Katie Ackrill (Swindon Museum and Art Gallery)
Kate Ackrill is Museum Assistant at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery which owns a very large and exciting collection of twentieth-century and contemporary British art, including works by Gwen John, Vanessa Bell and Eileen Cooper. She graduated from the University of Reading with an MA in the History of Art last year. Her interest in the history of women artists began with the discovery that so few of them are included in the art historical canon. Her BA dissertation focused upon the American artist Lee Krasner and looked at how her career was affected by her famous husband Jackson Pollock. During her MA degree she turned toward women in British art, with a focus upon the Feminist art scene in the 1970s. Her dissertation examined the role of Rozsika Parker as an art critic whose writing exposed the work of both contemporary and historical women artists. Thus even though there was a focus on the 1970s in particular, the dissertation also examined Parker’s excavation of a women’s art history in comparison to others such as Germaine Greer and Linda Nochlin. Ackrill will soon begin a blog addressing women artists in the twentieth century - beginning with a piece on Sylvia Gosse and a piece by her which is in the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery collection.