The women who dared to be artists

As the Royal Academy celebrates its 250thbirthday having elected more women to its ranks in the last decade than ever before, the Abbot Hall Gallery in Cumbria highlights the struggle female artists had in getting recognition in a male-dominated discipline.

Women of the Royal Academy RA250 runs until 28 July and features works by female Royal Academicians from Abbot Hall’s collection, including Angelica Kauffmann’s Modesty of 1770, pictured here.

Although Kauffmann, with Mary Moser, was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768, it was another 168 years before another woman was elected a full member, in 1936.

The exhibition has work by Paula Rego, Eileen Agar, Alison Wilding and Elizabeth Blackadder - the first woman elected to both Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy – and also it marks the centenary of women being given the vote.

Chelsea Eves, curator of the exhibition, said: “We have been concentrating on women artists throughout 2018 and are delighted to bring together so many significant Royal Academicians, including a work by one of the founding members Angelica Kauffman”.


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