Virtual Lecture: “Why Do We Think There Have Been No Great Women Artists? Revisiting the Archive and Practices of Gender Art/History”: Lecture by Paris Spies-Gans (Harvard Society Fellows)


Monday, February 8, 2021, 5:30pm to 6:45pm


Virtual Event

Paris Spies-Gans (Harvard Society Fellows) will give a talk on Linda Nochlin's 1971 article "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?"
Please click HERE for full details and registration info. This webinar-style event will be free and open to the public, but registration is required.

This virtual lecture by interdisciplinary scholar Dr. Paris Spies-Gans, sponsored by the Art, Art History & Film Department and the History Department at Boston College, revisits art historian Linda Nochlin’s provocative 1971 essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Through new visual, textual, archaeological, and data-driven analysis, Spies-Gans reconsiders premodern women artists on their own societies’ terms. Her presentation will encompass major issues, especially: how women in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and France secured access to artistic education (including, at times, the study of the nude) and built careers as professional artists; the moments at which women’s contributions slipped past the historical record; and suggestions for rethinking the historical categories and language we use when studying such women. By returning to the archives, Spies-Gans ultimately identifies women artists’ professionalism, and perhaps even their “greatness,” where they have eluded scholars before.

Paris Spies-Gans is a historian and a historian of art with a focus on gender and culture in Britain and France during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. She received her PhD in history from Princeton University and her MA in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and is currently a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Her work has featured in Eighteenth-Century StudiesJournal18LARB, the Getty Research Journal, and The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018, and will appear in several upcoming edited collections on women and women artists in history. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, Paul Mellon Centre, Yale Center for British Art, and Lewis Walpole Library.