WS 102 M/W- Cora Agatucci
Introduction to Studies in Women and Gender:

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WS 102: Women's Arts Links
Renaissance Women Artists Quilting
and featuring
StudentWritingby Glory Wipfli, "Quilting Is More Than Meets the Eye"

Images of Women in Ancient Art: Issues of Interpretation and Identity (Chris Witcombe, Prof. of Art History, Sweet Briar College, Virginia). <> Includes history and analysis of representative images of women, informative background texts and essays, bibliographies, teaching, research and web resources on these periods:

Women in Prehistory
Women in Egypt
Women in the Aegean
Women in Palestine
Women in Greece
Barbarian Women (incl. Celtic Women under construction as of 12/98)

Women Artists/Women in Film (prepared by Joan Campbell, Wellesley, for the Assoc. of College & Research Libraries), with excellent links

Women Artists Archive (Ruben Salazar Library, Sonoma State Univ.)
and Facts about Women in the Arts, with information on over 1,000 women artists from the Middle Ages through the present day

National Museum of Women in the Arts: Artist Profiles (Washington D.C.)

Women Photographers (Belinda S. Ray, Mining Co. Guide to Women's History)

Visual Thinking: Sketchbooks from the Archives of American Art offer example sketches and background from the sketchbooks of many women artists from the Archives, a "repository of ideas, perceptions, inspirational imagery, and graphic experiments. As personal records they afford an intimate glimpse of an artist's visual thinking and reveal aspects of their creative process."

I'll Make Me A World "celebrates the extraordinary achievements of 20th-century African-American writers, dancers, painters, actors, filmmakers, musicians, and other artists who changed forever who we are as a nation and a culture.

CONJURE WOMEN is a website "based on a feature film documentary [aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting] that explores the artistry and philosophy of a specific group of African American female artists. Born and educated in the West, they are now using their disciplines to reclaim their 'africanisms:' an intuitive experience of what could not be codified, and what their foreparents had to deny if they were to survive." CONJURE WOMEN is not only a performance-based "mandate to examine and challenge existing images and assumptions of African American culture" but also, "as director Demetria Royals says," to tell "the story of African Americans in our own distinct and self-defined voices.'"


Renaissance Women Artists

Renaissance Women: Courtly Power and Influence

Early Music Women Composers - with Parallel Illustrations by Women Artists

Detroit Institute of Art's In Italy Online- featuring reproduction of painting Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, by the outstanding female painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 - 1652/1653).

Arte in Italia also features Judith Beheading Holofernes (1613-1614 - scroll down), painted by Artemisia Gentileschi, "the first female member of the Accademia del Disegno in Florence, one proof of her extraordinary artistic talent. She depicted her own strength as a woman in her many psychologically penetrating paintings of female heroines" (courtesy of Arte in Italia, created by media arts major Dana N. Lamb, Wellesley College)

Yet another reproduction of this celebrated painting is offered on the Italian Baroque page of Alyssa Weiss (The Academy of Art College, 1997).

Artemisia Gentileschi: Judith and Holofernes, with biography of Gentileschi and commentary on the painting, interpreted as "making an effort to comment upon the social and political status of women during the 17th century (courtesy of John Ngo's Humba Art & Poetry)

Shirley J. Schwarz: "Artemisia Gentileschi," on Gentileschi's Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (1630) World Cultures 102 course essay hyperlinked to reproductions of Gentileschi's paintings (from The Emergence of the West, essays by Faculty, for the World Cultures course sequences, Univ. of Evanston, Spring 1998).

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) with links
From Women in [Modern European] History <>

Artemesia Gentileschi, a biography was compiled from information in Mary D. Garrard's lavishly illustrated Artemisia Gentileschi (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1989) and Whitney Chadwick's Women, Art, and Society (London: Thames and Hudson, 1983). Chadwick provides commentary on Gentileschi's most famous paintings and a history of women artists in the Western tradition.

Reproduction of Clio, painted by Artemisia Gentileschi (scroll down - courtesy of The Muse Clio)

A listing of 16th & 17th Century Women Artists <>
courtesy of Women Artists Archive (Special Collection/University Archives, Salazar Library, Sonoma State University), with "information on over 1,300 women artists from the Middle Ages through the present day."
Renaissance Art list <> is linked to Gateway to Art History, compiled for use with Gardner's Art Through the Ages, for Harcourt Brace College Publishers' Art History Resources on the Web, compiled by Chris Whitcombe (Prof. of Art History, Sweet Briar College): see also ART HISTORY RESOURCES

Artemisia Gentileschi and The Age of Baroque (a student project of Rebecca Corbell and Samantha Guy, UK)
Includes links to The Life Biography of Artemisia Gentileschi, Testimony of the Rape Trial, and provocative concluding comments on Judith Slaying Holofernes, on whether the painting conveys Gentileschi's feelings about her rape, trial, and men.

Women's Achievements in Various Fields: Art Bibliography (Margaret Schaus, Haverford College Library, Nov. 1995)

Recommended Reading on Artemesia Gentileschi, from Art 415A/515A: Southern Baroque Art, Instructor: Dr. Julie-Anne Plax, Univ. of Arizona <>

Fourteen "State of Research" articles appeared in The Art Bulletin (NI A64) from 1986-1988, Covering major stylistic and historical periods of Western art, the articles discuss current trends and methodological approaches, including

Gouma-Peterson, Thalia and Patricia Mathews. "The Feminist Critique of Art History." AB, Lxix, 3, September 1987, pp.326-357.
For reactions see exchange by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard and the authors, AB, Lxxi, 1, March 1989, pp. 124-127. See also letter by H. Diane Russell, AB, Lxx, 1, March 1988, p. 138.

Additional articles on feminist criticism are as follows:

Griselda Pollock, Review of Mary D. Garrard, Artemisia Gentileschi. Art Bulletin 72 (1990): 499-505.
Griselda Pollock, "The Politics of Theory: Generations and Geographies: Feminist Theory and the Histories of Art Histories," Genders 17 (Fall 1993): 97-120.
A useful critical overview is to be found in Amelia Jones, "Power and Feminist Art (History)" review of Broode and Garrard, "The Power of Feminist Art," Art History 18 (1995): 435-43.

Mary Louise Reynolds Collection

Mary Louise Reynolds (1891-1950) led a fascinating life at the center of the
Surrealist circle of artists, numbering as her friends Max Ernst, Man Ray,
Paul Éluard, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, and Salvador Dalí. Reynolds and
Surrealist Marcel Duchamp were partners in a long term relationship thought
by their friends to be far happier than most marriages. She was a book
artist and served in the French resistance during World War II. The
materials in the Mary Louise Reynolds Archive and her collection of rare
books and bindings at the Art Institute of Chicago have inspired at least
two books and several exhibitions, as well as this Web site. The site
features four essays reprinted from the Art Institute's _Museum Studies_
journal, illustrated with digital images of Surrealist works, and available
in both HTML and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) formats. There is also an online
finding aid to the collection, and it is possible to search the Ryerson and
Burnham Library's catalog for Reynolds collection items. One portion of the
site (View Works of Art) brings together all the digitized works of art:
Reynolds' book bindings, Surrealist documents, prints, and a few
photographs. [DS, Scout Report 5/02]



Glory Wipfli

Glory Wipfli
Writing 121, Prof. Agatucci
Essay # 1: Final Draft
13 October 1998

Quilting Is More than Meets the Eye

I am a quilter. It is a thing I do that brings me great joy and pleasure. Whenever I am able to, I steal away into my studio/sewing room to journey into another world. Often at these times, I should probably be washing my kitchen floor or some such thing. Over time I have grown clear about what my priorities are in these matters. Household maintenance is a constant thing that I no longer let control my life. A small amount of domestic chaos is to be allowed to make room for my journey into this other world, a place where time disappears as I lose myself in the creative process. Sometimes I find that I have stayed up half the night contemplating the myriad choices I must make. Is this color a good choice for an accent? Have I used too much of it? Is there enough dissonance in my color choices to make my quilt sparkle? Or should I use more grayed, toned colors to subdue the overall design? Is there enough difference in the values, that is the light and dark contrast, to make my carefully chosen patterns stand out? Is there a richness of color subtleties, or are the colors overmatched and tedious? What can I change to make my quilt sing? On and on the choices go.

We modern quilters today are a lucky bunch. We are catered to by a multimillion-dollar quilt industry that grows by leaps and bounds every year as more and more people, mostly women by far, discover this wonderful craft/art form. An incredibly wondrous array of fabrics beholds us with each visit we make into our local quilt stores. Mountains of batting, a quilt’s inner layer, await our selection based upon the ultimate purpose of the quilt in question. Shelves upon shelves of books on patterns, techniques, and color theory entice us with their glossy photos and plethora of the information we love and crave. These quilt stores are places where we help our local economies grow as we feed our "fabric stashes." Sometimes our families may have to eat a larger percentage of rice and beans in the weeks following these quilt store forays. They understand that we will be happier housemates if we follow our longings, so they acquiesce to our strange habits with a knowing smile and perhaps a roll of the eyes.

The selection of tools available to us is truly amazing. I myself own nineteen different rulers for my craft. This is not to mention computerized sewing machines, full spectrum lights to see colors properly at night, and rotary cutters that are rolling razor blades that look like pizza cutters and make quick work of cutting countless pieces of fabric that will be sewn back together in a different form. There is a vast palette of dazzling metallic and glistening rayon threads, buttons and beads for embellishment, silk ribbons for embroidery, special fabrics for photo transfer, quilting hoops for hand quilting, fifteen kinds of thimbles, and stork shaped thread nippers for clipping wayward threads. We modern quilters are veritable tool collectors--tool junkies some might say. Our quilting industry understands us well and is more than happy to oblige us.

Our quilting sisters, of times past, practiced the art of making do with what they had. More often than not, this was very little. They had some needles, carefully guarded from loss or bending, and thread and scissors for their tools. Their materials consisted of empty flour sacks, the still good sections of otherwise worn out clothing, small scraps of fabrics from garments made: an old christening gown, Great Gramma’s wedding dress, Aunt Sally’s Sunday best dress, Cousin Harry’s homespun workshirt. These bits and pieces of memories were cut apart and sewn back together to be useful for a little longer. Their purpose was to keep someone warm as the chill of fall turned into the freezing cold of winter. It could be on the prairies, in the mountains, on the banks of some creek in the middle of nowhere. This piecing occurred at the hands of a woman, on the way to a new land, a new hope, the promise of a better future. Far away from family loved ones, familiar places, and the conveniences of towns, these women created patterns that we modern quilters still use today. They named them Indiana Puzzle, Rocky Road to Kansas, Storm at Sea, Kansas Troubles, Log Cabin, Churn Dash, March Winds, California Dreaming, Brotherly Love, Job’s Troubles, Oregon Trail, Peaceful Hours, Yankee Ingenuity, Hands All Around, Delectable Mountain, Wild Goose Chase, Drunkard’s Path, and Contrary Wife.

As I stitch these block patterns, my mind wanders over these names and makes me think of these women, my quilting sisters of long ago. I contemplate the woman who created this or that pattern and wonder what her life was like. I think about the hardships of pioneer life, and also the joys and simple pleasures that I sometimes think escape us in our fast paced modern world. Although I prefer to make contemporary quilts, I feel a timeless connection through these block patterns and through the antique quilts I have seen in books and museums and at quilt guild "show and tells," where some lucky members are lucky enough to have their great great grandmother’s wedding quilt still in good shape because it was saved "for special" and properly conserved. I feel proud to be a part of this traditional American craft. Quilting is wholly ours and that is unique and wonderful.

Quilting is also a traditional woman’s craft whose time has come. It is being honored and recognized in an ever widening circle. This past year brought world wide quilt expositions and contests with big money prizes in places as diverse as Innsbruck, Austria, Lyons, France, Japan, Australia, and our own giant Quilt Market, the industry leader, in Houston, Texas. I love to see the cultural influences of each quilter’s home country, the cultural nuances of fabrics produced in their countries, styles of needlecraft valued traditionally in their culture, ways of using color, and choice of themes of national or personal interest. Today the word global applies to quilting as well as to business or economy.

What is so special about a quilt? It is a gift that bestows a great measure of love or admiration or honoring. The maker has spent countless hours in its creation. From the moment of its inception until the binding is applied to the edges as the final step, the quilter is immersed in so many decisions as she selects the pattern, the style, the fabrics, the size, the purpose, the setting, the techniques to be used, and the actual quilting design. Quilts are usually made as gifts for momentous occasions like weddings, new babies, new homes, kids off to college, graduations, memorials, or to pay homage to some major achievement. Often they become family heirlooms to be cherished and passed on to the next generation, or they may be dragged around and used until threadbare by an adored child or grandchild. Quilt guilds commonly make quilts for community service projects. Quilters understand the comfort quilts bestow and donate them to domestic violence shelters for battered women and children, or to terminally ill or critically ill children in places like the Ronald McDonald House, or to people with Aids or in homeless shelters.

Quilting has great therapeutic value for the quilter as well. The making of a quilt is such a journey of so many hours and thoughts as the stitches are put in. It is a time of quiet reflection--on thoughts of the recipient and on thoughts of the affairs of the quilter’s own life. Women use quilting time and the opportunity for self-expression to deal with grief, bereavement, the loss of a child or a breast, divorce, abandonment, anger, and great sadness at the affairs or state of the world. It is a great feeling to bring something begun in your mind to fruition. For overworked working mothers, it provides a sense of accomplishing something that lasts longer than a meal prepared or the twenty minutes that the dishes are all clean. Quilting provides great satisfaction and you don’t have to feed it.

Another aspect of quilting that holds great appeal for me is the diversity of my group. Quilters come in all shapes and sizes and ages and ideological points of view. Some of us are part of the religious right, and some are far left liberals. Some of us are old married people who raised five children, and some of us are empowered career women with no plans for children or partners. Barriers vanish in our common love of fabric and our craft.

I am a quilter. I am a link in a chain that started long before me and will go on long after I am gone. I am proud to be a part of this American folk tradition. It has enriched my life greatly.

Quilting Extensions: Gender

Quilts and Art in [Alice Walker's] "Everyday Use"

The AIDS Memorial Quilt (EcoWeb Exploration, compiled by Shay Mitchell, pictures from the Smithsonian's Electronic Art Gallery). <>

The Names Project - The quilt was first displayed in October of 1987 during the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The quilt was the idea of Cleve Jones, a San Francisco gay rights activist and organizer of the Kaposi's Sarcoma Research and Education Foundation. <>

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