Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800, a highly anticipated exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, opens on October 1, 2023 and will be on display until January 7, 2024.
For centuries, women artists in Europe were considered rare and less talented than their male counterparts. Women who achieved professional artistic careers were deemed anomalous or exceptional, while those who engaged in creative pursuits in the home were dismissed as amateurs, and their works were categorized as material culture rather than art.
Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800, aims to correct these broadly held but mistaken beliefs through more than 200 works of diverse media and scale. From royal portraits and devotional sculptures to embroidered objects, tapestries, costumes, wax sculptures, metalwork, ceramics, graphic arts, furniture, and more, Making Her Mark will feature objects from the 15th to 18th centuries that reflect the multifaceted and often overlooked ways that women contributed to the visual arts of Europe.
The exhibition’s focus on displaying exclusively objects made by women or toward which women contributed their labor distinguishes this project by putting women makers of all social levels in conversation with each other through their works.
Examples by artistic heroines such as Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Luisa Roldán, Rosalba Carriera, Rachel Ruysch, and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun will join exceptional products of female artisanal collectives and talented amateurs who operated outside of the male-dominated professional arena and often remained anonymous in the historical record. Further, sublime examples of ceramics, metalwork, and cabinetmaking from this era will reflect women’s involvement in major manufactories and workshops.