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Chapter Summary

Feminist art historians have identified five basic methodologies, called ‘feminist interventions,’ with which to reappraise traditional art historical practice. This introductory chapter discusses the first four interventions. Of primary importance over the past three decades has been the reconstruction of the contributions of both female artists and patrons, and the inclusion of a significant number of both in the standard art history survey texts. The feminist approach also seeks to identify the institutionalized strictures that have traditionally hindered the ability of women artists to become professionals as they were historically limited or denied access to the artistically and economically nurturing environments of art guilds and academies. The chapter addresses the artistic leverage of high status female patrons, while that of Phillips on the monastery at Oaxtepec suggests that powerful native women, too, could affect period practice.

Keywords: female patrons; feminist interventions



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