This curriculum is written for the junior high school student and is based on a study of teen women artists whose work fell between the sixteenth century to the present. Part of my motivation stems from an experience a few years ago when an acquaintance asked me to sit in on a seminar she was offering called, “Women Artists.” Her bibliography included two recently published books, “Women Artists 1550-1950”, by Ann Sutherland Harris and Linda Nochlin, and “American Women Artists” by Charlotte Rubensbein. As I read through these books I realized how valuable this information is to students of all ages. Being an artist, I realized that I wanted to share the readings with my students. Thus was born the germ for this unit, “Women Artists in History.”
Recently, while working at Yale with Professor Jules Prowns’ of formal analysis in “The Family in Art and Material Culture”, I realized that l had found an appropriate method for talking with the students about the art work. The question and answer method which Professor Prown uses helped me to structure some objectives for the unit. The use of slides will act as a stimulus for the students. It will generate the proper clues from them about the art and lead them to conclusions. Another objective which I would like the class to be aware of is how throughout history women were confronted with struggle for self expression and social independence. Gradually, they broke down barriers so that by the twentieth century there is less of a line drawn between male or female artists and their art. I expect the students to develop a greater sense of confidence and willingness to form opinions when talking about the works of art. Learning self-confidence is the most valuable objective. Using the question and answer method when talking about the art will help develop this confidence. In the final part of the unit we will paint a mural which will sum up what we have learned about women artists.
Having set objectives, I can now set strategies to achieve our goals. Our study will include ten women artists: one from the sixteenth century, two from the seventeenth century, one from the eighteenth century, two from the nineteenth century, and four from the twentieth century. For each woman artist there will be one slide of her art and an abbreviated biography with a picture of her art beside it. There will be information about her background, her period, her culture and her theme.