Fine Arts Museum News
Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts
February 12, 2007
Prints by female artists are on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield through June 24, 2007, in the special exhibition Women in Print: Extraordinary Examples from the 20th Century.
The study and practice of art in traditional public arenas remained off limits to most women until the mid-19th century, when art schools began admitting female students. By the late 1800s, women artists became involved in and influenced by the Impressionist movement and began painting and networking with their male counterparts.
Printmaking was a more democratic field of endeavor than painting and women flourished in the medium. The American Impressionist artist Mary Cassatt, who made many contributions to printmaking, urged her colleagues to devote themselves to this medium as a way to bring affordable art to the public.
The Japanese influence was also strong, and women artists began to experiment with Japanese woodblock techniques in addition to etching and lithography. By the late 20th century, women had made significant contributions to the art world by founding and co-founding art movements and creating new approaches and techniques in all mediums. The prints in this exhibition demonstrate the level of excellence that was achieved by women as they climbed the ladder of the art world in the 20th century.