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Separate Sphere's Oct 7th

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Art History
ARTH 205
Samantha Burton

October 7, 2011 Concept of separate spheres Images of motherhood are comparable to images of bars and halls etc was a surprisingly modern subject matter in 1870s, 1880s Before that most paintings of motherhood were of peasants. or mythologized or allegorized. Not meant to be real depictions of a real life mother Bouguereau, The Joys of Motherhood, 1878 typical example of the trend for representing mothers were pretty, peasant, romantic view of working class life. Baby almost looks like little cupid figure, not real life baby, idealized out in nature. not in a home. in the countryside enjoying themselves Cassatt, Mother about to Wash her Sleepy Child, 1880 Different, motherhood located in a specific place at a specific time. Bowl on table, chair she’s sitting on, etc shows its a bourgeois household. Specific relationship shown as well. Child is not idealized, his legs are gangly sticking out at weird angles, not flattering portrait of the child. They’re getting rid of Romantic idea of motherhood. Showing scenes of every day life. Therefore, are just as modern in terms of subject matter. But they’re not written as this in art history. Seen as feminine experience of modernity rather than universal. Held potential for illustrating class and gender issues as well. Different kind of woman depicted Morisot, The Wet Nurse Angele Feeding Julie Manet, 1880. - Wet nurse feeding morisot’s own daughter which adds further element to this in regards to motherhood. Cassatt, The Child’s Bath, 1893 Likely representing a nurse because she’s wearing a nurse’s uniform Cassatt and Morisot both were very wealthy important to look at their images and see what kinds of power relations are shown in them as well. What kind of power would wet nurse have had? Could she have said she didn’t want to be painted? NO.. Same with many of Cassatt’s image. Cassatt, La Coiffure, 1890-91 & Cassatt, La Toilette, 1890-91 Now makes the wet nurses pose nude for her as well. Cassatt wasn’t even a mother. Based on gender essentialism her depictions of motherhood. Even in context of women painting women, can’t think of them as solely based around gender or femininity. They’re always placed together. Cassatt pushes visual representation further than her contemporaries. Moves into print-making. Exhibition of Japanese work at Ecole des beaux arts. Prints by Kitawaga Utamaro Cassatt would have drawn from these for La Toilette and La Coiffure. From a series on the subject of modern womanhood. She didn’t exhibit these as this was post the Impressionist exhibition. She exhibited them in her own solo show instead. Many impressionists were influenced by Japanese art and prints. Japanese art is step forward in respect of Clement Greenberg’s notions of flatness in painting. Provides different look at idea of separate spheres. Outside influence were also effecting the home. private spheres not completely closed to the outside world. Separate Spheres did effect women’s experience in everyday life. Separate Spheres as an Ideology Increasing insistence on imp of women’s place within the home was partly response to social advances being made by women Happenign at same time that women are gaining access to universities and other professions and eventually for suffrage. The art world saw public fight on part of women to get into art school, exhibitions etc that they had previously been excluded from. When they found these places unfriendly or unable to join, they founded their own organizations or schools. Emily Mary Osborn, Nameless and Friendless, 1857 Woman selling her work at an art dealer shop Takes this image and exhibits it at the Royal Academy. Campaign of letters and petitions at this time to let women into Royal Academy Given this context and Osborn’s own place within this seems like direct statement about what’s wrong with the artworld at this time in the image. What’s wrong that this is the only way we can do this. Boy is there as her chaperone essentially. Women artists didnt face problem that dancers did since they use their body Education was first front on which women fought excluded from best art schools. Hard to get good reputations without good education. Only in 1886 do they get into the Ecole des beaux arts. Women allowed to exhibit in big institutions but couldnt be a member, couldn’t have any control and power in the way in which it was run Marie Bashkirtseff, IN the Studio, 1881 Depicintg alternative institutions that are cropping up to allow women to have these rights. one issue was that women couldnt workwith the nude model, they had to use plaster casts etc, this is what happened. These Schools were majority female , but once in was separated and segregated and women couldn’t be taught by the best profs Women do not have access to the nude - Keeps them back Henrietta Rae, Psyche Before the Throne of Venus, 1894 Henrietta Rae, Hylas and the Water Nymphs, 1910 Henrietta Rae, A Bacchante, 1885 Criticized for it. Said it was bad - she didn’t have access to the nude main critique is that the figures look like dancers. Comment on quality as well as potential immorality of it. Have to find friends or workers to model for them Risking their respectabilities in this way Women becoming professional art critics etc. Fight for Professionalism for women. Many women working in this period get written out for this reason, written out as amateurs, though this is wrong they were professional. In fact, they were recognized in their own time. It’s 20th c that claims them as amateur. Art history as a discipline decides that subjects like Manet and Degas’ is what is modern, anyone who didn’t depict these subjects wasn’t modern. Flaneuse ? Generally no. Wouldn’t be safe, risking health and safety as well as respectability. Generally women were objects of flaneurs gaze. Mary Cassatt, The Omnibus, 1890-91 Two women out on public bus with child Located out in spaces of the modern city In Omnibus on a Hausmanized bridge across the Seine. This is representation of Hausmanization. Was wealthy so able to show certain middle class experiences of Paris that wouldn’t necessarily be open to all women in Paris. Cassatt, Woman in Black at the Opera, 1878-80 - matinee of Opera Cassatt, The Loge, 1882 Night opera These show big difference from Renoir’s, La Loge with her decorative embellishments. Also
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