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This exciting 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 feminist art history. Using case studies as diverse as Neolithic sculptures of goddess archetypes to contemporary video art and site visits to London’s world-class collections, the course addresses the way in which art history has framed women as well as discussing the historical constraints on women artists and the way in which these have been challenged and questioned. 

During the first week, students will examine representations of women by both male and female artists across a wide chronological period; from Renaissance matriarchs to sanctified Madonnas and representations of Venus and Eve. It will look in depth at topics such as the depiction of the female nude,  images of motherhood, queens and the politics of race. 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 forgotten and undervalued women involved in the major movements of modernism as well as an in depth consideration of the feminist art movement of the 1970s and lectures on contemporary Russian and Asian art and women artists and film. Guest speakers from the Government Art Collection and the Contemporary art Society will discuss gender and curating. and sessions will consider debates about censorship and collections in light of developments in gender politics at large. 

The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    July 15 - 26, 2019
    Typical hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am – 4.30pm
    Enrollment for this course is now closed. Please write to if interested in our 2020 summer program.
  • Faculty


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

    Sample Topics And 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

    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)
  • Visits And Field Trips

    Visits And Field Trips

    • The Royal Academy

    • The National Gallery

    • The Courtauld Gallery

    • Tate Modern

    • Contemporary Artist Studios

  • Course Fees And Registration

    Course Fees And Registration

    Click here to read Terms and Conditions.
  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact: or Request Information
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7462 3251

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