Segments in this Video

Breakthrough for Women in Art (03:23)


In 1842, the British government opened the Female School of Design. In this film, Professor Amanda Vickery will study six female artists who revolutionized painting and design in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Elizabeth Thompson (Lady Butler) (02:37)

War art was a masculine stronghold. The Female School of Design student was obsessed with drawing soldiers from an early age.

"The Roll Call" (03:14)

In 1874, Butler submitted a work to the Royal Academy that catapulted her to fame. Contemporary war artist Arabella Dorman discusses how she was able to depict war scenes without visiting battle fields.

"The Defense of Rorke's Drift" (02:59)

Lady Butler wanted to match male painters in war art. She was able to depict battle scenes by having veterans reenact events—including cavalry charges. Her works received critical acclaim and proved female artists could succeed in the genre.

Berthe Morisot (03:30)

A painting by the female impressionist is auctioned at Christie's. Her work was sought after in Paris in 1875; portraits by Manet reveal her beauty, sensuality, and rebellion against propriety.

Joining the Impressionists (03:07)

Born in 1841 to a wealthy Parisian family, Morisot studied art as a domestic skill; her talent soon became apparent. She befriended Manet's colleagues, but social propriety restricted her from bars and cafes.

Blending Art and Domesticity (02:05)

Barred from Paris night life, Morisot applied Impressionist principles to intimate settings. She married Eugene Manet in 1874 and they had a daughter. View her paintings of family life.

Morisot's Legacy (02:53)

The female Impressionist was overshadowed by male counterparts in life and in death. A Christie's representative discusses her increasing popularity among art collectors.

Gertrude Jekyll (02:49)

The 19th century garden designer saw horticulture as a canvas. Born in 1841, she studied at the Female School of Design. Vickery discusses her version of Turner's "Ancient Rome." Poor vision forced her to abandon painting.

Revolutionary Garden Design (03:25)

Jekyll was influential in the Arts and Crafts Movement and approached gardens like paintings. Vickery explores her restored garden at Upton Manor and discusses her use of color and light.

Karin Larsson (02:07)

The designer studied painting at the Swedish Academy of Art. She married Carl Larsson in 1883, but continued to foster her creativity—evident in his domestic paintings.

Revolutionizing Home Decoration (03:23)

Larsson rejected gloomy 19th century decoration for abstract patterns, mismatched furniture, and bright colors. She drew inspiration from international aesthetic periodicals; an expert discusses the Swedish National Romantic Movement.

Larsson's Design Legacy (03:34)

Vickery inspects a whimsical weaving by the Swedish artist. She broke with convention and modernized interior decoration; her ideas of freedom of expression are still promoted by Ikea.

Madeleine Vionnet (03:30)

During the Suffrage Movement, a Paris designer rejected the corset to liberate femininity. Learn about her early years in the fashion industry and invention of the bias cut.

House of Vionnet (04:00)

The designer used a sculptor's perspective to free women from corsets. She also improved working conditions and provided benefits for her employees. However, she refused to compromise creativity for mass production and guarded against copyright infringement.

Georgia O'Keefe (02:55)

O'Keefe pursued art from an early age. View an early abstract work submitted to Alfred Stieglitz. They fell in love; he photographed her in a series that included nudes—defying 1918 social convention.

Magnified Flower Paintings (02:50)

O'Keefe's large scale works were seen as celebrating female genitalia. She refused to have her art reduced to gynecology, and said critics were projecting their own views. By 1929, she faced personal and professional crises and moved to New Mexico.

Starting Over (02:24)

O'Keefe found new inspiration in New Mexico's landscape and culture. An expert discusses her independence and icon status.

American Art Pioneer (03:29)

After moving to New Mexico, O'Keefe adopted a desert palate unique to the landscape. Hear how the West influenced American modernism. Vickery summarizes the courage and contributions of female artists from the Italian Renaissance to the 20th century.

Credits: The Story Of Women & Art: Episode 3 (00:46)

Credits: The Story Of Women & Art: Episode 3

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The Story of Women and Art: Episode 3

Part of the Series : The Story of Women and Art
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In the final program of the series, Professor Amanda Vickery explores the explosion of creative opportunities for women as the 20th century dawned. Travelling from London and Paris to the remote Swedish countryside and the bleak desert landscape of New Mexico; this was a time where Western women were demanding ever increasing roles across society and female artists found the strength to push the boundaries of art even further.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL86590

ISBN: 978-1-60057-795-6

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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