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Women in Art

Unlocked by Jemima Kirke

Le Meridien and Tate present the Unlock Art Film Series


Explore Art

Women in Art

"I have had to go to men as sources in my painting because the past has left us so small an inheritance of woman's painting…" Georgia O’Keeffe

Walking into any mainstream gallery or museum it's not unusual to find that the majority of artwork has been produced by men. Female artists have struggled throughout history to achieve recognition and play a central role in the art world, hindered by the reluctance of historians to catalogue their achievements. 

Female artists adopting male names was just one ruse to break through the exclusive bastions of the art world, while working with textiles and crafts, considered ‘secondary’ media by many, was another way to reach the heady and somewhat challenging heights of acceptance. 

The last four decades have seen something of a shift in the male:female balance, courtesy of the growing debate and boundary pushing by those keen to revise the history of art and highlight women’s incredible and, even today, considerably under-rated contribution.


The Presenter

Jemima Kirke

British-born American artist and actress Jemima has a passion for the arts and, as an artist, a real interest in how women fit (or don’t fit) into the history of art.

Primarily known for her role in the US television series, ‘Girls’ and latterly the feature length film, Tiny Furniture, Jemima is also an accomplished artist having majored in Fine Arts.

Here she questions the annals of history and why women, even in the 21st-century, have failed to feature significantly in the world of art.