Yeah, no, you want to go? LET’S GO.
Bourgot Le Noir • Nun Claricia • Diemoth (also called Diemud/Diemudis) • Agnes II Abbess of Quedlinburg • Anastasia • Claricia • Herrad of Landsberg • Ende • Guda • Abbess Hitda of Meschede • Hildegard of Bingen • Helena of Egypt, daughter of Timon of Egypt • Aristarete • Timarete • Alcisthene • Eirene • Anaxandra • Lala de Cizique • Iaia of Cyzicus • Frögärd Ulvsdotter i Ösby • Maria Ormani • Catherine of Bologna • the daughter of Butades (Kora/Callirhoe) • Lala • Sabrina von Steinbach • Kallo • Cirene, daughter of Kratinos • Calypso • Olympias • Amalasuntha • Laodicia • Herlindis of Maaseik • Relindis of Maaseik • Gisela of Kerzenbroeck • Zaynab al-Maqdisiyya • Fatimah Bint al’Aqra’ • unidentified prehistoric female artists, “Spotted Horses” mural • Onorata Rodiani • Mechthild of Hackeborn
Also consider that there are a huge number of names missing - women did not always sign or receive credit for their work; earlier art may be pre- written language, may have been lost or destroyed, or may no longer be attributed by name. Drawings of artists in ancient Greece in vase-making workshops, for instance, show both men and women painting designs.
The nature of white male academia and museum culture has also affected what we preserve and label, and even what we consider ‘valuable’ art, prioritizing the public (large murals and paintings) that Western women were socially not accepted to create over the private such as embroideries that were devalued and demoted to being ‘craft’ because of their associations with women. Apologies for the primarily white and Western focus in this list, as biases in art historical documentation make it very difficult to properly identify by name pre-1500s female artists of color.
Here, have some essays:
- Where Are Women in the History of Art?
- Where Are All the Famous Women Artists?
- Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?
- The Feminist Critique of Art History
- Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence
- Examining the Exclusion of Women From Art Historical Documentation
- Brushed Off: Women Artists and Their Fight for Recognition
- Old Masters: Overlooked Woman Artists
- Old Boys Club: What’s a Female Artist to Do?
- The Medieval Feminist Art History Project
- The Lack of Progress For Women in the Art World
- A Woman’s Touch: Prehistoric Cave Paintings Were Made by Women as Well as Men, Scientists, Discover
"Prior to the 1500s there were no female artists."
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