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Women and Art

The Pioneering Feminist Journal About Art

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Women and Art was a short-lived, political, feminist publication that examined the place of women in the art world. The journal, whose founding editors included Irene Peslikis and Pat Mainardi, provided important discourse on women artists and the Feminist Art Movement. Women and Art began in 1971 and came to an end in 1972.

Is There Such a Thing as Women's Art?

Like other feminist art journals would eventually do, Women and Art grappled with the idea of a "feminine aesthetic." Marjorie Kramer wrote in the first issue that she had never seen any inherent feminine quality that appears in all women's art:

"I prefer to assume that there is no 'feminine aesthetic' and if there really is one, we'll find out what it is after we change the world so men don't oppress women, because then women won't live in a different environment from men. Up to now, feminine sensibility has been slave sensibility."
--Marjorie Kramer, "Some Thoughts on Feminist Art," Women and Art, No. 1, 1971

Politics of the Art World

The feminists at Women and Art were concerned with the ways critics, art historians and museum curators ignored or belittled most women's art. The Women and Art journal included art history articles that examined the treatment of a woman artist by the art world.

Politics of the Journal

Shortly after Women and Art began, the members of the editorial board disagreed about whether the journal should focus on the struggle of feminist artists against chauvinism. This led Cindy Nemser, Pat Mainardi and Irene Moss to leave Women and Art and begin the Feminist Art Journal in 1972. Women and Art was discontinued that year.

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