Celebrating Female Agency in the Arts - Christie's Education Symposium

From Bluestockings to the Guerrilla Girls – And Beyond: Mapping Female Associational Life in the Visual Arts

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Fees: $235.00


This session enquires into the role of networks by and among women active as artists, writers, curators, dealers, activists, and patrons of the visual arts. By taking into consideration examples drawn from a range of geographies and time periods, the session examines how informal sociability spurred the creation of professional relationships that offered women opportunities to flourish as art world professionals. In addition to debating the impact of female micro-communities on the functioning of the art world and the writing of art’s histories, the session also considers new methodological approaches to the study of such networks and their relation to feminist discourses. If, as Michael Walzer has argued in Politics and Passion (2004), the radical dispersal of women across cultures and social divides has been a “special feature of their historical powerlessness,” this session debates the significance of networks and networking in women’s contribution to, and creation of, diverse art ecosystems throughout history and into the future.


Kathryn Brown

Ruth E. Iskin
Elizabeth Emery
B Kathleen Gallagher
Sarah K. Nathan
Joanna Gardner-Huggett

Course dates

June 26 - 27, 2018

Christie's New York
20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

Kathryn Brown, Ph.D.,
Loughborough University, United Kingdom

Kathryn Brown is the author of books, articles, and catalogue essays on nineteenth and twentieth-century French art and literature, artists’ books, and contemporary art. Her books include Women Readers in French Painting 1870–1890 (Ashgate, 2012), Matisse’s Poets: Critical Performance in the Artist’s Book (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), and (as editor and contributor) The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe (Ashgate, 2013), Interactive Contemporary Art: Performance in Practice (I.B. Tauris, 2014), and Perspectives on Degas (Routledge, 2017). She is a lecturer in art history at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom and the series editor of Contextualizing Art Markets for Bloomsbury Academic. 


Ruth E. Iskin
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Paper Title: The Power of Friendship and Feminist Association: The Case of Mary Cassatt and Louisine Havemeyer

Ruth E. Iskin’s project on Cassatt and Degas, currently in progress, has been supported by CASVA (Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts). Her books The Poster: Art, Advertising, Design, and Collecting, 1860s–1900s was published in 2014 (Dartmouth Press) and Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting in 2007 (Cambridge University Press; Chinese edition, 2010; English paperback, 2014). She is the editor of Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World (Routledge, January, 2017), and co-editor of the forthcoming Collecting Prints, Posters and Ephemera: Perspectives in a Global World.  Professor (Em.), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of the Arts, she currently lectures in Israel and abroad.


Elizabeth Emery
Montclair State University

Paper Title: Female Networks of Japanese Print Collecting: The 1900-1914 Paris Exposition des estampes japonaises as a Representative Ecosystem of Women’s Associational Life

Elizabeth Emery teaches medieval and nineteenth-century French literature and culture at Montclair State University (NJ). She is the author of books, articles, and essay anthologies related to the reception of medieval art and architecture in nineteenth-century France and America, and to the links between early photography, journalism, and celebrity culture. She is currently finishing a book tentatively entitled Reframing Japonisme, conducted under the auspices of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2016-2017). 


B. Kathleen Gallagher, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University

Paper Title: Muses in Blue Stockings: A Contemporary Valuation of Women’s Voluntarism in the Arts

B. Kathleen Gallagher is an assistant professor in the Division of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University.  She earned a PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado Denver. Her research explores sustainability of arts organizations sub-nationally with focusing on the role of public policy and institutional capacity. Her professional experiences prior to her academic appointment include positions at the Smithsonian Institution, Butterfield’s and Sotheby’s auction houses and as an independent appraiser of fine arts.


Sarah K. Nathan, Ph.D.
Associate Director of The Fund Raising School

Paper Title: Muses in Blue Stockings: A Contemporary Valuation of Women’s Voluntarism in the Arts

Sarah K. Nathan, Ph.D. is Associate Director of The Fund Raising School, the nationally renowned professional training program for fundraising practitioners. As a true pracademic, she supports faculty and curriculum development while engaging in research about the fundraising profession.


Joanna Gardner-Huggett
DePaul University

Paper Title: Digital Mapping as Method: Historicizing the Impact of ARC and Artemisia Galleries, Chicago (1980–1990)

Joanna Gardner-Huggett is an Associate Professor and Chair of History of Art and Architecture where she teaches courses on twentieth-century art and feminist theory. Gardner-Huggett’s research focuses on the intersection between feminism and arts activism and has been published in the journals British Art JournalFrontiers: A Journal of Women’s StudiesHistorical Geography, Social Justice, and Woman’s Art Journal. Her most recent scholarship explores the history of the Guerrilla Girls, the Feminist Art Workers and the origins of the women artists’ cooperatives Artemisia Gallery in Chicago (1973-2003) and ARC (1973-the present). 

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