of Women Artists
& Exhibitions

Soutenir AWARE


Faire œuvre. Making a Body of Work.
Training and professionalisation of female artists in the 19th and 20th centuries

In partnership with the Établissement public des musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, and the musée national d’Art moderne – Centre Pompidou


Ernest Louis Désiré Le Deley, Postcard : Atelier Humbert, 1903, Photo © Beaux-Arts de Paris, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image Beaux-arts de Paris

19 September 2019 from 10 AM to 5 PM
Petite salle, Centre Pompidou. Free entrance

20 September 2019 from 10 AM to 5 PM
Auditorium of the Musée d’Orsay (level -2).
Free entrance, reservation is mandatory by following this LINK

This symposium is part of a wider collaboration based on the female artists from the collections of the Public Establishment of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie, the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou and the association AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions. It will conclude the exhibition of Berthe Morisot at the Musée d’Orsay, the first ever dedicated to this major artist since the museum opened in 1986, and the first by a national museum since 1941. Since the thematic hanging of Elles@centrepompidou in 2009, the Centre Pompidou has been engaged in a dynamic acquisition, exhibition and research policy concerning female artists. The 2019-2021 programming will notably honour Dora Maar, Cao Fei, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Dorothy Iannone, Alice Neel, Hito Steyerl, female abstract artists, Georgia O’Keeffe…

The purpose of this symposium is to study the training and professionalisation processes of female artists who intervened in the 19th and 20th centuries through their rise in structures of art education: from workshops and private academies to public institutions.

Excluded from institutional arts education for some time, women did not have access to these positions until the beginning of the nineteenth century. One example from France is the École spéciale de dessin pour les jeunes filles (School of Drawing for Girls), the only art school for women publicly financed by the State founded in 1803 and transformed into a public institution in 1810. After a long battle, women were finally accepted to the École des beaux-arts (Beaux-Arts School) in 1897, however, only one same-sex work shop was open for them until the end of the 1920s.

Studies in the History of Art have shown how family ties in earlier periods were determinant for the accession of women in the arts. Starting from the nineteenth century, the increased development of art programmes available to women allowed for the immergence of a pool of professional artists from fine and applied arts, which has continued to grow.

This symposium intends to bring together researchers from various horizons in order to shed light on the research conducted on the schools, academies and workshops that opened their doors to women. The proposed interventions can explore the following three axes destined to create a framework of reflection:

– Cartographies of places and actors, notably the female professors and workshop assistants. Paris, and France on a broader level, will be the subject of particular attention, however contributions on other scenes, comparisons and the analysis of transnational circulation are equally welcome.

– Methods of teaching and their content. For example, the impact of mixed and segregated classes; the conditions and differences of access between men and women, notably financially, as well as the analysis of their results; the characteristics of gendered disciplines or subjects, particularly the problematics of learning through nude figure drawing. The differences between fine arts and applied and industrial arts can also be a topic of analysis.

– Specific examples of teacher-student relationships. For example, the analysis of the process of transmission or transgression; the process of identifying the teacher (and the question of female models); the study of family lineage and the power of the network in the passage to the professional world; elective affinities between students.

The question of available sources and their capacity to report on teaching activities and the social networks that they generate will also be a transversal theme in these reflections. Papers may be in the form of case studies problematised by place, or artistic figure, as well as transdisciplinary analyses.

Presentations will have a duration of 20 minutes and will be filmed and recorded. Papers may be eligible to be published on the websites of the organising institutions after examination by the review committee.

Scientific and Organising Committee:

Musées d’Orsay and the Orangerie:

Sabine Cazenave, Chief Curator, Painting Department, Musée d’Orsay; Sophie Eloy, Head of Documentary Studies, Musée de l’Orangerie; Thomas Galifot, Chief Curator, Photography, Musée d’Orsay; Leïla Jarbouai, Curator of Graphic Arts, Musée d’Orsay; Sylvie Patry, General Curator, Director of Conservation and Collecctions, Musée d’Orsay; Scarlett Reliquet, Head of courses, symposia and conferences, Musée d’Orsay and the Orangerie.

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou:

Ariane Coulondre, Curator, Modern Collection; Nathalie Ernoult, Conservator, Modern Collection

AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions:

Hanna Alkema, Head of Research Programmes; Camille Morineau, Chaiwomen of AWARE, Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Monnaie de Paris; Fanny Verdier, Digital Contents Supervisor

External Members:

Alexia Creusen, plasticienne et collaboratrice scientifique à l’université de Liège ; Charlotte Foucher Zarmanian, chargée de recherches, C.N.R.S., historienne de l’art ; Nicole Myers, The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Senior Curator of European Art, Dallas Museum of Art ; Anne Rivière, historienne de l’art ; Séverine Sofio, sociologue, C.N.R.S. ; Julie Verlaine, maîtresse de conférences en histoire contemporaine, université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, présidente de Mnémosyne

110 boulevard Saint Germain 75006 Paris (France) — info[at]aware-art[.]org — +33 (0)1 55 26 90 29