This year marks the centenary of International Women's Day. Founded at a time when women were becoming increasingly more active in campaigning for equality, the day continues to provide a focus for solidarity and a coordinated voice. The experience of women artists in the nineteenth century in many ways mirrors wider gender issues. Access to art schools was restricted and when women were admitted, they did not have the same training opportunities as their male colleagues. Many women artists were actively involved in the suffrage movement.
Crossing centuries: Works by women artists' 1830 to 2000 highlights historic, modern and contemporary work by women in the Southwark Art Collection. Art by nineteenth century women is displayed alongside work by some of today's most well-known artists, illustrating contemporary approaches to art historical themes and genres. Women are also represented in areas that have been a focus for collecting at different points in time. Works purchased since the 1920s as a way of recording the local area of Bankside are featured. Some of the most established women artists of the twentieth century are represented through the collection of prints acquired since the 1950s.
The Southwark Art Collection contains works of art donated from the time of the founding of the South London Art Gallery in 1891.This has been added to under local authority management, most recently by Southwark Council. Contemporary works acquired by the South London Gallery continue to enter the collection.
Featured artists include: Margaret Sarah Carpenter, Prunella Clough, Tracey Emin, Anya Gallaccio, Grace Golden, Barbara Hepworth, Gertrude Hermes, Sarah Lucas, Bertha Newcombe and Gillian Newcombe