Women in the Picture (Paperback)
Women, Art and the Power of Looking
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'Terrifically smart … On this grand tour of western visual culture, you couldn't ask for a better guide than McCormack, an art historian with attitude who offers a rousing new lens for looking "beyond the exchange of seeing and being seen".' Bridget Quinn, author of Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order)
'Essential reading … gripping, inspirational, beautifully written and highly thought-provoking.' Dr Helen Gørrill, author of Women Can't Paint
A bold reconsideration of women in art – from the 'Old Masters' to the posts of Instagram influencers
A perfect pin-up, a damsel in distress, a saintly mother, a femme fatale …
Women's identity has long been stifled by a limited set of archetypes, found everywhere in pictures from art history's classics to advertising, while women artists have been overlooked and held back from shaping more empowering roles.
In this impassioned book, art historian Catherine McCormack asks us to look again at what these images have told us to value, opening up our most loved images – from those of Titian and Botticelli to Picasso and the Pre-Raphaelites. She also shows us how women artists – from Berthe Morisot to Beyoncé, Judy Chicago to Kara Walker – have offered us new ways of thinking about women's identity, sexuality, race and power.
Women in the Picture gives us new ways of seeing the art of the past and the familiar images of today so that we might free women from these restrictive roles and embrace the breadth of women's vision.
'It felt like the scales were falling from my eyes as I read it.' The Herald
'A wide range of readers will benefit from [McCormack's] synthesis of thousands of years of art about the female body and how this has impacted and occluded our understanding of women's experience.' Kathy Battista, author of New York New Wave: The Legacy of Feminist Art in Emerging Practices
Dr Catherine McCormack is an art historian and independent curator. She is the founder and course leader of the 'Women and Art' study programme at Sotheby's Institute of Art where she teaches on art, race and gender. She is the author of The Art of Looking Up (2019) and her written work has featured in The Architectural Review, the Independent and Harper's Bazaar as well as numerous exhibition catalogue essays on historical and contemporary art.