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Wild Women in Art  

Karen McSorley Women have been an integral part of art history since the dawn of time. In this course, we will go back to the very beginning during which women’s roles were illustrated on cave walls. Moving chronologically, we will venture into a discussion of women as inspiration, or muses, across myriad cultures. Next, we will investigate women’s impact on the art world as they assumed prominent, as well as independent, positions such as patrons, historians, curators, pioneers and artists. And finally, we will apply our newly acquired understanding of women in art to current events surrounding gender stereotypes & 4th wave feminist theory. Our time together includes class lectures, videos, reading assignments, optional excursions, and an opportunity to present your own findings to the class in a final assignment. Join us to develop a critical and historical consciousness of the trajectory of women in art; understand the role and function of women as muses, idealized objects of desire, protagonists, artists, promoters, and audience members; achieve a “visual literacy” of women in art; and foster individual and collective learning. Class Lecture: WEEK 1 - Idealized Goddesses WEEK 2 - Painted Women WEEK 3 - The Male Gaze & Gender Power Unevenness WEEK 4 - Partners in Life & Art WEEK 5 - 20th Century Mavericks WEEK 6 - Feminist Theory Across the Ages. (Fun!) Final Assignment Presentations: Details to be provided to enrollees) Optional Excursions (varying day/times to be announced) WEEK 1 - Docent Lecture “Casanova: The Seduction of Europe” @ Legion of Honor WEEK 2 - Brenda’s French Soul Food @ 352 Polk Street at Eddy WEEK 3 - “Totally Modern Ladies” tour @ SFMOMA at 151 Third Street WEEK 4 - San Francisco Women Artists’ Gallery @ 647 Irving Drive & 8th Avenue WEEK 5 - Artist Talk: “Judy Dater: Reflections of 55 Years as a Bay Area Artist” @ DeYoung Museum Karen Lee McSorley can recall her early art experience to regular weekend visits to The Met as a very young child. Since then, she has earned advanced degrees in Art History and Economics from both Northwestern and Yale. Her passion for these combined fields is seen across her decade-long service at SFMOMA.


This class is not available at this time.