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The Confining Image of Femininity
September 21 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pmFree
In a discussion of themes addressed by Unsettling Femininity: Selections from the Frye Art Museum, exhibition curator Naomi Hume will explore how painters structured the viewer’s relationship to the depicted girls and women. Nineteenth-century European artists usually framed such encounters to reinforce socially accepted power dynamics between men and women. How do subtle painterly choices convey a glance, as opposed to a stare? How does a painter suggest that a woman accidentally, thrillingly, catches the viewer’s eye rather than steadily, brazenly gazing out at us? By focusing on different kinds of images—from narrative, to idealized or erotic figures, to formal portraits and depictions of celebrities—Hume will show how painters of the era signaled acceptable feminine behavior as distinguished from daring transgression. By attending to the confines of nineteenth-century femininity, what insight can we gain into the limits twenty-first-century images of women continue to impose?
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