The Struggle of 19th Century Women Artists in Paris

Despite the challenges, aspiring female artists flocked to Paris in the second half of the 19th century to seek careers as painters. In the face of societal and institutional pressures, these women created non-traditional paintings that played to their unique strengths. A selection of these will be shown in "Women Artists in Paris 1850-1900", an exhibition sponsored by the American Federation of Arts that will travel throughout the U.S. between October 22 and September 3, 2018 making stops in Denver, CO; Louisville, KY; and Williamstown, MA.

Inspired by her two young daughters and the increasing prominence of women artists in contemporary art, curator Laurence Madeline, former curator at the Musées d’art et d’histoire in Geneva and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, began to work on this exhibition in 2008. She chose the 50-year period between 1850 and 1900 to showcase the beginnings of the fight for women artists to be recognized. “There were more and more women who had to make their living but also many people who thought that women should not work,” she says, describing the


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