Why Have There Been No Great Women Artist Term Paper

Pages: 2 (689 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

¶ … women artists?

Feminists must not blindly and unquestionably accept the terms of any debate about the differences between the genders when the terms of such a debate defined in the language of patriarchy and oppression. To illustrate this truth, the author of the article asks her reader to consider the question: "Why have there been no great women artists?" Unfortunately, the author states that the feminist art historian's first reaction is often to swallow the rhetorical bait of the attacker, hook, line and sinker, and to attempt to answer the question by simply saying 'well, but there are great women artists, I'll show you.' The end result is a rather pathetic attempt upon the defender's part to "dig up examples of worthy or insufficiently appreciated women artists throughout history," which often results in a strained attempt to rehabilitate "rather modest, if interesting and productive careers." Such an attempt does more to deflate the cause of advancing women's future educational achievement in the arts than it does to support it.

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The supposed rediscovery of "forgotten flower painters or David followers" also does nothing to question the assumptions lying behind the question "Why have there been no great women artists?" On the contrary, by attempting to answer such a query one tacitly reinforces its negative implications. but, conversely, it is equally fruitless to suggest there is a different kind of greatness for women's art than for men's, as specific examples of female artists flout such assumptions of greater female interiority and subjectivity. "Certainly, if daintiness, delicacy, and preciousness are to be counted as earmarks of a feminine style, there is nothing fragile about Rosa Bonheur Horse Fair, nor dainty and introverted about Helen Frankenthaler's giant canvases.

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First the author introduces the question, they she examines possible responses to the question, and rejects both likely gut reactions on the part of feminists. She goes on to suggest that the real question is not what makes a male or a female artist 'great' but with what makes an artist, period. "The problem lies not so much… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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