Modernizing Women: The Cultural Crossroads of Gender, Modern Art, and Modern Culture

Lois Rudnick,
Marian Wardle
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This one-hour panel includes presentations by Marian Wardle, curator of American Art at Brigham Young University Art Museum; Lois Rudnick, Director, American Studies Program University of Massachusetts Boston, and (via video clip) Erika Doss, Professor of Art History, University of Colorado Boulder. The 31 women artists we examine worked in diverse styles and multiple genres (painting, prints, fabric, and theatre design) between 1910 and 1945, and lived in every region of the US. Many of them were actively involved in spreading modern art through their teaching in/founding of art schools and community arts organizations. Our discussion of their lives, careers, and erasures in the emerging world of the modern art establishment is situated within a broad historical and cultural context that situates them in relationship to other "modernizing women" who shaped modern arts patronage, modern music, modern dance, modern poetry and literature, and modern social reform movements in the US.

Keywords: American women modernists
Stream: Arts Agendas
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
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Lois Rudnick

Professor and Director, American Studies Program, University of Massachusetts Boston

For the past 30 years my scholarship has focused on American Modernism, the New Woman, and the cultural history of the American Southwest. Among my publications are: "Mabel Dodge Luhan: New Woman, New Worlds" (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1984); "Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan House and the American Counterculture" (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1996); "1915, the Cultural Moment: The New Politics, the New Woman, the New Psychology, the New Art, and the New Theatre in America" (Rutgers Univ. Press, 1991); and, most recently, "Modernizing Women: The New Woman and American Modernism," in "American Women Modernists: The Legacy of Robert Henri" (edited by Marian Wardle, Rutgers Univ. Press, 2005). I have lectured on these subjects in museums and universities throughout the US, and in Spain, France, and Italy.

Marian Wardle

Curator of American Art, Brigham Young University of Art
Provo, Utah, USA

In addition to my responsibilities as curator, I teach American art history at Brigham Young University. My publications include essays on American art of the Gilded Age, the paintings of Minerva Teichert, and the pastoral tradition in American art. My most recent publication is American Women Modernists: The Legacy of Robert Henri, 1910-1945 (Rutgers University Press, 2005), of which I am editor and co-author. I also curated the accompanying exhibition, Thoroughly Modern: The “New Women” Art Students of Robert Henri (Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Feb. – Aug., 2005).

Ref: A06P0211