Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Autoportrait, 1790, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The invisibility of women in the art world has only recently been denounced in France. Both academic research and militant associations have highlighted not only the concealment of women artists – genius and talent being traditionally associated with men –, but also the lack of consideration for the role played by women patrons, sponsors, collectors, art critics, or art dealers.
The first major seminar to tackle the subject was Féminisme, art et histoire de l’art in 1990, followed by the exhibition elles@centrepompidou in 2009 and 2011. These are crucial issues, in that not only do they concern creation, but also the question of the place of women as mediators, cultural intermediaries, and art world professionals.
The Mnémosyne Association for the development of the history of women and gender has partnered with AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions) on the occasion of a study day that will examine these questions and discuss the place of women and gender in the field of visual arts since the earliest times in history.