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"It Was Like An Entire Generation Of Women Artists Was Missing…"

Illustration for article titled It Was Like An Entire Generation Of Women Artists Was Missing…

If you assumed women in the great Pop Art Era were generally relegated to "muse" status (and I did, because I know shit all about art) allow this nice man (from Philadelphia, of course) to set you straight. [WaPo]

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DISCUSSION

"She said women have been systematically excluded from the art world since the 16th century, and Pop Art was marginalized by academics and critics because of its popularity and humor."

I went to school for a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts. I do not like pop art or abstract art at all. I prefer realism.

However, some of the best illustration books were written in the 50s-60s-70s and I know from reading them that they are NOT female-friendly. They NEVER used the term "Her" when referring to the artist student. It was always "He," "Him," or "His."

I remember one book specifically that was one of the best. He had laid out the "ideal" proportions for the female/male figure. Both nude, except that the female figure was in high-heels.

Then I remember sitting in my academic director's office. She had a letter from the 50s or 60s (can't remember) taped to her file cabinet. It was a response to a woman trying to apply for the job of "inker" for Disney Animations. The letter explicitly said, "We do not hire women for that position at this time."

This is no lie. There are commercial jobs for artists that have always favored male applicants. And then the other side of the art world which is all galleries and pop has favored men in that "boy's club" way.