Anna McNay

Review of Annie Kevans: Women and the History of Art at Fine Art Society, Contemporary


Annie Kevans: Women
and the History of Art

Fine Art Society,

13 May – 6 June 2014

If asked to name three significant personages from
the history of art, most people, almost across the board, will come forth with suggestions
such as Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt van Rijn, Pablo Picasso and Damien Hirst.
Few will offer up names such as the Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt
(1844-1926); Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), co-founder, along with her husband
Robert, of Orphism; first woman member of the Prussian Academy of Arts. Käthe
Kollwitz (1867-1945); or Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), one of the two female
founding members of the Royal Academy. Women in the history of art have somehow
repeatedly escaped the canon. Although this sad state of affairs has repeatedly
been challenged over the last (nearly) half a century, kickstarted by art
historian Linda Nochlin’s seminal 1971 article, “Why Have There Been No Great
Women Artists?”, there is still an ongoing struggle to bring successful (and
even less successful) women artists, past and present, on to an equal footing
with their male contemporaries, in terms of recognition, exposure, and even
just pay. Moreover, those with the power to change the knowledge of future
generations, namely professors on Fine Arts courses, really do need to change
their syllabus reading lists and refer to a much wider cross section of “great”
names (and works) from the past.

To read the rest of this review, please go to: