The question “Why have there been no great women artists?” has led us to the conclusion, so far, that art is not a free, autonomous activity of a super-endowed individual, “influenced” by
"Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" is generally considered required reading for the fields of feminist art history and feminist art theory inasmuch as it calls out the institutional barriers to the visual arts that women in the Western tradition historically faced.
Background: Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? This question – Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? – is the title of a famous 1971 essay by art historian Linda Nochlin. Nochlin argues that rather than just dig up great forgotten female artists, art historians need to tackle this question at a more fundamental level.
Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (1971) is generally considered the first major work of feminist art history.
The fact of the matter is that there have been no supremely great women artists, as far as we know, although there have been many interesting and very good ones, who remain insufficiently investigated or appreciated; nor have there been any great Lithuanian jazz pianists, nor Eskimo tennis players, no matter how much we might wish there had been.
The fact is that there have been no great women artists, so far as we know, although there have been many interest-ing and good ones who have not been sufficiently investi-gated or appreciated—nor have there been any great Lith-uanian jazz pianists or Eskimo tennis players. That this should be the case is regrettable, but no amount of manip-
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