National Museum of Women in the Arts Presents Linda Nochlin: The Maverick She

By Editorial Team on March 2, 2020

Sun, 08 March 2020 - Fri, 31 July 2020

Linda Nochlin (right) receives an award as artist Joyce Kozloff looks on, 1990; Linda Nochlin Papers, 1937–2017; Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Photo by Mel Rosenthal
On view March 8–July 31, 2020.

Linda Nochlin (1931–2017), an award-winning scholar, art historian and critic, devoted her career to forging a new appreciation for the contributions of women in the arts. Her 1971 essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” shifted the critical discourse to a place from which feminist artists, thinkers and activists have never looked back. The Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) and the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art collaborate to present an exhibition featuring Nochlin’s papers and ephemera, acquired by the Archives of American Art in 2018, that illuminate her remarkable contributions to art and culture. Linda Nochlin: The Maverick She is on view March 8 through July 31, 2020.

Nochlin began her scholarly career with a dissertation on the work of French artist Gustave Courbet. Her feminist perspective blossomed in the late 1960s, and she began to devote her scholarship to women visual artists and the representation of women in art. Nochlin incorporated her groundbreaking ideas into her teaching at Yale University, the City University of New York and Vassar College; co-curated important exhibitions, including Women Artists: 1550–1950 (1976), the first international exhibition of art by women, and Global Feminisms (2007); and was the prolific author and editor of more than 150 published writings.

Linda Nochlin: The Maverick She traces Nochlin’s interest and scholarship in art and history, beginning with childhood drawings and photographs through the publication of her seminal essays. The exhibition includes annotated drafts of articles, teaching materials, correspondence, selections from her sizable postcard collection and other materials that demonstrate why she was dubbed a maverick. These objects reveal a woman of prodigious intellect, scholarly rigor and deep commitment to the feminist project.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs and online content, the museum inspires dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. The collections highlight painting, sculpture, photography and video by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Mary Cassatt, Judy Chicago, Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, Faith Ringgold, Pipilotti Rist, Amy Sherald and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. It is open Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sun., noon–5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youths 18 and under. Admission is free the first Sunday of each month. For information, call 202-783-5000, visit nmwa.orgBroad Strokes BlogFacebookTwitter or Instagram.