Dallas Museum of Art Presents Women Artists in Europe from the Monarchy to Modernism

“The Triumph of Women Artists: A new exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art shows how they created masterpieces despite the obstacles placed in their path.”  – Wall Street Journal

Dallas, TX—December 28, 2018—Spanning Europe from the late 18th through mid-20th centuries, the women artists featured in this exhibition worked at a time when prestigious art schools, exhibition venues, and commercial outlets were primarily reserved for their male counterparts.  Drawn primarily from the DMA’s permanent collection, this special presentation features paintings and works on paper by artists including Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Rosa Bonheur, Eva Gonzalès, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter, and more. Although their artwork cannot be characterized by a single style, viewpoint, or technique, these artists are united by the challenges they faced in pursuing professional careers.

Underlying women’s exclusion was the widely held belief that they were biologically incapable of the intellectual and manual skills necessary to produce great art.  Banned from studying the live nude model until the late 1800s, they were prevented from receiving the training necessary for depicting historical or religious subjects that glorify the human form. Instead, women were encouraged to focus on the less significant fields of portraiture, genre, and still life, and to practice drawing, pastel, and watercolor rather than oil painting.

Despite this discrimination, the number of professional women artists grew rapidly from the 1850s onward. The triumph of modern art movements over traditional academic styles resulted in more opportunities for equality in the arts in the 20th century.

Women Artists in Europe from the Monarchy to Modernism, on view through June 9, 2019, is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and curated by Nicole R. Myers, The Lillian and James H. Clark Curator of European Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition can be seen for free as part of the Museum’s general admission policy.

About the Dallas Museum of Art

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than 4 million visitors. For more information, visit DMA.org.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.


For more information, please contact:

Jill Bernstein