Isn't the Met kinda known for being conservative anyway? I guess numbers like this don't mean much without a butt load more info. What is included in the Modern Art section? Are photographs included? Video? Installations? Or just paintings and what kind of painting? And from where? I'm not challenging the drift of their message, I agree with it but the Guerilla Girls are not exactly known for their balanced discourse. They are too funny something though. It's sweet of them to want to be my conscience but I'm good.
It's a great point though. We're still stuck in a society that in a lot of ways was defined almost 2000 years ago - and probably wrongly.
I read once that there's this perception that men did all the work in Cave People Times while women stayed home with the gorilla babies and invented ways to cook gruel. The author suggested that it's a fallacy: the men simply did work using tools that don't decay - flint axes and such. Women, he theorized, planted crops, carried things in baskets, wove clothing and shelter, tanned hides, etc... but their tools don't stand the test of time as well. Hence the perception of Man as Hunter, Woman as Not Important.
I don't know about the Met's position, but it's pretty stupid that only 3% of modern artists highlighted there are women... unless only 3% of modern artists are women. As to the nudes, that I can understand. Who wants to see a naked dude? 🙂
Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.
Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini…..Mapplethorpe. Another interesting thing is the concept of the female form as the object of perfect beauty is a relatively new one. Nude dudes were considered the hotness by centuries of artists. I had an art history professor who would say that Michelangelo's nude women were just men with boobs attached and penis removed at the very end. Now it's flipped though. That would be an interesting topic. What were the causes of that kind of reversal? I'm sure there are some theories out there on the ever growing objectification of the gals.
My girlfriend Emilie is a art history major, works at LACMA (one of the two biggest art museums in LA) and a feminist. She explained at length the conservative male oriented attitude of major museums to me. It's not limited to the Met, but is the underlying element of the whole western art world. Women weren't allowed to be artists throughout most of western history. They weren't allowed to go to anatomy lessons or work with nude models long after men were allowed. Their work is rarely represented in major art institutes, and they are almost entirely left out of the history.
I know Guerrilla Girls are a pretty left-wing group, and stats can be used in clever ways to make a point, but it doesn't change the maleness of the art world. I also put progressive in quotes because most major art museums really are highly conservative, slow moving institutes that fear any change to their structured little world. Along with women, I think most art not of the West is also grossly under represented or misrepresented in the academic world of art history.
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