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Munich or Paris? Polish Women Artists Seeking Education at the turn of the 20th Century

Ewa Bobrowska


In spite of a context that was unfavourable to the development of a national body of art during Poland’s partitions in the late nineteenth century, the country saw an unprecedented growth in artistic talent, including women artists. The situation was not easy for men, let alone for women, who had only just begun to achieve a professional status in the arts. Their lack of access to academic training was particularly lamentable, and even the private women’s schools that opened in several major cities in the former Poland did not provide them with sufficient skills. Young women artists therefore had no alternative but to study abroad. This article analyses how local opportunities differed from those found in the main European artistic hubs that attracted Polish women artists at the time – namely Munich and Paris – and offers a reflection on what motivated their choices.


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