Contemporary Art, 1960s–present

Art, Culture, and Politics

What is feminist art?

Feminist art began in the 1960s, developing out of the politically and socially motivated women’s liberation movement. The goal of feminist art was to reinterpret art history, which was deemed to be systematically sexist, and to promote women’s contributions to art and culture. Women have been making art throughout history, and yet art made by women—for example, ceramics, jewelry, and textiles—has traditionally been categorized as a craft, which is held is less regard than so-called works of “fine” art, such as painting or sculpture. Feminist artists aimed to raise the status of craft, much in the way that Renaissance artists aimed to raise the status of the artist during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During the 1960s and 1970s, men were disproportionately represented by art galleries, and women artists formed their own groups and collective galleries to promote their work. Feminist art groups included WAR (Women Artists in Revolution) and the Feminist Art Program, established by pioneering feminist artists Judy Chicago (1939-) and Miriam Shapiro (1923-) in Southern California. Artists who worked with the early feminist art movement were also associated with other movements and styles, including minimalism, conceptual art, and installation art.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Art History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App