The careers of some women artists are intimately linked to those os their spouses. This is the case with Elizabeth Jane Gardner, wife of the famous painter and teacher, William-Adolpe Bouguereau. Gardner once declared, “I know I am censured for not more boldly asserting my individuality, but I would rather be known as the best imitator of Bouguereau than nobody!” Like many of her peers, she overcame formidable obstacles to achieve artistic success: she disguised herself as a man so that she could gain access to life drawing classes with nude models, she actively cultivated connections with powerful men, and she weathered sexist accusations that her husband was the painter fo her works.
La Confidence (1880) was Photographed as Part of The Exhibit Women Artists In Paris The Clark Institute, Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
With confident handling of a limited palette, Eva Gonzalez (1849 – 1883) elevates a pair of evening slippers into a mysterious and enigmatic portrait of modernity for The Pink Slippers (1880). A crucial element of a woman’s wardrobe, footwear was often fetishized because shoes and slippers were not meant to be seen, hidden as they war under voluminous dresses. Gonzalez emphasizes the intimate nature of these accessories by isolating them within dramatic play of light and shadow. An ethereal reflection is visible on the polished surface upon which the shoes rest.
Photographed as Part of The Exhibit Women Artists In Paris, on View Through September 3rd, 2018 at The Clark Institute, Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts.