Modern Women

Rebecca West

"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute." - Rebecca West in "Mr Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice," The Clarion, November 14, 1913

Worksheet 4 or 5 Due
Rebecca West






Mother and Sister of the Artist

Berthe Morisot. Mother and Sister of the Artist. 1870.

Avant-garde = artists or works that are novel or experimental
Relates to the military term for soldiers who
explore the battlefield ahead of the advancing army
Suggests a small group of intellectuals who
push the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm










Impressionism = a movement among late nineteenth-century French painters who sought to present a true representation of light and color. Working primarily outdoors, such artists applied small touches of paint to catch fleeting impressions of the scenes before them. Many American artists adopted the style.

In the Garden

The Impressionists were interested in:
Representing immediate visual sensations through color and light
Experimenting with short, choppy brushstrokes
Painting outdoors, away from the studio,
and with pre-made paint
"En Plein Air" = in the open air
Berthe Morisot. In the Garden. c. 1884.











"sketch aesthetics"

Summer's Day

Woman at the Toilette

Berthe Morisot. Summer's Day. 1879.
Berthe Morisot.  Woman at Her Toilette. 1875.











Cassatt Self-Portrait

Mary Cassatt.  Self-Portrait.  1878.










Mother Washing Sleepy Child

Breakfast in Bed

Mary Cassat. Mother Washing Sleepy Child. 1880.
Bullard, E. John. Mary Cassatt: Oils and Pastels. Watson-Guptill Publications: New York, 1998.
Mary Cassatt. Breakfast in Bed. 1897.











Mother and Child

Mary Cassatt. Mother and Child. c. 1905.











Women Bathing

Pierre- Auguste Renoir. The Bathers . 1887.
Preble, Duane, Sarah Preble and Patrick Frank. Artforms. Seventh ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002.


"I consider women writers, lawyers and politicians as monsters and nothing but five-legged calves. The woman artist is merely ridiculous, but I am in favor of the female singer and dancer." - Pierre - Auguste Renoir










Modern Woman mural

Mary Cassatt.  Modern Woman.  Mural for World's Columbian Exposition.  1893. taken from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 86, Issue 516, May 1893.










Historical Context
Freud publishes "The Interpretation of Dreams"

First Miss America

Wright brother's first flight
Einstein formulates theory of relativity

Swimmer Annette Kellerman is arrested for indecent exposure while trying to popularize a one-piece swimsuit worn with tights rather than bloomers

Titanic sinks
Henry Ford's Model-T plant opens
Eighteenth Amendment makes sale, manufacture, and transportation of intoxicating liquors illegal
Nineteenth Amendment gives women gain the right to vote in the United States

First Miss America pageant

Norma Smallwood, Miss America 1926, makes $100,000 in appearance fees, an income higher than either Babe Ruth or the president of the United States.
Margaret Gorman,
the First Miss America