Modern Women at PAFA: From Cassatt to O'Keeffe

Women artists who paved the way for future generations of professional women artists

  • Susan Macdowell Eakins, <em>Girl in a Plaid Shawl</em>, ca. 1880-85, Oil on canvas, 28 1/16 x 21 in., Charles Bregler&#39;s Thomas Eakins Collection, purchased with the partial support of the Pew Memorial Trust and the Henry C. Gibson Fund, 1985.68.39.6

    Susan Macdowell Eakins, Girl in a Plaid Shawl, ca. 1880-85, Oil on canvas, 28 1/16 x 21 in., Charles Bregler's Thomas Eakins Collection, purchased with the partial support of the Pew Memorial Trust and the Henry C. Gibson Fund, 1985.68.39.6

  • Alice Kent Stoddard, <em>Polly</em>, by 1928, Oil on canvas, 54 x 44 1/8 in., Gift of Mrs. H. Lea Hudson, 1966.1

    Alice Kent Stoddard, Polly, by 1928, Oil on canvas, 54 x 44 1/8 in., Gift of Mrs. H. Lea Hudson, 1966.1

  • Bessie Potter Vonnoh, <em>Dance</em>, 1910, Bronze with brown-and-green patina; lost-wax cast possibly in 1913, 12 x 10 5/8 x 4 3/4 in., Henry D. Gilpin Fund, 1973.24

    Bessie Potter Vonnoh, Dance, 1910, Bronze with brown-and-green patina; lost-wax cast possibly in 1913, 12 x 10 5/8 x 4 3/4 in., Henry D. Gilpin Fund, 1973.24

  • Susan Macdowell Eakins, <em>Self-Portrait</em>, 1910-20, Oil on fabric, mounted on masonite, 20 x 16 in., Charles Bregler&#39;s Thomas Eakins Collection, purchased with the partial support of the Pew Memorial Trust and the Henry C. Gibson Fund, 1985.68.39.2

    Susan Macdowell Eakins, Self-Portrait, 1910-20, Oil on fabric, mounted on masonite, 20 x 16 in., Charles Bregler's Thomas Eakins Collection, purchased with the partial support of the Pew Memorial Trust and the Henry C. Gibson Fund, 1985.68.39.2

  • Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, <em>Woman with Fish</em>, 1936 or 1937, Oil on canvas, 18 3/16 x 15 in., Gift of Mrs. Thomas E. Drake (The Margaretta S. Hinchman Collection), 1955.15.13

    Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, Woman with Fish, 1936 or 1937, Oil on canvas, 18 3/16 x 15 in., Gift of Mrs. Thomas E. Drake (The Margaretta S. Hinchman Collection), 1955.15.13

In conjunction with The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presented a companion installation featuring works by modern artists from Mary Cassatt to Georgia O’Keeffe who paved the way for future generations of professional women artists.

Modern Women at PAFA included the work of over 20 female artists whose works explore the following themes: motherhood and beauty; the natural landscape; self-portraiture; women in their community; women illustrators; and modern women in motion.

In 1915, Cecilia Beaux declared: “I predict an hour when the term ‘Women in Art’ will be as strange sounding a topic as the title “Men in Art” would be now.” Nearly a century later, it remains to be seen if Beaux’s prediction has become a reality, as we continue to explore the history of women and art.

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