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    Mary Knowles and Mary Linwood: working the needle

    Retford, Kate (2024) Mary Knowles and Mary Linwood: working the needle. In: Barber, T. and Batchelor, T. (eds.) Now You See Us: Women Artists in Britain 1520-1920 paperback exhibition book. London, UK: Tate Publishing, pp. 85-86. ISBN 9781849768818.

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    From Tudor times to the First World War, this paperback exhibition book accompanying Now You See Us: Women Artists in Britain 1520–1920 charts these women’s journeys to becoming professional artists. From Levina Teerlinc, a miniaturist at the court of Elizabeth I, to Laura Knight, the first woman to be elected a member of the Royal Academy after a gap of more than 150 years, women have been a constant presence in the art world, conducting commercially successful careers and exhibiting in public exhibitions. Against society’s expectations of wives, mothers and daughters, limited to the private domestic sphere, they dared to pursue public careers, and to paint history pieces, battle scenes and the nude, usually regarded as the preserve of men. An examination of figures such as Mary Beale, Angelica Kauffman, Elizabeth, Lady Butler and many more reveals careers very far from the stereotypical view of women as amateur watercolourists, pursuing art as a ladylike accomplishment. Instead, in this exhibition catalogue. they are revealed as professionals who navigated the art world despite being excluded from academy training and art institution membership, and who were determined to succeed despite the obstacles they faced. In English Female Artists, 1876, Ellen Creathorne Clayton wrote that women artists had ‘left only but faintly impressed footprints on the sands of time’. By looking at what women painted, how their work was received by exhibition critics, what women said themselves about their status in the art world, including their links to campaigns for women’s rights, Women Artists in Britain shines a spotlight on their true legacy and place in art history.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2024 13:02
    Last Modified: 07 Jun 2024 13:02


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