Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021, I have created an Art UK Curation and am giving a talk celebrating the achievements of Modern Scottish Women Artists.

Cecile Walton (1891-1956), Romance, 1920
Presented Anonymously to the National Galleries of Scotland in 2005 (c) Artist’s Estate

A Dozen Modern Scottish Women Painters You Should Know About!

During lockdown, Art UK introduced their marvellous ‘Curations‘ tool. This allows everyone to curate on-line displays of the works in UK public collections which are on the Art UK website. Mine is called ‘A Dozen Modern Scottish Women Painters You Should Know About’ and can be found here.

It features twelve artists, listed in alphabetical order by surname, from Wilhelmina Barns-Graham to Anna Zinkeisen. Romance of 1920, by Cecile Walton (reproduced above) is included. It is an extraordinary self-portrait of the artist holding her newborn son, whilst being tended to by a mid-wife and observed by her older son. It illustrates what Walton described in 1926 as ‘the tragedy that attends so often the attempt to reconcile career and domestic life.’

Pat Douthwaite (1934-2002), Dr Helen Wright, 1990
Purchased with the Assistance of the Jean F. Watson Bequest Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions by Museums & Galleries Edinburgh in 1993 (c) Artist’s Estate

An (Almost) A to Z of Modern Scottish Women Artists

On International Women’s Day itself, I shall be giving the on-line talk ‘An (Almost) A to Z of Modern Scottish Women Artists‘ for Museums & Galleries Edinburgh. It will be a canter through nineteen artists, from Mary Armour to Anna Zinkeisen, with a work each dating from 1904 to 1990. Why nineteen rather than twenty-six? That’s because I couldn’t find anyone for the letters I, K, Q, U, V, X and Y! If you can, please let me know.

Pat Douthwaite (1934-2002)’s portrait of her friend Dr Helen Wright (reproduced above) will be discussed. This startling image combines colour fields, flattened forms and pattern with an angst-suffused depiction of Wright’s facial expression and breasts. The result is a disquieting portrait which goes beyond any notion of flattery.

I wish you a Happy International Women’s Day!

For information about my forthcoming talk ‘Proposed and Seconded: The Women Artists Nominated for Election to the Royal Scottish Academy in the 1920s’ please follow this link. For more about Cecile Walton, you might enjoy this blog. You can read about four of the ‘first women’ of the Royal Scottish Academy here.

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