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This course explores both the depiction of women in art and the experience of female artists from antiquity to the present day, through an introduction to the gender politics of visual culture. Using case studies and site visits in London’s world-class collections, the course addresses the historical constraints on women artists as well as the ways in which women challenged their exclusion from art academies and artistic patronage.

During the first week, students will examine representations of women by both male and female artists and how these have changed over time starting with Antiquity through the Renaissance, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as well as looking in depth at topics such as the Female Nude. Lectures will be supplemented by visits to key institutions such as the Royal Academy and the National Gallery.

The second week focuses on the 20th and 21st centuries, looking at Modernism and Surrealism right up to the contemporary art world. The course explores curating women-only collections, women and film as well as Asian and Russian Art. The course will also investigate the ways in which international museums and collections are responding to the current interest in gender politics and its effect on culture at large.

Companion Course: This course is a companion to Women and Art, which runs from July 20 – July 31 on our New York campus, and can be taken in conjunction with the London course. For more information, please contact our admissions department at

The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    Dates: July 6 – July 16, 2020
    (2 weeks; Monday-Thursday)
    Location: The course will take place at Sotheby's Institute of Art - London, 30 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3EE, United Kingdom
  • Faculty


    Catherine McCormackConsultant Lecturer and Summer Study Course Leader, London
  • Sample Topics & Suggested Reading

    Sample Topics & Suggested Reading

    Sample Topics:

    • The Female Nude

    • "Overlooked" and "rediscovered" women artists from the early Renaissance to Baroque (Artemisia Gentileschi, Sofonisba Anguissola, Clara Peeters)

    • Women artists of the 18th century in England and France

    • The female Impressionist painters and 19th century chauvinism

    • Depictions of motherhood and the maternal

    • Women and Modernist design

    • The suffragette movement and war on culture

    • Women and work

    • The feminist body as site for art practice (Carolee Schneeman, Marina Abramovic, Ana Mendieta)

    • Misogyny and the art market

    • Women and the domestic (Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, cloth, embroidery, housework)

    • Women, advertising, and consumer culture

    • 20th and 21st century feminism and art (Guerilla Girls, Pussy Riot)

    Suggested Reading:

    • Whitney Chadwick, Women, Art and Society (Thames and Hudson, 2012).

    • Lynda Nead, The Female Nude: Art, Obscenity and Sexuality (Routledge, 2012).

    • Roszika Parker and Griselda Pollock, Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology (I.B. Tauris, 2013)

  • Study Visits

    Study Visits

    London is a major player in the global art market. A variety of faculty-led visits to museums and galleries forms an integral part of the learning experience.
    Sample venues:

    • The Royal Academy

    • The National Gallery

    • The Courtauld Gallery

    • Tate Modern

    • Contemporary Artist Studios

  • Course Fees

    Course Fees

    Course: £1,800
    Institute Fees:

    • A £40 registration fee beginning March 16, 2020

    • This fee increases to £80 on May 12, 2020

    Register for Multiple Courses to Save:

    • Take a 2-week and 4-week course: £4,500 (£250 savings)

    • Take two 2-week courses: £3,450 (£150 savings)

    • Take any 4-week, 2-week, or 1-week course with another 1-week course to save £150

    Click here to read Terms and Conditions.
  • Registration & Contact Information

    Registration & Contact Information

    Click here to register now.
    For further information, please contact:

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