. What defines her work, even her pottery, is poetry. Whether it is written
on paper or inscribed on clay, her musings and distinct calligraphic style is recognizable. As a nun, she
traveled the country extensively and her poems reflect thoughts of her experiences – most are quiet
observations of nature and her surrounding world. As a fiber artist, I was inspired by her words and the
simplicity of her observations and decided to honor her by using a style of my own to “write” with
thread one of her poems. My typical style includes more use of color, beads and sequins but I thought it
best to keep this piece minimal. This allows her poem to be the focus.
26. Noguchi Shohin by Joan García
My inspiration artist is Noguchi Shohin, born in Osaka, Japan in 1847. Shohin knew the imperial family very well and became the first woman Teishitsu Gigei-in (government artist) in 1904. Her style is a fusion of sketching and Shai (expressing the painter’s heart or the nature of the object). She especially liked painting the world of flowers and birds. Here I combined two of Shohin’s paintings, showing her love of flowers and one of her paintings of women. As I painted this example I understood her love of flowers and birds since the technique was very different between the two. The wild roses and birds are very soft and fluid, while the woman is flat and without shading. She died in 1917 at the age of 71 years old passing her talent on to her oldest daughter, Noguchi Shōkei. There are very few pieces of Shohin’s work available, and I hope this fusion of her styles will bring her recognition.
27. Emily Carr by MARINA
Emily Carr's subject matter was inspired by indigenous people inhabiting the Pacific Northwest Coast. Her art styles were influenced by Modernist and Post Impressionist styles. Unfortunately, the artist did not receive much recognition for her work until she changed the subject matter from Aboriginal themes to landscapes, particularly forest scenes. I recreated one of Emily Carr's painting's because I felt like she needed more recognition than she has. My painting is an interpretation of her painting Totem Walk at Sitka where she painted Tlingit and Haida totem poles in an indigenous village.
28. Dinorah Bolandi Jiménez by Marjorie Greene Graff
Bolandi was born in 1923 in San Jose. Her father was a leading photographer and her mother was a pianist. She worked as a photographer in the 1960s before becoming a professor at University of Costa Rica and later at the National University of Columbia. Some of her formal art training was in the United States.
The artist was not interested in exhibiting and in later life became somewhat of a recluse. She used her mother and her dog and even strangers as models. The piece I chose has a rather flat graphic quality. I interpreted the white flowers into my own mono print which also is a graphic medium.. Dinorah died in 2004. She left over 200 paintings to the Central Banks Museum. In 2014 it was announced that a gallery at Melico Salzar Theater would be named for her. I am pleased to be able to highlight an often underrepresented female artist.
Marjorie Greene Graff
Professor Emerita. St. Petersburg College
29. Margaret MacDonald by Gina White
Margaret Macdonald was a gifted and successful artist in Scotland at the turn of the century. She was born in 1864 in England and moved to Glasgow, Scotland with her family in 1890. She and her sister, Frances Macdonald, enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art.
The artist was active in the 1890’s and early 1900’s and was a member of “The Glasgow Four”, which included her sister Frances, her future husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and his friend Herbert MacNair, both of whom the sisters met at the Glasgow School of Arts.
Margaret used a unique combination of techniques. She piped gesso lines and patterns into the canvas and embedded beads, threads, fabric and other materials in her pieces. She also worked in metalwork, embroidery, and watercolors. Much of her work was collaborative, primarily with her sister and her husband. At the time, Margaret’s process was a well-guarded secret.
Furthermore, the artist made her own gesso and used materials in unusual and creative ways. While her husband’s career often overshadowed hers during their lifetime, Margaret’s innovative and creative style became one of the defining features of the Glasgow Style during the 1890s - 1900s and her work has been increasingly appreciated in recent years.
30. Aisha Galimbaeva by Dawn Sebastian
Aisha Galimbaeva (1917-2008) was an artist from Kazakhstan and worked in the medium of oil painting.
At an early age she showed her artistic talents through drawings and painting. She received
her diploma from N.V. Gogol Art College in Almaty graduating in 1943. Then moving on to
study decorative art and art direction at AH Union State Cinematography Institute in Moscow.
In 1951, Aisha began teaching at Alma Ata Art College and was a member of the Union of
Artist of Kazakhstan.
During the 1950’s the main body of work produced were oil paintings focusing on her native homeland, family, and work. Women as subjects were a particular interest for her and their role in society. After researching Aisha there was minimal content into her familial background and artwork other than the standard biographical references. I looked over the images published online, and, in the end, I chose a painting, Still Life with flowers and apples, (1963) as my inspiration for my own artwork.
31. Tarsila do Amaral by Stephanie A. Siefken
32. Alice Neel by Edwina Porch
33. Anita Magsaysay-Ho by Patricia Kluwe Derderian
34. Plautilla Nelli by Christine Kent
Florence’s ‘first female artist,’ Pulisina Margherite Nelli (1524-1588) entered the convent at age 14. She, like many girls her age, was given the choice of getting married or becoming a nun. She chose the convent as the most economical decision and became known as Sister Plautilla. Her giftedness as an artist blossomed while there as she studied the works of Father Bartolommeo. He would later pass them all unto her. She was able to create a famous art studio where lessons and art were made and sold. One of her most famous works is The Last Supper and was recently restored in Florence as a very unique life sized portrait. Her Pained Madonna was the work I chose for its simplicity yet deep meaning. A contemplative Mary is seen after the crucifixion surrounded by the thorned crown, bent nails and sharp spear that bloodied and broke her son. The moment it captures and the inscription underneath, Nonvisipensa Quanto Sangre Costa (They don’t understand the blood it cost), are so plain and powerful. Her very slight halo and the constellations within it contrast the torture seen around and lift you up to the peace and purpose of the Creator.
Being able to take part in this project, discover this true ‘sister,’ and pass it on is a very real privilege.
Thank you so much,
Upon my participation in celebration of our female artists throughout history, I was given the name of Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid, a Turkish Artist best known for her large-scale Abstract paintings and being among one of the very first women to have achieved many firsts of her generation.
Born in 1901 to an aristocratic Turkish family, The Ottoman Sakir Empire, Fahrelnissa was the niece of The Grand Vizier Cevad Pasha. She became the wife of Novelist İzzet Melih Devrim, and later married Prince Zeid bin Hussein of Iraq.
During her first marriage is where Fahrelnissa was first introduced to European Culture and gained influential exposure. Concentrated on her artistic academics as one of the first women to do so, attending The Academie` Ranson of Paris and fine arts Institute of Istanbul.
Upon her marriage to Prince Zeid bin Hussein in 1934, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Iraq to Germany, they took residence in Berlin. After The Annexation of Austria in March of 1938, the Prince Zied Family were relocated to Baghdad where Fahrelnissa, battling with depression, returned to Paris where she concentrated on herself and her creativity. She contributed to the Avant-Grade Scenes in 1940's and conducted herself as an avid member of the artistic society throughout the European continents, including New York City. While exhibiting in London , Fahrelnissa Zied became the very first female to have ever been shown within the Institute of Contemporary Arts during the modernist showcase in 1953. Accelerating her career and her association within the artistic community, exhibiting within smaller groups of Nationally Known Artists of her day and reaching the height of her meaningful career, which also includes founding an Institute dedicated to the arts
after the death of her husband Prince Zied Al-Hussein in 1970, where she continued to teach and mentor groups of women until her death in 1991. Because of her contributions in the modernism art movement, she’s been recognized as one of our most influential female artists of the 20th Century.
35. Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid by Dineen Roeller
36. Hildegard of Bingen by Heather Rippert
Hildegard of Bingen lived in Rhineland (now Germany) from 1098-1179. Women had two options at this time. One was to be married off. The other was to live in a monastery. Hildegard, the youngest of ten children, was ‘given to God’ at age 8 and lived in the women’s cloister of the Benedictine monastery of Disibodenberg. At that time, Jutta of Spanheim was the leader of the noble women of the community. Jutta took Hildegard under her wing for the next three decades until her death in 1136. After Jutta’s passing, Hildegard was rightfully chosen to lead the women going forward. Now the Abbess, Hildegard led her sisters and all of their dowries to a new cloister that was built for them in Rupertsberg near Bingen.
An important aspect of Hildegard von Bingen’s life, is that she had visions since the time she was a child and suffered migraines and other physical symptoms throughout her life. She documented her visions in extraordinary detail in her writings, music, and artwork.
Hildegard wrote three major books. Scivias, “Know the Ways”, Liber vitae meritorum, “The Book of Life’s Merits” and De operatione Dei, “The Book of Divine Works”. These were her visionary books, published during her lifetime. In addition to these volumes, Hildegard wrote a handbook on nature, a guide to holistic health including the healing properties of 2500 plant species (still observed in Germany today), poems, sermons and letters. Hildegard wrote over seventy five songs and one opera. Mysticism, cosmology, symbology, and deep heartfelt reverence and love permeate everything she expressed in her life. All astonishing achievements for a woman in her day in the male dominated culture and church.
It is mind blowing what Hildegard von Bingen accomplished in her 81 years. It is also a testament to her brilliance that she lived what she discovered and shared. As a result, she survived 81 years in the twelfth century. What is more mind blowing is why she isn’t a household name like St. John of the Cross, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas or Leonardo DaVinci. Let’s change that.
37. Ike Gyokuran by Adorable Monique
The traditional way of life in early Japanese culture is immeasurable and magnificent. In this painting, I found it essential to render esteem to femininity and the environment. In addition, I was inspired to integrate an array of elements and symbols of Japanese culture in contemporary times, capturing what I felt was evocative to convey on canvas. Thus, merging the past, present, and future envisioned in important and ethereal features in a visionary outlook.
I'm appreciative to have been favored to create a painting enthused by Ike Gyokuran's works of art. Ike Gyokuran is among the utmost significant and predominant female painters in traditional Japanese culture.
38. Harriet Backer by Kelli LaPuma
My muse for this project was Harriet Backer. Harriet Backer was a Norwegian painter who lived from 1845 to 1932. Harriet was a pioneer among female artist who is best known for her detailed interior scenes of rich colors and exquisite lighting. I chose to honor her painting, Sewing Woman, as my contribution to the 100 Women Artists in Art History exhibit. Instead of using the entire painting as my inspiration, I chose to use just a portion of her painting. I explored Harriet’s use of light and shadows, which I really enjoyed. I updated the subject a little bit to modernize it. I enjoyed working on this project and learned a lot about what it was like to be a woman artist when the highest form of education open to women at the time was a school for governesses.
39. Olga Boznańska by Stephanie Scolaro
"Girl with Chrysanthemums"
40. Tamara Natalie Madden by Christina Abiera
I am honored to represent is Tamara Natalie Madden (1975 – 2017). I painted a portrait of the artist using elements such as gold leaf and fabric mosaic techniques that she used in her work. I am not a portrait artist, so I can only hope I capture her essence and spirt!
Tamara Natalie Madden was a Jamaican-born artist who moved to the US in her younger years. She studied at many colleges and was always eager to learn and try new techniques. Growing up Tamara was surrounded by other artists in her family and her love for her Jamaican homeland and her African heritage were a source of inspiration throughout her work. The portraits she painted were of everyday people elevated to icons and heroes.
She once wrote: “Each piece of art is an allegory that represents the soul and spirit of the individual. Their regal state embodies all that is often hidden and overlooked. My work is not about egoism; it is about empowerment of the spirit and recognition of the beauty within. The golden headpieces worn by all of the subjects in my paintings represent mystical crowns, halos, armor and weaponry for the spiritual warriors. The birds in my paintings are symbolic of my personal struggle with illness and a representation of my survival and freedom from it.”
In 1997 Tamara was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disease called IGA Nephropathy. The next four years were very difficult and she turned to her art to get through those trying times during her illness. In 2000 she visited Jamaica and was re-united with her long-lost brother, who offered his kidney. The surgery was a success and allowed her to pursue her art full-time. In 2004 she returned to Atlanta GA and continued to work as a professional artist as well as teach fine arts at Spelman college.
Though she was criticized in the early years of her art career and told she should stop painting because she was no good. Her tenacious attitude and love of art propelled her forward and her art evolved over time into the beautiful portraits that reflect the soul of the people she painted. She loved to learn new techniques and experiment with mixed media. She often included gold foil, fabrics and leaves into her paintings.
Madden participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationwide and had been featured in publications such as Upscale Magazine, Huffington Post and the New York Times. In 2014, she was named as one of “40 black artists to watch” by MSNBC’s The Grio. Many of her pieces are in the permanent collections of universities such as the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center and the women’s and gender studies and history departments at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Her work is also in the permanent collection of Alverno College in Milwaukee, the Mother Kathryn Daniels Conference Center in Milwaukee, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, as well as many other collections worldwide.
In an interview with Style. No. Chaser, she says, “I found art again when I became ill. Art saved my life just as much as the transplant itself. I drew pictures while on dialysis, and had plans to pursue it as a career. Luckily, I had the opportunity to do so. The birds are symbolic of my freedom from the dialysis machine, and are my way of infusing a part of my experience in to some of my work.”
Madden was an artist to the core and saw art as a powerful medium. She was determined to leave a body of work that not only would uplift people but bring light to the strength and beauty of everyday people. Inspired, by the golden period of Gustav Klimt and images of royalty from Egypt and West Africa; she decided to turn regular folk into representations of nobility as seen in both her “Guardians” and “King & Queens” series. In 2017 she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and passed two weeks later. She was taken from the art world too soon, but her impact remains.
To see more of Tamara Natalie Madden’s Artwork as well as her writings and interviews please check out her website:
Tamara Natalie Madden
41. Artemisia Gentileschi by Cynthia Dugat
Gentileschi (1593 - 1656), was an Italian Baroque painter and is renowned for her use of color
to portray depth and drama. She was a masterly 17th century painter who was producing
professionally by the age of 15 in an era when few women were allowed to pursue an artistic
career, and was the first woman to be accepted into the Academy of the Arts of Drawing during
her Florence time period (1612-1620).
Her career, during her lifetime, was overshadowed by an event in 1611 which, combined with
being that rare creature, a female painter, caused her to be viewed as a curiosity. In 1611, an
artist by the name of Agostino Tassi was working with her artist father, Orazio Gentileschi, and
when visiting their home, raped Artemisia while they were alone. The expectation after was for
Tassi to marry her and restore her honor, but nine months afterwards he reneged on the
promise, and Orazio pressed charges on him for violating the Gentileschi family’s honor, but not
for violating Artemisia. During the trial, Artemisia had to suffer torture by thumbscrews to verify
her testimony. Tassi was sentenced to be exiled from Rome, but the sentence was never
Shortly after the trial, she married a Florentine and moved to Florence, and birthed five children
of which only one lived to adulthood. During her life, her reputation grew as she created
paintings, many based on biblical historical events, in Florence, Naples, Rome, and in 1638 she
arrived in London where she worked side by side with her father for King Charles I on the ceiling
paintings in the Great Hall in the Queen’s house in Greenwich. She was friends with many
noted artists, writers and philosophers of the time, and was even friends with Galileo. She
painted many portraits and surpassed her father’s fame. Many of these paintings focused on a
strong female protagonist, many of them completed as self-portraits or similar to a self portrait.
One painting in particular has been visited and revisited by numerous historians, Judith
Beheading Holofernes, in which Judith, along with her handmaiden, is portrayed as killing the
Assyrian general Holofernes in order to save the Jewish people. I chose to reinterpret this
painting into a more modern setting in which I use myself (self portrait) and my daughter as the
female protagonists, and titling mine as Purging the Predator as sexual assault is still very much
an ongoing issue, even in modern times.
42. Augusta Savage by Joanne Osborn
Augusta Savage was born in Green Cove, FL in 1892. As a young child, she created animal sculptures made out of red clay that she would find in her backyard. Her father disapproved of her creativity and she would often say, “He almost whipped all the art out of me.” Luckily, Savage continued to create works of art. She became an acclaimed sculptor during the Harlem Renaissance. In 1937, she was commissioned to create a sculpture for the New York World’s Fair.
My depiction of Augusta Savage’s art consists of a mixed media piece on canvas. The main focus is based on her sculpture named La Citadelle-Freedom. On the bottom left is an illustration of her most famous sculpture, Gamin. Gamin is a bust of her nephew, Ellis. On the top left is my own clay sculpture of a chicken, which symbolizes one of her childhood animal sculptures.
43. Araceli Gilbert by Kristal LaDONNA
44. Georgia O’Keeffe by Sylwia Waluszko
Born in 1887, Georgia O'Keeffe was an American artist who painted nature in a way that showed how it made her feel. She is best known for her paintings of flowers and desert landscapes. She played an important part in the development of modern art in America, becoming the first female painter to gain respect in New York's art world in the 1920s. As well as the shapes of the landscape itself, O'Keeffe was fascinated by the bones and skulls she found in the desert landscapes near where she lived. Her unique and new way of painting nature, simplifying its shapes and forms made her a pioneer.
45. Lucrina Fetti by Shanika Hernandez
Lucrina Fetti (1590 – 1673) was an Italian painter born in Rome under the name Giustina. Giustina was part of a family of artists. Her father, Pietro Fetti, and brother, Domenico Fetti, were also painters. In 1614, Domenico was invited to be court painter to Duke Ferdinando Gonzaga. He accepted the appointment and moved to Mantua with his family, including Giustina. Before Giustina’s arrival in Mantua, she received artistic training from Domenico. She was famed as a painter of both religious subjects and portraiture.
In December 1614, Duke Ferdinando provided Giustina a dowry for entrance into the convent of St. Ursula. When Giustina became a Clarissan nun in late 1614, she took the name Lucrina. For the next half century, she was the convent’s unofficial painter. St. Ursula’s public church displays three of Lucrina’s works at the high altar: St. Mary Magdalen, St. Barbara, and St. Margaret. St. Barbara (dated 1619) dramatically emphasized richly patterned fabrics and strong contrasts. The painting was inspired by Domenico’s baroque style and exemplifies their close artistic relationship.
Lucrina painted decorations for the convent and portraits of the women of the Gonzaga family. Several of her religious paintings and portraits were located throughout St. Ursula’s convent buildings and internal church. When the convent faced financial strains following the death of Margherita Gonzaga, Lucrina supported the convent through inheritance claims connected to Domenico. She also represented the nuns of St. Ursula in court and won appeals for the collective ownership of Fetti family properties. Lucrina resided at the convent of St. Ursula until her death in 1673.
46. Margaret Neilson Armstrongby Kimberly Smith
Margaret Neilson Armstrong 1867-194
I’d like to write this as a personal note, not just all data that I’ve retrieved via the internet. This is my journey
My favorite haunt is a local vintage book shop, The Unbound Bookery. Owned and operated by a sweet
magical ladynamed Sandi Silverman.
In this small, quaint shop I was pulled to a set of dark navy books with beautiful line work drawings in a
Nouveaustyling. In myart, Iam mosthappy when working withlines thatcurveand swirl, becomethickand
thin, and often connect with nature. Margaret’s work attracted me instantly and I started to collect her cover
artone beautiful bookatatime.
When Alicia posted this show honoring women artists from the past, I was intrigued. A trip to her cozy
classroom occupied by two young budding female artists had me percolating and by the time I arrived
back in my studio... I was in. Alicia was thrilled to let me honor Margaret. The more I’ve researched her
work, the moreIam soimpressed withthis woman.
She was a trail blazer of sorts or as much as a woman could be in that time period. Working the art for hun-
dreds of book covers, mostly under the guise of a male pseudonym using only her initials M.N. Armstrong.
After winning an award in 1892, she went on to design over 314 book covers and by 1895 was adding her
stylized MA within the cover art. When publishers began using dust jackets, she was pushed to explore her
own abilities more. This she did so by writing and illustrating a wildflower field guide for the American West
in1915. She wentonto write biographiesand mysterynovels later inlife.
Beyond writing and art... she did her own research. An avid naturalist, she explored the Western US and
was the first women to reach the bottom of the Grand Canyon where she identified several new species of
flowers. She collected and pressed over 1000 species, some new to science. Many are preserved in the
herbarium at New York Botanical Garden, also original black and white drawings. Her watercolors are held
by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This project took be down many paths of exploration. My piece depicts a book I found with credit given to
her for “decorations by”. The book is titled ‘Candle~Lightin’ Time.’ I chose to feature her ‘on the cover’ with
art from a very fuzzy reference photo of her. I have no idea what her hair/eye color were, nor her personality
but I dolikeall that sheaccomplished and stood for.