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Breaking Down Barriers: 300 Years of Women in Art

Today, the Gibbes opened a new exhibition called Breaking Down Barriers: 300 Years of Women in Art. The exhibition takes a hard look at the history of art, exploring why there were so few early female artists, and how the tide has changed over the past century. The subject matter is compelling, and every object in the show is from the Gibbes collection. The fact that the Gibbes can tell the story of 300 years of women in art is noteworthy. Our collection is vast and includes many treasures of American art, including the largest public collection of portraits by Henrietta Johnston, the first female professional artist in America. The Johnston portraits are a real point of pride for the Gibbes, and five of her beautiful pastels will be included in this exhibition—a rare treat for our museum visitors! But this exhibition offers so much more. From miniature portraits to photography, sculpture, and abstract paintings, the exhibition highlights a wide variety of work, culminating with the stellar contributions of female artists working in Charleston today.

Want to hear more about these groundbreaking women? Join me on November 3 or December 1 at 2:30pm for an exhibition tour, free with museum admission.

Pam Wall, curator of exhibitions, Gibbes Museum of Art

Check the Gibbes calendar for related events.

Read more about the exhibition in Pam Wall’s article in the Autumn/Winter 2011 issue of Antiques & Fine Art Magazine.

Join in the fun with Women in Art Wednesdays on the Gibbes’ Facebook page. Test your knowledge of women in art with our weekly trivia questions. Hint: you might find some answers in this post and related article.

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