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Feminist art historian to address female representation in art

January 23, 2017 12:30 PM
Teresa Parker Farris tpfarris@tulane.edu
Jenni Sorkin is an art historian born in Chicago, Illinois. She received a doctorate in Art History from Yale University in 2010. (Photo from the Newcomb Art Museum)


At museums and galleries across the country and in prominent publications such as the New York Times, the issue of female representation in the visual arts is gaining much deserved attention.

Feminist art historian Jenni Sorkin is a key player in this growing chorus of curators and scholars advocating for greater recognition of women artists, past and present.

Her exhibition Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016 recently on view at the prestigious Hauser Wirth and Schimmel gallery in Los Angeles was a groundbreaking contribution to these discussions. It featured nearly 100 works by 34 prominent women artists.

The exhibition also spurred the flash mob of nearly one-thousand women artists who gathered in late August for a group photo in the gallery’s courtyard. Titled “Now Be Here,” the project was recreated by more than 500 women artists at the Brooklyn Museum just last week.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, Sorkin will examine the relationship of women, ceramics and community on the uptown campus of Tulane University. While the confluence certainly has no regional or national boundaries it enjoys a particular significance for the Crescent City.

From 1895 to 1940, New Orleans was home to a quasi-commercial artistic enterprise that trained women in the arts towards financial self-sufficiency. Novel for its time and place, the Newcomb Pottery, as it was known, was born of the highly regarded arts program of Tulane’s all-women coordinate college.

Sorkin’s talk, “Material Decisions: Women, Process, and Form,” will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium and will discuss the content of her recent book “Live Form: Women, Community and Ceramics.” The event, organized by the Newcomb Art Museum, is free and open to the public. It is funded in part by the Newcomb Art Department and the Sandra Garrard Memorial Fund for Recent Trends in Contemporary Art.

Related content: Internationally acclaimed artist exhibits at Tulane