Miami University Art Museum Fall 2011 Exhibitions
Out of the Shadows: The Rise of Women in Art is the theme of Miami University Art Museum’s 2011-2012 exhibition series. The series is presented in two parts, with three exhibition each: fall exhibitions open Aug. 23 and run through Dec. 10. A public opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. Museum members will have a preview reception 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31. The museum is free and open to the public.
This presentation of women in art is a multifaceted exploration that goes beyond a highlight tour of notable women artists. Out of the Shadows examines women as the subject of art, explores the role of women as artists, and looks at the struggles women endured in an effort to be recognized for their talents. A number of artists represented in the exhibitions have local connections to Oxford, Oxford College for Women, Western College for Women, Miami University, and the Greater Cincinnati area.
Women have been the subjects of art for more than 30,000 years. Anthropologists, archaeologists and art historians have studied the function and purpose of female figures in art. However, there is no record as to who the first female artists were, or where and when they worked. In addition, it was not until the mid-20th century that historians took a serious look at the impact women have had on the visual arts.
Fall exhibitions include:
From Subject to Creator
Until the late 19th century, men dominated the visual arts with depictions of women first as generalized fertility figures, and later as idealized divine goddesses of great beauty and symbols of virtue. Beginning in the Middle Ages, women artists achieved some status but were severely limited by the male-established guild system. By the turn of the 20th century, women were successfully fighting against social norms and gender bias, finally gaining recognition for their creative talents. A curator’s talk on the topic of women and portraiture will be held on Wednesday, October 12.
A Flowering Spirit
When women were permitted to draw and paint, they were commonly restricted to genre scenes, still lifes, portraiture and their environment. The greatest liberty afforded to women artists was the depiction of nature. Thus, by the end of the 19th century, women began a long-standing tradition as landscape painters. On Wednesday, November 2, there will be a curator’s talk on the subject of women and landscape painting.
The Modern Woman
By the end of the 1920s, artists were taking a dramatic new approach to depict the world around them. However, significant contributions by women artists did not become apparent until the 1940s. The attention to abstraction, often devoid of figural representation, opened the door for women to express themselves through a visual vocabulary no longer restricted by male-dominated art academies. The curator will discuss the topic of women and modern art on Wednesday, November 30.
The museum is located at 801 S. Patterson Avenue in Oxford, Ohio. For more information about the exhibitions or about how to become a member, contact the museum at 513-529-2232 or visit them on the web, http://arts.muohio.edu/art-museum.