Seen and Heard 
The Art of Empowerment

Galleryw 0049"I am a woman’s liberation,” was Louise Nevelson’s response to a question regarding the women’s movement. In many ways Nevelson was the embodiment of personal freedom, in her life and in her artmaking. She also experienced an atmosphere in which women were not afforded equal representation or opportunity. This gallery features women who asserted their artistic empowerment in spite of social and cultural barriers, as well as those who bring attention to the marginalization of others.1975 0032 marisolweb

During the mid-twentieth century, many women artists reported that they were not taken seriously nor considered as talented as their male counterparts. As sculptor Beverly Pepper stated, “The female artist inevitably finds that she must fight harder than most males to gain an equivalent position.” Regardless of obstacles during their careers, numerous women artists made innovative and significant bodies of work. They tenaciously pursued artmaking for decades, determinedly brought their creative visions to life, and forged innovative methods and techniques. A number of them also created work concerning women’s experiences—establishing that it was a subject deserving visibility and recognition.

While opportunities and representation for women have since improved, there is still gender disparity. Although roughly half of practicing artists are female, only a third of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries feature women artists, while major museums demonstrate even lower figures (according to a 2018 study by cultural economist Clare McAndrew). Beyond gender, disparities due to race, class, ethnicity, education, and sexuality, are also part of continuing inequality in the art world. 

Gallery w 0005

In addition to individual empowerment, social activism is integral to the practice of many artists. They may re-contextualize art history, challenge established narratives, or make visible marginalized communities. Whether pursuing individual or communal agency, the artists featured here have contributed to a more inclusive environment in the art world and beyond. Several recent acquisitions are included, demonstrating the Figge Art Museum’s dedication to better representing the world in which we live and the artists who are an essential part of it. 

“We are proud to present these dynamic artworks from the museum collection, including several recent acquisitions. While issues of inequality remain prevalent in the art world, the Figge is dedicated to better representing the world in which we live and the artists who are an essential part of it.”
  

-Figge Assistant Curator and Exhibition Curator Vanessa Sage 



Companion Programming

Gallery Talk with Exhibition Curator
Date TBD 

Vanessa Sage (the exhibition curator) will give a gallery talk focusing on several artists included in the exhibition. The talk will highlight their path to becoming renowned artists, as well as their personal viewpoints on their role in the art world and in society. 


Additional Resources
:
Learn more about art world inequities, the New York art scene, and read profiles on more groundbreaking women artists.


The music included in the videos is Clara Schumann's Piano Trio in G minor from opus 17. Schumann (German, 1819-1896) was a renowned pianist, composer, and instructor, widely celebrated for her technical skill and expressive playing. To learn more about Schumann, visit here





Fun Facts. fpo

LEARN MORE

The Figge Art Museum is home to one of the nation's largest collections of Haitian Art.

ART & MORE
Orientation Gallery
Img 5005 1
Img 4901 2

Keep in Touch

Receive news about Figge’s exhibitions, events and more.




LOCATION
FIGGE ART MUSEUM

225 West Second Street
Davenport, Iowa
info@figgeartmuseum.org

 

PHONE

Museum | 563.326.7804

Cafe | 563.345.6647

 

MUSEUM HOURS

Monday | Closed

Tuesday - Wednesday | 11am - 5pm

Thursday | 11am - 6pm

Friday - Sunday | 11am - 5pm

 

CAFE HOURS

Monday - Sunday Closed

*See calendar for holiday exceptions