AboutThis exhibition contains a selection of works from Plymouth's permanent art collections that either portray or were created by women.
The exhibition spans Renaissance times to the modern day, and is dedicated to the memory of the late Keeper of Art, Maureen Attrill who sadly passed away in February 2011 after more than 30 years at the Museum.
It wasn't until the 17th century that women entered the profession of art. For many hundreds of years before this, artists were almost exclusively male.
As sitters, women were both subjected to the morals of a male-dominated society and acted as inspiration to the artists for whom they sat. They were usually presented in traditional roles as mothers, daughters or wives. Any woman acting outside of these social conventions was often depicted as âfallen'.
The growing independence of women in the 19th and 20th centuries enabled them to become artists in their own right. Now, in the 21st century, women finally have a much more equal place in the art world.
The âWomen in Art' exhibition shows these changes and developments across the centuries. It looks at how women have historically been portrayed by male artists in portraiture and religious iconography. It also looks at how male artists struggled to define a single presentation of women in the Victorian era, when females often found themselves in conflicting roles as they lived through a time of great social change.
The exhibition also brings the story up to date by showcasing a selection of paintings and ceramics by some of the female artists who are represented in the Museum's permanent collections.
Artists on display include John Waterhouse, Edgar Degas, Beryl Cook, Prunella Clough and Rose Hilton. Ceramics by Clarice Clift, Dorothy Doughty and Lucie Rie plus a portrait of Nancy Astor being introduced to parliament are also on show.
Related events including talks and tours will be on offer while the exhibition is on display.