Picturing Women: American Art from the Permanent Collections

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The history of American art is replete with images of a great variety of
women from all backgrounds: First Ladies, savvy business owners, urban
sophisticates, and hardworking farm wives.

These images are distinct from mainstream European portraiture of the upper
class and aristocracy. The rise of the United States’ middle class created a
demand for all manner of paintings of the people who were settling the
countryside and forming the social, commercial and religious communities
that are with us to this day.

The women’s sphere was overwhelmingly domestic, as can be seen in the works
that depict or imply home as a setting. Within this realm and beyond, these
images explore a wide range of attributes that contribute to a complex
feminine identity: dignity, gentility, intelligence, emotion, piety,
nurturing, beauty, fashion and power.

The artists who created these works are equally diverse; men and women,
trained and untrained, internationally acclaimed and known only locally. In
their works they show how women can be portrayed in a startling array of
styles and techniques, and for a variety of reasons.

Picturing Women: American Art from the Permanent Collections offers a
selection of works that illustrates not only the appearances of these women,
but also symbolizes the lives and contributions of these women to  American
culture.

Picturing Women: American Art from the Permanent Collections offers a selection
of works that illustrates not only the appearances of these women, but also symbolizes
the lives and contributions of these women to American culture.