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David’s Notes: Where Are All The Women?

February 16th, 2010

The Artist's Painting-Room, Mary Alabaster, 1830

Where are all the women?

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s European collection has only a handful of works by women created prior to 1900. Here’s why:

Before the 1870s, women were discouraged from studying art. For many years, Mary Alabaster’s mother prevented her from pursuing her love of art.

Until recently, the Art Gallery of Ontario didn’t acknowledge the role women have played in the making of art over the last 400 years. Fortunately, times have changed. Women are well represented in the Gallery’s contemporary collection.

Mary Ann Rebecca Alabaster
(British, 1805-1880)
The Artist’s Painting-Room
oil on canvas
84.5 x 70.4 cm
Art Gallery of Ontario,
Promised gift from Carol and Morton Rapp.
© 2009 Art Gallery of Ontario

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