Art For Lunch led by Alexandra Morrison
During January’s Art for Lunch, Gallery Attendant Alexandra Morrison led attendees as historical investigators through the exhibition Undaunted: Canadian Women Painters of the 19th Century. Together they uncovered information about the women behind the artworks and tried to understand the mindset of a woman born in the nineteenth-century, as a way to appreciate the unique barriers women faced as they sought to achieve success and acclaim as professional artists at the turn of the century.
Undaunted is an exhibition of works produced by women born in the nineteenth-century, all of whom lived or travelled extensively in Canada. The exhibition celebrates the often neglected accomplishments of female artists. Although each is an active contributor to Canada’s art history, many of these women have yet to receive the acknowledgement they are due and this exhibition seeks to foster that overdue recognition.
In an activity where participants took on the point of view of a nineteenth century woman, the group examined prescribed gender roles and the construction of femininity and womanhood through the themes of education, property, technology and rebellion in this historical context.
The group discussed the ways that the women artists represented in the exhibition would have rebelled or conformed to prescribed gender roles, and how the rapidly changing world of Western Canada at that time would have affected them and their opportunities. The group concluded by reflecting on the ways that society and the role of women has changed (or not) over the last two centuries.
Undaunted: Canadian Women Painters of the 19th Century can be seen at your AGA until April 8, 2018.