Women Artists in Britain – by Amy Lim – Thursday 6 June 2024

Women have worked as artists for hundreds of years, often struggling against societal expectations and institutional barriers. An exhibition to be held at Tate Britain from 16 May to 13 October 2024 will showcase the work of women artists in Britain from the sixteenth century to the First World War, and follow them on their journeys to becoming professionals.

Angelica Kauffman

Determined to succeed and refusing to be boxed in, they daringly painted what were usually thought to be subjects for male artists: history pieces, battle scenes and the nude. These artists championed equal access to art training and academy membership, breaking boundaries and overcoming many obstacles to establish what it meant to be a woman in the art world.

Rosa Bonheur

Besides well-known artists such as Angelica Kauffman and Rosa Bonheur, it will introduce lesser-known figures who were highly successful in their day, but have since been forgotten. As a researcher on this exhibition, my lecture gives an overview of the exhibition, focuses in depth on the art schools and exhibitions of the nineteenth century, and expands on the stories of some of the artists featured in the exhibition.

Dr Amy Lim

Dr Amy Lim is an art historian and curator, specialising in British fine and decorative arts from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. She is curator of the Faringdon Collection at Buscot Park, Oxfordshire, and of the Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham. She is also an exhibition researcher at Tate, contributing to British Baroque: Power and Illusion (2020) and  ‘Now You See Us: Women Artists in Britain, 1520-1920’ to be held at Tate Britain, 16 May-30 October 2024. Amy has degrees in History and Literature & Arts from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. She runs an online art dealership, and has published articles and essays on a variety of art-related topics from gothic garden monuments to female patronage.