Loading...

ARTH209: 20th Century Art

Unit 13: Identity Politics: Feminism and Social Activism   In the 1960s and 1970s, European and American societies experienced a sea change. Numerous individuals and organizations reacted against patriarchal culture, that is, a culture that privileged white heterosexual males and that denigrated the productions of women and people of color. The Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement sought to redress the balance and to bring the concerns of marginalized groups into the mainstream art world. The artists discussed in this unit created works that specifically address the political implications of individual gender and ethnic identity.

Unit 13 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 4 hours.

☐    Subunit 13.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 13.2: 1.5 hours

Unit13 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- identify and explain the political implications of Feminist and Social Activist Art; - analyze the visual characteristics and technical processes involved in Feminism and Social Activism; - discuss the contributions of specific artists to Feminist and Social Activist art; - make connections between the themes and processes of earlier 20th-century art and those found in Feminist and Social Activist works of art; and - explain how Feminist and Social Activist works of art affect the relationship between the viewer and the art work and how they redefine the role of the artist.

13.1 Feminism   - Reading: MiraCosta College: Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Link: MiraCosta College: Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this essay. Nochlin’s article discusses the cultural biases that structure Western society in general and the art world in particular. Her observations and arguments helped define the issues for feminist artists.
 
Reading this essay should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Art History Archive: “Feminism & Feminist Art” Link: The Art History Archive: “Feminism & Feminist Art” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this essay for an overview of the history and goals of feminist art.
     
    Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Brooklyn Museum: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: “The Dinner Party” Link: Brooklyn Museum: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: “The Dinner Party” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on each of the highlighted topic headings on this page to read detailed descriptions of each element of this large, collaborative work. Then click on “Curatorial Overview” and “Judy Chicago” from the menu on the left side of the page. As you read, think about all of the elements that make this work an icon of feminist art.
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The ArtStory: “Carolee Schneeman” Link: The ArtStory: “Carolee Schneeman” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this essay and remember to click “More” after “Carolee Schneeman Biography.” Then click on each of the images under “Analysis of Carolee Schneeman’s Art Works” at the top of the page to read about the individual works.
     
    Reading this material should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

13.2 Social Activism   - Reading: PBS: African American World: “Social Activism: Romare Bearden” Link: PBS: African American World: “Social Activism: Romare Bearden” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this essay, and then click on the images at the right side of the page to read more about these works.
 
Reading this essay should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: African American World: “Social Activism: Faith Ringgold” Link: PBS: African American World: “Social Activism: Faith Ringgold” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this brief essay on Ringgold’s use of the American flag in these paintings. What does her work suggest about African Americans’ relationship to American ideals of liberty and justice for all? Click on the images at the right side of the page for slightly larger views.
     
    Reading this essay and answering the question should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Quilts: “Faith Ringgold” Link: PBS: Quilts: “Faith Ringgold” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this page. Ringgold produced a number of quilts that incorporate narrative and texts. By using a medium traditionally reserved for women and placing it in an art world context, Ringgold questions the distinction we make between the fine arts (painting and sculpture) and crafts (such as quilting and needlework). Furthermore, she questions our biases about the kinds of work that are appropriate for men and women.
     
    Reading this piece should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: NPR: The Long View: Renee Montagne’s “Life Is a Collage for Artist Betye Saar” Link: NPR: The Long View: Renee Montagne’s “Life Is a Collage for Artist Betye Saar” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: As you read this essay, please pay particular attention to Betye Saar’s use of nontraditional materials in her assemblage-style sculptures. Like Bearden and Ringgold, Saar’s work evokes social meanings as well as aesthetic appreciation.
     
    Reading this essay should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: The National Visionary Leadership Project: “Betye Saar: The Liberation of Aunt Jemima Link: YouTube: The National Visionary Leadership Project: “Betye Saar: The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video to hear Betye Saar’s thoughtful discussion of one of her most famous works, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima. How does this assemblage work to transform our understanding of derogatory stereotypes?
     
    Watching the video and answering the question should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 13 Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 13 Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Complete this assessment to gauge your understanding of the topics covered in this unit. The correct answers will be displayed when you click the “Submit” button.

    Completing the quiz and reviewing, if necessary, should take approximately 30 minutes.