Maria Hadfield Cosway has recently closed at the Fondazione Maria Cosway. On January 15, Sofonisba—History’s Forgotten Miracle closes at Nivaagaards Malerisamling and Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature closes at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. What do fans of history’s women artists have to look forward to?
In a word: lots! In terms of museum shows, the next few years are shaping up to be exciting for women artists generally. Here, though, we will focus (almost) exclusively on women artists from the Renaissance to about 1900. But keep checking back, because we hear rumblings about other 2023 exhibitions that haven’t yet been formally announced. So, we will update this page as information becomes available.
This list starts off with shows currently on view. As they close, we will move the entries down to a “Past Exhibitions” section.
Evelyn De Morgan: The Gold Drawings
This small-scale exhibition explores Evelyn De Morgan’s unique practice of making gold drawings, a technique that the artist initially discovered through Edward Burne-Jones, but her works went beyond this initial inspiration. Using solid blocks of pure pigment and grinding them to a powder, she invented crayons and paints that she then specifically applied to the production of her drawings. The show is the first since 1896 to display a group of these beautiful artworks made in brilliant gold pigment on dark grey woven paper.
Evelyn De Morgan: The Gold Drawings; Leighton House and Sambourne House. March 11, 2023–October 1, 2023.
Women Reframe American Landscape: Susie Barstow and Her Circle / Contemporary Practices
Illuminating the artistic contributions and perspectives of women, this exhibition reinserts the important nineteenth-century American artist Susie Barstow into the history of the Hudson River School, and presents contemporary artists who expand how we think about “land” and “landscape” today. So, the historic portion of the exhibition features the first major retrospective and deep dive into the work and life of Susie Barstow (1836–1923); it also includes such artists in her circle as Julie Hart Beers, Fidelia Bridges, Charlotte Buell Coman, Eliza Greatorex, Mary Josephine Walters, and Laura Woodward.
Featured contemporary artists include Teresita Fernández, Marie Lorenz, Jean Shin, Tanya Marcuse, Mary Mattingly, Ebony G. Patterson, Anna Plesset, Wendy Red Star, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, the Guerilla Girls, Cecilia Vicuña, Kay WalkingStick, and Saya Woolfalk. This show will be hosted by the New Britain Museum of American Art from November 16, 2023 to March 31, 2024; and by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum from May 4 to August 25, 2024.
Women Reframe American Landscape: Susie Barstow and Her Circle / Contemporary Practices; Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill, New York. May 6, 2023–October 29, 2023.
Out of the Shadows: Female Artists from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
Running more or less concurrently with Elegant Encounters: Rosalba Carriera—Pastel Perfection, this small, intimate exhibition will be devoted to other woman artists who have previously tended to live somewhat in the shadow of the great names of art history, despite prevailing in a professional field then dominated by men. This focus exhibition displays works by Lavinia Fontana, Marietta Robusti, Theresa Concordia Maron and Angelika Kauffmann.
Out of the Shadows: Female Artists of the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century; Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany. May 12, 2023–November 12, 2023.
Elegant Encounters: Rosalba Carriera—Pastel Perfection
In the year during which we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Rosalba Carriera, Dresden’s Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) presents Elegant Encounters: Rosalba Carriera—Pastel Perfection, an exhibition of work by the Venetian pastel painter. Carriera, who was one of the most famous portraitists of her time, was successful throughout Europe with her pastel paintings. With 73 Carriera pastels, Dresden owns the largest concentration in the world of works by this artist.
Elegant Encounters: Rosalba Carriera—Pastel Perfection; Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany. June 9, 2023–September 24, 2023.
Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400–1800
Co-organized with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), this major exhibition focuses on works that reflect the ways in which women played an integral role in the development of art, culture, and commerce across more than 400 years. Thus, it positions acclaimed artists such as Rosalba Carriera, Artemisia Gentileschi, Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Judith Leyster, Luisa Roldán, and Rachel Ruysch alongside lesser-known professional and amateur fine artists, as well as talented but often unnamed makers in collectives, workshops, and manufactories.
The show explores the breadth of women’s artistic endeavors and innovations through the presentation of more than 175 objects—ranging from royal portraits and devotional sculpture to tapestries, printed books, drawings, clothing and lace, metalwork, ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects. And, it argues for a reassessment of European art history to incorporate the true depth and variety of their contributions. This show will be hosted by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto, from March 2024.
Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400–1800; Baltimore Museum of Art. October 1, 2023–January 7, 2024.
Ingenious Women: Painting from the 16th to the 18th Century
Ingenious Women traces the careers of outstanding women artists over three centuries. For the first time, the artists’ family circumstances will be explored and made visible by juxtaposing their works with those of their fathers, brothers, husbands, and fellow painters. Among others, the exhibition presents around 100 works by Sofonisba Anguissola, Judith Leyster, Marietta Robusti, Artemisia Gentileschi and Angelika Kauffmann. Works on display include portraits, still lifes and history paintings from the Renaissance to Baroque and early Classicism. And, the show will have a second venue: it moves later in 2024 to Kunstmuseum Basel.
Ingenious Women: Painting from the 16th to the 18th Century; Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, Germany. October 14, 2023–January 28, 2024.
Women Masters, Old and Modern
Artemisia Gentileschi, Angelica Kauffmann, Clara Peeters, Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, María Blanchard, Natalia Goncharova, Sonia Delaunay and Maruja Mallo were celebrated artists in their lifetimes. They are now enjoying renewed recognition in response to their erasure from the art-historical account alongside others who broke molds with creations of undoubted excellence. Featuring nearly 100 works—including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and textiles—the exhibition Women Masters, Old and Modern is curated from a feminist viewpoint by Rocío de la Villa. It presents a survey from the late sixteenth century to the early decades of the twentieth century through eight contexts important within women’s path towards emancipation.
Women Masters, Old and Modern; Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain. October 31, 2023–February 4, 2024.
Artemisia Gentileschi: Coraggio e passione
This exhibition will display more than fifty masterpieces from all over Europe, to outline a precise portrait of the complex personality of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the most famous painters in the history of art. The survey’s intent is to explore the story, works and talent of Artemisia, and to announce surprising new revelations. Between exciting family events, revolutionary artistic solutions, dramatic images and female triumphs, the exhibition also intends to present Artemisia’s relationship with her father Orazio Gentileschi. The two artists will also be placed in dialogue with the style of Caravaggio.
Artemisia Gentileschi: Coraggio e passione; Il Palazzo Ducale di Genova, Genoa, Italy. November 16, 2023–April 1, 2024.
Remember: we will be adding entries to this list as art museums announce new 2023 shows! Keep checking back …
Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism
Created in partnership with the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism is the first major UK exhibition of the renowned Impressionist since 1950. It brings together around 30 of Berthe Morisot’s most important works from international collections, many never seen before in the UK. Therefore, it reveals the artist as a trailblazer of the movement as well as uncovering a previously untold connection between her work and eighteenth-century culture, with around 20 works for comparison.
Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism; Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. March 31–September 10, 2023. The Musée Marmottan Monet will also host a version of the show, Berthe Morisot et l’art du XVIIIe siècle, October 18–March 3, 2024.
Cassatt—McNicoll: Impressionists Between Worlds
Showcasing more than 65 artworks—including paintings, pastels, prints and sketch books—this groundbreaking exhibition brings together for the first time the work of two pioneering women Impressionist painters. Renowned for their depictions of modern womanhood, Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926) and Helen McNicoll (Canadian, 1879–1915) had a profound impact on the development and proliferation of Impressionism in North America. Drawing upon the AGO’s significant collection of McNicoll works, this eye-opening show will be the first in Canadian history to center on Cassatt’s paintings and works on paper.
Cassatt—McNicoll: Impressionists Between Worlds; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. May 31, 2023–September 4, 2023.
Mary Beale: Experimental Secrets
Featuring brand new research, Mary Beale: Experimental Secrets will shed new light on the work of seventeenth-century painter Mary Beale (1633–1699). The display will reveal Beale to be a technically innovative painter and uncover exciting new details about her workshop practice and life in her “painting room.” Experimental Secrets is part of Unlocking Paintings—an ambitious series of displays which presents new perspectives on the Gallery’s renowned collection of historic masterpieces.
Mary Beale: Experimental Secrets, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. April 12–September 3, 2023.
Fidelia Bridges: The Artful Sketch
This exhibition celebrates the life and career of noted watercolorist Fidelia Bridges (1834–1923), who died one century ago this year. Despite inauspicious beginnings as an orphan growing up in Salem, Massachusetts, she became one of the preeminent artists of her time and was the first woman member of the seminal American Watercolor Society. As an artist, she developed an elegant and exacting style, most often portraying birds and botanicals.
Fidelia Bridges: The Artful Sketch, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. April 22–August 27, 2023.
Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker
Exploring Lavinia Fontana’s extraordinary life through her paintings and drawings, the exhibition offers insight into the cultural climate that enabled the painter to flourish as a female artist of the period. It is the first monographic exhibition in over two decades to examine Fontana’s work, and is also the first to focus on her portraits. It brings together a selection of her most highly regarded works from international public and private collections, alongside the artist’s celebrated (and impressively large) The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon from the Gallery’s own collection, which has recently undergone conservation.
Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker; National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. May 6, 2023–August 27, 2023.
Women Pioneers—Visionary Landscapes
This exhibition features four Swedish women pioneers and visionaries of landscape painting: Ester Almqvist (1869–1934), Anna Boberg (1864–1935), Ellen Trotzig (1878–1949) and Charlotte Wahlström (1849–1924). Women Pioneers—Visionary Landscapes broadens and deepens our understanding of Swedish landscape art. It includes two lyrical and seldom-shown landscapes by Hilma af Klint.
Women Pioneers—Visionary Landscapes; Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, Sweden. March 4, 2023–August 20, 2023.
Sofonisba Anguissola: Portraitist of the Renaissance
Sofonisba Anguissola is one of the most talented portrait artists of the Italian sixteenth century. In 2023, Rijksmuseum Twenthe hosts the first solo exhibition in The Netherlands on the life and work of the Italian Renaissance painter. The show, a collaboration with Nivaagaards Malerisamling, includes 25 of the 34 works attributed to Anguissola. Some of these works have been exhibited previously in the Netherlands, but 20 of them are on display in the country for the first time.
Sofonisba Anguissola: Portraitist of the Renaissance; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, The Netherlands. February 11, 2023–June 11, 2023. Read the Art Herstory review of the exhibition.
Muse or Maestra? Women in the Italian Art World, 1400–1800
Through their art, they outshone their fathers, brothers and husbands. They created oeuvres that were sought after right across Europe. They knew how to market themselves and how to network, and they were emulated by other artists. This small-scale exhibition looks at the influence on the art world of women like Rosalba Carriera, Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabetta Sirani, Diana Scultori, Isabella d’Este and Christina, Queen of Sweden. It features drawings and prints from the rich collection of the Kupferstichkabinett, but also features a number of impressive loans.
Muse or Maestra? Women in the Italian Art World, 1400–1800; Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, Germany. March 8, 2023–June 4, 2023.
Women on Paper
Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum brings together a selection of artworks by women makers from the museum’s collection. These include drawings, prints and photographs by Gesina ter Borch, Berthe Morisot, Käthe Kollwitz and Julia Margaret Cameron. And there are also recent acquisitions by Cornelia de Rijck and Thérèse Schwartze. Women on Paper is the result of a long-term study to take stock of work by women artists in the Rijksmuseum collection, and to create a more balanced representation in the collection and exhibition.
Women on Paper; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. December 3, 2022–May 30, 2023.
Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection
The exhibition Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection puts about 100 works of painting, calligraphy, and ceramics from 1600s to 1900s Japan on public display for the first time. It showcases works by renowned artists such as Kiyohara Yukinobu 清原雪信 (1643–1682), Ōtagaki Rengetsu 太田垣蓮月 (1791–1875), and Okuhara Seiko 奥原晴湖 (1837–1913), as well as relatively unknown artists like Ōishi Junkyō 大石順教 (1888–1968), Yamamoto Shōtō 山本緗桃 (1757–1831), and Katō Seikō 加藤青湖 (fl. 1800s). These works bring forward the subjects of autonomy, legacy, and a person’s ownership of their individual story.
Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection; Denver Art Museum, USA. November 13, 2022–May 13, 2023.
The Art of Mary Blood Mellen
Mary Blood Mellen (1819–1886) is often thought of in terms of her mentor, Fitz Henry Lane. But she was a talented and accomplished artist in her own right. Thus, she commands a place in the history of art on Cape Ann. To better understand Mellen and her artistic skills, the Cape Ann Museum offers this special exhibition of her work. It is on view in the center of the Lane Gallery.
The Art of Mary Blood Mellen; Cape Ann Museum. January 13, 2023–April 2, 2023.
Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples
Artemisia Gentileschi is documented to have lived in Naples between 1630 and 1654. Her stay there was interrupted only by a trip to London between 1638 and 1640. She set up a flourishing workshop in the city, producing works depicting favorite subjects, such as the biblical heroine Judith and the Egyptian ruler Cleopatra. Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples presents a careful selection of 21 works from public and private collections within and outside of Italy, thus highlighting the importance of Naples to Artemisia’s story and art. Visit this link to read Vincent Noce’s review of the show for La Gazette Drouot.
Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples; Gallerie d’Italia–Napoli, Naples, Italy. December 3, 2022–March 20, 2023.
Margaret Rebecca Dickinson: A Botanical Artist of the Border Counties
Margaret Rebecca Dickinson was a talented and prolific botanical 19th-century British artist. She painted the wildflowers and some cultivated flowers of the Border Counties. Also, she travelled widely around the British Isles collecting and recording her plants. Unfortunately, she received very little recognition in her lifetime. This exhibition of a selection of the hundreds of works she painted explores and celebrates Dickinson’s life and accomplishments. The show includes loans from the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the Royal Horticultural Society.
Margaret Rebecca Dickinson: A Botanical Artist of the Border Counties; The Maltings, Berwick, UK. October 22, 2022–February 19, 2023.
Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899)
A major national and international event, this exhibition celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of an extraordinary artist. The show allows the public to (re)discover the power and richness of the work of Rosa Bonheur. In collaboration with the Musée des Beaux-Arts–Bordeaux, the Musée d’Orsay presents a selection of approximately 200 Bonheur paintings, graphic arts, sculptures, and photographs from prestigious public and private collections in Europe and the United States. Read Ien G.M. van der Pol’s review in the Art Herstory blog: Rosa Bonheur—Practice Makes Perfect.
Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899); Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France. October 18, 2022—January 15, 2023.
Sofonisba—History’s Forgotten Miracle
Visitors to this exhibit have an opportunity to view a significant portion of the known, surviving works in Sofonisba Anguissola‘s oeuvre. The museum, which owns one of Sofonisba’s most important core works, has brought together around 20 of her paintings in the first Northern European exhibition of a renowned female artist of the Italian Renaissance. The Collection has been preparing for this exhibition since 2018, borrowing works from museums in Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Poland, Germany—and from private collectors as well. The show is a collaboration with Rijksmuseum Twenthe, which will host a version of the show in Spring 2023 (see separate entry).
Sofonisba—History’s Forgotten Miracle; Nivaagaards Malerisamling, Nivå, Denmark. September 3, 2022–January 15, 2023.
Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature
This family friendly exhibition was created in collaboration with the National Trust. It takes visitors on a journey to discover Beatrix Potter‘s life as a scientist and conservationist. The show explores the places and animals that inspired Potter’s most beloved characters. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature celebrates the life and work of one of the best loved children’s authors and women artists of the 20th century. According to Alex O’Connell for The Times, “This glorious exhibition, delayed by Covid, shows Potter’s passion for nature, her artistic talent and how the two fed each other, from her childhood drawings, her 23 children’s books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, to her mission to preserve areas of the Lake District.”