Femininity through the Female Gaze

Curated by Casey Lesser

Femininity has long been seen as a detriment to women artists. Thanks to pervasive patriarchal norms, historically, it’s only served as a reminder of gender constructs, objectification, inequality, and perceived weakness. Some of art history’s most famous women artists, like Mary Cassatt and Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, were pigeonholed for their portrayals of femininity, while their male counterparts earned more esteem for similar subject matter. Even now, to delve into popular perceptions of femininity as a female-identifying artist feels risky—yet fruitful.

Fruitful, because the subject matter has gained contemporary nuance and meaning. Femininity is increasingly understood as something …

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