Why learn about Pre-Modern era women artists?

Why Learn About Pre-Modern Era Women Artists?

September 6th, LadyDrinks is hosting a Private tour of women-only artists at the San Diego Museum of Art.

My name is Joya and I’m the founder of the LadyDrinks platform. I’m a long time tv anchor in New York City. I founded this movement 8 years ago. This tour is one of my favorite events to host.

Why learn these stories? 

Pre Modernist era, women weren’t allowed to become artists. It wasn’t socially acceptable to paint nudes and women didn’t have access to formal training. We have hosted this particular tour at the Art Institute of Chicago, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, at the Louvre in Paris, and at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC.

Here are my top takeaways on why these stories are still relevant today to women in the workplace:
  • Learn how women harnessed sponsors to get ahead. With the support of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, Vigée Le Brun became one of fourteen women admitted to the prestigious Paris Académie for formal arts training.
  • Learn how women enlisted allies from day one to get ahead.  Sally Helgensen talks about this in her book “How Women Rise.” Women can start building alliances early. Artemisia Gentileschi’s first ally was her father, who ultimately trained her. She worked alongside him on many of his commissions. Luisa Roldán was trained in her father’s (Pedro Roldán) sculpture workshop.
  • Learn how women created their own opportunities. Vigee Le Brun ignited her own career by painting while she was a teenager. She caused a major scandal when she debutd her own self portrait at the Paris Academie in 1787. She was seen in an aristocratic gown. This was intentional, because this was the ideal client she was seeking. She was eventually exiled, but went on to enjoy a tremendously successful career as a portrait artist painting artistocrats in Russia, Italy and Austria.
  • Learn about women who worked silently behind the scenes of great works of art and never got credit. Ever see a Tiffany lamp? Louis Comfort Tiffany often proclaimed that he designed everything personally. But recently uncovered letters revealed that there was a cadre of women hired for their small hands to work on the pieces. The most famous letters were penned by a woman named Clara Driscoll. In the course of her career, she worked at Tiffany Studios three different times. During her third tenure, she and the so-called “Tiffany girls” were involved in the execution of many of the firm’s most prestigious works, from lamps to mosaics. But they never got credit.


Dr. Regina Palm, SDMA’s Associate Curator of American Art, has just completed the hanging of the works done by women artists at the museum. These are the stories of some of the artisan’s works you will see this coming Friday.

  • Anna Hyatt Huntington In 1910, she showed her best-known work, Joan of Arc, at the Salon de Paris. It was the first monumental equestrian sculpture created by a woman, and won an honorable mention.
  • Louise Nevelson American sculptor. A figure in the international art scene, Nevelson was showcased at the 31st Venice Biennale. Her work is seen in major collections in museums and corporations. Nevelson remains one of the most important figures in 20th-century American sculpture.
  • Elizabeth Catlett, an American and Mexican graphic artist and sculptor best known for her depictions of the African-American experience in the 20th century, which often focused on the female experience
  • Ruth Powers Ortlieb  A member of the San Diego Art Guild, she frequently exhibited throughout the state in the 1930s and early 1940s, and received several important awards for her work
  • Alice Ellen Klauber
  • Deborah Remington
  • Fujino Sachiko
  • Alice Neel
  • Gabriele Munter
  • Sophie Taeuber-Arp


Sign up for the event September 6th Private tour of Women Only artists, San Diego Museum of Art here


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