Women in Art

Ref: C2419231

Artists, patrons and collectors: throughout the centuries, women have always played an active role in the making of art. They are, however, lesser known than their male counterparts. This course will address this difference in an attempt to raise the profile of women artists. From the Middle Ages to the present, this historical survey will help us identify and analyse the challenges women have had to face, as well as the contributions they have made to Western art history. The artists we will study include Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Berthe Morisot, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Cindy Sherman, and many others. The chronological outline will allow us to understand how women artists have progressively become more prominent in the art world. Doing so, we will relate this change to broader cultural transformations impacting the place of women in Western society.

Course aim

This course focuses on women artists, from the Middle Ages through to the 21st century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Name important women artists and situate them in the history of Western art
  • Give examples of gender differences in the art world throughout the centuries
  • Describe and discuss how women artists’ became progressively more prominent in the art world and relate these changes to a broader cultural context
  • Follow-up on individual interests by conducting independent research

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • A class visit to a gallery might be organised. This will discussed during the first session.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Women in Art


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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