Enfilade

In Memoriam | Linda Nochlin (1931–2017)

Posted in obituaries by Editor on October 30, 2017

From ARTnews:

Andrew Russeth, “Linda Nochlin, Trailblazing Feminist Art Historian, Dies at 86,” ARTnews (29 October 2017).

Linda Nochlin, the perspicacious art historian who brought feminist thought to bear on the study, teaching, and exhibition of art, reshaping her field, has died, according to people close to her family. She was 86.

In 1971, Nochlin earned widespread attention for her landmark essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?,” which approached that question with incisive and nuanced analysis, demonstrating how, for centuries, institutional and societal structures had made it “impossible for women to achieve artistic excellence, or success, on the same footing as men, no matter what the potency of their so-called talent, or genius.” But Nochlin also interrogated how “greatness” itself had long been formulated and evaluated. “In the field of art history, the white Western male viewpoint, unconsciously accepted as the viewpoint of the art historian, may—and does—prove to be inadequate not merely on moral and ethical grounds, or because it is elitist, but on purely intellectual ones,” she wrote in the essay, which was published in ARTnews.

That article quickly became a cornerstone for the developing field of feminist art history. It would have been enough to secure her place as one of art history’s most important writers, but over the course of her six-decade career, she also made formidable contributions to the study of Realism and Gustav Courbet, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, and numerous contemporary artists. . . .

The full obituary is available here»

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