Meeting 1: "British Women Artists, 1750-1950: the present and future", a day-long workshop
Friday 13 November 2015, 11am to 4pm
The Tree House, Berrick Saul Building, University of York
This inaugural workshop enabled scholars and curators/researchers actively working on British Women Artists of the period in question to share, discover, explore and discuss together projects/work currently being undertaken and the future of the field. To that end, all in attendance gave a short talk outlining their present project/work and their position on what future work is needed and what routes to expanding knowledge about and the visibility of the artworks concerned might be usefully be taken. There was ample opportunity for discussion through out the day during sessions, in breaks and in the concluding Round Table session.
Meeting 2: "A Studio of One's Own"
Thursday 26th May 2016, 10am to 4pm
The Board Room, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Two
Our Second Meeting was hosted at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh to coincide with Modern Scottish Women Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965, an exhibition curated by Sub-Group member Alice Strang and highly relevant to the Group’s subject specialist members. The day-long meeting was co-organised by Sub Group Leader, Katie J. T. Herrington (Postdoctoral Researcher, University of York) and Sub Group Facilitator, Melissa Gustin (Postgraduate Researcher, University of York) with Alice Strang, and included a series of five papers, a tour of the exhibition and a roundtable discussion. From start to finish the sixteen members in attendance enthusiastically and openly conversed, sharing their research and ideas for future directions in the field. The papers were focused on the topic of British women artists’ studios, which was identified at the Sub Group’s first meeting, held at the University of York in November 2016. Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s evocative Studio Interior (Red Stool, Studio), a work on show at SNGMA was taken as the subject of the keynote paper and a central image for discussion. The day confirmed that the study of women’s studios, a hitherto relatively neglected subject, deepens our knowledge about their work, lives, and receptions. Speakers addressed the studios of women painters and sculptors, inside and outside the home, in schools and among artistic groups. From this, conversations developed around notions of amateur versus professional, domestic duties, the shaping of identity, archives detailing materials, studio equipment and props that inform understandings of practices, and appropriately in the spirit of the Sub Group, how women artists worked with their male and female peers.
In the short term this meeting enabled the Group to identify specific themes within the Women’s Studio topic for developing into a collaboratively sourced and maintained online, free access resource and/or Occasional Series. To be accompanied by a map of studio locations throughout the UK that will be a work in progress on our website which all Sub Group Members will be invited to contribute to. The themes to be explored through texts made available online might include:
Representations of the studio and the formation of identity
Ad-hoc studios in the domestic setting of the home
Bespoke studio-homes designed and/or built by/for women artists
Studio practice in Art Schools
Professional Artistic Groups’ Shared Studio spaces
Studio materials and props
Alice Strang’s guided tour of the exhibition was a highlight of the day. The exhibition, with ninety works from forty-five artists spread across four rooms, brought together an unprecedented number of Scottish women artists—many of whom are disregarded in the wider literature of the period. The extraordinary collection of works, including sculpture integrated into the display, inspired members to begin thinking about a future exhibition on the Studio theme that would include women artists active all over the UK. Following the tour, the group discussed the possibility of preparing an exhibition proposal on the subject of women’s studios, integrating many of the themes raised during the day and as part of the plan for future directions. Such an exhibition might be accompanied by a catalogue containing essays by individual authors.
There will be a third meeting of Sub Group Members in autumn 2016 the format of which is yet to be decided. There is opportunity to use the third gathering to develop this theme through workshops and continue mapping research in the field through networking. The Group also discussed plans to record Podcasts pertaining to each Member’s research to post on their online profiles in the A to Z of Members section of the website.
Meeting 3: Opening Studio Doors: a Collaborative Write-a-thon
Thursday 25 November, 2016 - 10am-5pm
The Tree House, Berrick Saul Building, University of York
This Opening Studio Doors, a collaborative Write-a-thon event aimed to build on the open and enthusiastic attitude to knowledge sharing displayed by members at our Second Meeting, ‘A Studio of One’s Own’ (Edinburgh, May 2016). It provided the opportunity for Sub-Group members to pool their collective knowledge and work towards harnessing it in the form of a co-authored resource that will outline what is currently known about the forms, uses, representations and meanings of women’s studios. The aim is to eventually publish our work on this subject freely and openly on our website in html and pdf format. It will encourage and enable future research.
Meeting 4:"Slade Women Artists; or How to Curate Your Own Exhibition for 2018", a day-long workshop
Tuesday 9 May 2017, 10am to 5pm
UCL Art Museum, London
Members of the British Women Artists 1750-1950 BAN Sub-Group were invited to participate in a research workshop organized by UCL Art Museum. The aim was to help curate an exhibition on Slade Women Artists for display in 2018, the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, an important milestone for women’s suffrage.
UCL Art Museum asked the Sub-Group to work in an advisory capacity on this research strand, as a focused aspect of Spotlight on the Slade, a Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art funded project to increase access to this historically significant archive of prize-winning student art. The meeting enabled the museum to capture specialist knowledge in regards to the women artists represented in the Slade Collections, to build a greater historical picture of the artists, their contemporaries and their overall experience at the Slade. We recovered the identity of a number of now forgotten artists and hidden narratives underpinning many women artists' works.
For further information see the event notice available to download above.
Roundtable Discussion @ AAH, "Pioneering women: the first 100 years of women artists at the Slade School of Art (1871-1975)
Thursday 6 April, 2017, 2.30pm to 5pm
The Slade School of Art, founded in 1871, was established to teach fine art within a University setting. Both male and female students were taught from the beginning, seven years before the University of London allowed women to take its examinations. The Slade provided professional development and creative experience for many prominent artists of this period, whether through teaching or study. From a glance at the school’s alumni it is clear that the mix of artistic voices made this institution unique and aided the individual careers of many.
This round table discussion enabled contributors to share their research and explore women artists studying and teaching at the Slade, from its inception until the end of William Coldstream’s tenure as head in 1975. We looked at how this school, in a time of restricted learning, aided the careers of women and if social and economic circumstances influenced their training and future career choices. How artists’ Slade training equipped them for professional life and their ability to establish studios and how networks established at the Slade influenced where women artists exhibited and the groups they joined were also considered.
The discussion was introduced by the convenors
Alice Strickland (Curator, Imperial College Healthcare Charity) and Anna Liesching (Assistant Art Curator, National Museums Northern Ireland). They then gave talks on their specific research. A selected panel of contributors from the Sub-Group joined in the roundtable discussion and highlighted their own research in the field.
Meeting 5:"Female Networks", symposium
Friday 30 June, 2017, 10am to 5pm
University of Glasgow
Related event - PG/Early Career Workshop "Female Networks"
Saturday 1 July, 2017
Glasgow School of Art
The focus of the Fourth Meeting of the British Women Artists Sub-Group was the informal networks that women created (or reinvented) for themselves to further their study and practice as artists, designers and craft workers. The day began with a plenary talk about Female Networks in Action by postgraduate students at the University of Glasgow who had arranged a sister event on the 29th June. 7 papers were presented by Sub-Group members each followed by breakout discussions and the day concluded with a roundtable that identified and debated key strands between papers.
This meeting also included a period of more general discussion over tea about current/future group research initiatives. Participants contributed ideas and updates, especially re areas
like funding channels and platforms for publications/conversations, to help identify ways for the Group to move forward actively in 2017-18.
Meeting 6:"Making Women's Art Visible at Tate, 1750-1950", symposium
Tuesday 6 February, 2018, 10am to 5pm
Members of the British Women Artists 1750-1950 BAN Sub Group gathered to participate in a symposium organized by Sub Group Members Carol Jacobi, Emma Chambers and Katy Norris at Tate Britain. This event was held in light of the centenary of ‘The Representation of the People Act’ (1918), an important milestone for women’s suffrage and took place on the centenary day of the Royal Assent of the act. The aim was to share knowledge about artworks by women artists (active c. 1750-1950) in Tate Britain’s collection and to discuss wider issues relating to the display of work by women artists at Tate and elsewhere.
Members of the British Women Artists 1750-1950 BAN Sub Group gathered to participate in a symposium organized by Sub-Group Members Carol Jacobi, Emma Chambers and Katy Norris at Tate Britain. This event was held in light of the centenary of ‘The Representation of the People Act’ (1918), an important milestone for women’s suffrage and took place on the centenary day of the Royal Assent of the act. The aim was to share knowledge about artworks by women artists (active c. 1750-1950) in Tate Britain’s collection and to discuss wider issues relating to the display of work by women artists at Tate and elsewhere.
Meeting 7: "50/50: Balancing the Scale in Favour of Women Artists", symposium
Saturday 29 June, 2019, 11am to 4pm
The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds
Members of the British Women Artists 1750-1950 BAN Sub-Group gathered to participate in a symposium organized by Sub Group Members Alice Strickland, Lucy Howarth and Katie Herrington at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds. This symposium was organised in light of the exhibition, Fifty Works by Fifty British Women Artists 1900-1950 (8 April – 27 July 2019), Curated by Sacha Llewellyn of Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, and in-house curators at SABG, Katie Herrington and Layla Bloom. Sub Group Members explored how the visibility of artworks produced by 20th-century women artists can be balanced with that of their male peers. The aim was to advance approaches to increasing visibility and awareness of 20th-century women’s art through the sharing of collective specialist knowledge between Members.
1st Remote Meeting: "Challenges, Opportunities and Support"
Thursday 6 August 2020, 3-5pm
Online via Zoom
This meeting was an opportunity for members to network and discuss how we can support one another. In the first session members introduced themselves and summarised where they are at in light of the lockdown period. They shared challenges and opportunities that have arisen. The second session was a chance for all to contribute to a round table discussion sharing any solutions or workarounds they've discovered in relation to the key challenges and exploring how we could support one another in the coming months. As an outcome of this meeting a ongoing and open Future Opportunities Google document was created for members to share opportunities they are aware of.
2nd Remote Meeting: "Visualising Our Field"
Friday 18 September, 10am-12pm
Online via Zoom
This meeting enabled members to engage in small group ideation sessions with the intention of visualising our field. We considered key characteristics of the period and the existing literature and interventions and changes we would like to work towards together. The ideas developed in the small group sessions were then shared in the presence of a visual scribe who produced a mindmap artwork.