Grand Valley State University Women's Center

Artists for Inspiration

Art has not always had a place for women. Since antiquity, women have not been given recognition for the art that they have created. It wasn't until Anguissola in the 16th century  that a woman was recognized as an artist. If women were involved in a work of art, they were typically the muse, the one to be gazed upon, and not to actually create the work themselves. Even though women have made great strides, there are still many issues within the art world. Not only women, but members of the LGBT community still struggle to have their artwork mean more than just their situations as minorities in the art world.

Art is a fantastic medium for women to communicate their ideas. Art is much more slippery than other mediums, so women find it easier to express meanings that may be seem as offensive or ahead of their time. Many of the artists on the list below are infamous for being against the grain (the "norm" of women being treated as second class citizens).

Listed below are numerous artists from all walks of life, and periods in history. These artists all have either made work that deals with women and gender issues, or have had to struggle with these issues in their personal lives.

1. Sofonisba Anguissola:

2. Eleanor Antin:

3. William Blake: 

4. Louise Bourgeois:

5. Mary Cassatt:

6. Judy Chicago: 

7. Artemisia Gentileschi:

8. Felix Gonzalez-Torres:

9. Guerilla Girls:

10. Hannah Höch:

11. Frida Kahlo :

12. Barbara Kruger:

13. Maya Lin: 

14. Georgia O’Keefe:   

15. Doris Salcedo: 

16. Cindy Sherman:  

17. Lorna Simpson:

18. Kiki Smith: 

19. Kara Walker:  

20. Andrea Zittel:   




Page last modified July 18, 2011