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

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. 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 19th 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 were determinant for the accession of women in the arts until the end of the nineteenth century. Afterwards, the increased development of art programmes available to women allowed for the immergence of a large number 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.

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, Artist and Scientific Collaborator, University of Liège; Charlotte Foucher Zarmanian, Research Fellow, C.N.R.S., Historian of Art; Nicole R. Myers, The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Senior Curator of European Art, Dallas Museum of Art; Anne Rivière, Historian of Art; Séverine Sofio, Sociologist, C.N.R.S.; Julie Verlaine, Lecturer in Contemporary History, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Chairwoman of Mnémosyne


The languages of the symposium will be French and English.
Abstracts of the interventions will be available in French and English.

Thursday 19 September 2019 from 9.30 AM to 6.30 PM
Petite salle, Centre Pompidou. Free entrance (with no reservation)

Place Georges-Pompidou
75004 Paris

Attention: due to works on the piazza, entrance will be rue Beaubourg.

Subway lines: Rambuteau (line 11), Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 et 11), Châtelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 et 14)
RER: Châtelet Les Halles (lines A, B, D)
Bus lines: 29, 38, 47, 75

Friday 20 September 2019 from 9.30 AM to 6.45 PM
Auditorium of the Musée d’Orsay (level -2), entrance door C.
Free entrance, reservation is mandatory > registrations are closed

1, rue de la Légion d’honneur
75007 Paris

Subway line: Solférino (line 12)
RER: Musée d’Orsay (line C)
Bus lines: 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94


Thu. 19 September 2019
Petite salle, Centre Pompidou
Fri. 20 September 2019
Auditorium, musée d’Orsay
110 boulevard Saint Germain 75006 Paris (France) — info[at]aware-art[.]org — +33 (0)1 55 26 90 29