We Were There: Women artists in the western tradition


At a time when attention is focused on the history of women, this course is an introduction to the history of female artists in the western world, from the Renaissance to the present day. Thanks to feminist scholarship, there is now a large body of knowledge about these previously ignored figures, whose work both consolidates and challenges what we think we know about art of the past. You will discover and delight in a surprisingly large number of significant women artists whose achievements are being appreciated for the first time.

Target audience:
This course will appeal to anyone who appreciates art history and is interested in learning more about historic female artists. People who are following the suffrage commemorations will also enjoy this course.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will:

  • Know a lot more about the history of western women artists
  • Have discovered many artists previously unknown to you
  • Have a better understanding of how western art’s norms, masterpieces and reputations have developed
  • Be much better informed about the female artists of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Be equipped with a lot of pointers for your future learning about the history of art

Course outline:
Each session will include lecture presentation with time for questions and group discussion.

Session 1: We are not a Muse: Introduction and general ideas
Session 2: Did women have a Renaissance?
Session 3: The Age of the Academies
Session 4: The Modern Era
Session 5: Local heroes: Women artists of Aotearoa New Zealand

There is a short break halfway through each session and you are welcome to bring your own refreshments if you wish.

Pamela Gerrish Nunn is an experienced lecturer, having been Professor of Art History at the University of Canterbury before moving to Wellington. She is widely known for her expertise in women artists and 19th and 20th century art in general.

Relevant links:
School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email: conted@vuw.ac.nz

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.