Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800
For centuries, women artists in Europe were considered rare and less talented than their male counterparts. Women who achieved professional artistic careers were deemed anomalous or exceptional, while those who engaged in creative pursuits in the home were dismissed as amateurs, and their works were categorized as material culture rather than art.
Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800, the BMA’s much anticipated major exhibition opening October 1, 2023, aims to correct these broadly held but mistaken beliefs through more than 200 works of diverse media and scale. From royal portraits and devotional sculptures to embroidered objects, tapestries, costumes, wax sculptures, metalwork, ceramics, graphic arts, furniture, and more, Making Her Mark will feature objects from the 15th to 18th centuries that reflect the multifaceted and often overlooked ways that women contributed to the visual arts of Europe.
The exhibition’s focus on displaying exclusively objects made by women or toward which women contributed their labor distinguishes this project by putting women makers of all social levels in conversation with each other through their works.
Examples by artistic heroines such as Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Luisa Roldán, Rosalba Carriera, Rachel Ruysch, and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun will join exceptional products of female artisanal collectives and talented amateurs who operated outside of the male-dominated professional arena and often remained anonymous in the historical record. Further, sublime examples of ceramics, metalwork, and cabinetmaking from this era will reflect women’s involvement in major manufactories and workshops.
Making Her Mark is free for all visitors on Thursday, November 9 and Sunday, December 3. Reserve free passes.
Low light protects fragile artworks in this exhibition. Please let your eyes adjust as you enter these darkened spaces.
Making Her Mark is co-organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Co-curated by Andaleeb Badiee Banta, Senior Curator and Department Head, Prints, Drawings & Photographs at the BMA, and Alexa Greist, Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings at the AGO.
This exhibition is generously supported by The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Exhibition Endowment Fund, Nancy Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff, the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Charitable Trust, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Anne L. Stone, Laura Freedlander, PNC Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, Patricia and Mark Joseph, The Shelter Foundation, The Stoneridge Fund of Amy and Marc Meadows, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Sheela Murthy/MurthyNAYAK Foundation, Susan B. Katzenberg, the Prints, Drawings & Photographs Society at the BMA, and Joseph and Rachel Rabinowitz.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.