The New Woman
Rebecca West

"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute." - Rebecca West in "Mr Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice," The Clarion, November 14, 1913

Rebecca West











Old Indian Arrowmaker

Hagar in the Wilderness
Edmonia Lewis, Old Indian Arrowmaker and His Daughter, 1866 - 1872.

Edmonia Lewis, Hagar in the Wilderness, 1875.











Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, 1876.












Edmonia Lewis, Death of Cleopatra (scale and detail), 1876.












William Wetmore Story, Cleopatra, 1869.
Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, 1876.











Death of Cleopatra

Artemisia Gentileschi, Cleopatra, date unknown.
Reginald Arthur, Death of Cleopatra, c. 1914.











Edmonia Lewis

Henry Rochner, Carte-de-visite of Edmonia Lewis, c. 1870.










Photography invented 1827, made widely available in the 1830s, and become accessible to the masses by the 1850s
Photography provided an open door to women interested in the arts because:
  • It had no canon, history or rules to adhere to
  • Photos were not initially considered art, so photographic practice was open to everyone (who could afford the equipment) without restrictions
  • It did not reqiure formal training (such as painting & sculpting)
  • Because it was considered a hobby, photographers were allowed great freedom of expression

Not surprisingly, women were among the first to argue the artistic merits of the photograph

The Kodak Girl, Australian Photographic Review, 1911.











Lady Clementina Hawarden, Photographic Study, Early 1860s.











Rosebud Garden of Girls

Julia Margaret Cameron, Rosebud Garden of Girls, 1868.
Lady Clementina Hawarden, Photographic Study, c. 1863.











In 1861, the age of consent was raised
from 10 to 12 in England
While there is no evidence that Hawarden was deliberately exploring the topic of adolescent sexuality, the popular concern is arguably evident in her images
Lady Clementina Hawarden, Isabella Grace and Clementina Maude, c. 1863.











Julia Margaret Cameron, Charles Darwin, 1868, printed 1875.











Lewis Carroll said "hers are all taken purposely out of focus- some are very picturesque- some merely hideous- however, she talks of them as if they were triumphs of art." - Guerrilla Girls

"What is focus- and who has the right to say what is the legitimate focus? My aspirations are to ennoble photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real and the ideal and sacrificing nothing of Truth by all possible devotion to Poetry and beauty." - Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron, Sappho, 1865.











Julia Margaret Cameron, Ellen Terry at Age 16, 1864.
John Singer Sargent, Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, 1889.











Impressionism = a movement among late nineteenth-century French painters who sought to present a true representation of light and color. Working primarily outdoors, such artists applied small touches of paint to catch fleeting impressions of the scenes before them. Many American artists adopted the style.

In the Garden

The Impressionists were interested in:
  • Representing immediate visual sensations through color and light
  • Experimenting with short, loose, and choppy brushstrokes
  • Painting outdoors, away from the studio,
    and with pre-made paint
  • "En Plein Air" = in the open air
Berthe Morisot, In the Garden, c. 1884.











"sketch aesthetics"

Summer's Day

Woman at the Toilette

Berthe Morisot, Summer's Day, 1879.
Berthe Morisot, Woman at Her Toilette, 1875.











Mother Washing Sleepy Child

Breakfast in Bed

Mary Cassat, Mother Washing Sleepy Child, 1880.
Mary Cassatt, Breakfast in Bed, 1897.













Mary Cassat, Woman in a Loge, 1880.
Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Arm Chair, 1878.












Mary Cassatt, The Boating Party, 1893 - 1894.