Title

Academie to atelier : the artistic education of American women in nineteenth-century Paris

Author

Anna Estes

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Masterʼs Research Paper

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

M.E. Warlick

Second Advisor

Annette Stott

Keywords

Women in art --19th century, Women artists -- France, Art -- Study and teaching -- France

Abstract

This paper puts forth an alternate reading of the artistic climate in late nineteenth-century Paris than that which has traditionally been suggested. I propose that the expansion of creative opportunity during this time reveals a climate of communal support, consent, and progressive reform for women artists, rather than a struggle to undermine central (masculine) control, as many scholars have claimed. Specifically, I explore the work of American expatriates living in Paris, including but not limited to Cecilia Beaux, Anna Klumpke, Alice Kellogg, and Ellen Day Hale. The birth of the private academy in Paris offered women the chance to develop their artistic ability and assert their independence. The Académie Julian in particular provided a comparatively accepting and progressive environment where American women studying abroad could study from the nude model, receive proper training, and explore their full creative potential. Through an examination of a) these women’s self-portraits, and b) depictions of them painted by their contemporaries – both male and female – I further investigate the artistic education of American women in the highly-gendered cultural milieu of late nineteenth-century France.

Comments

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