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Catalogue for the Exhibition „Fighting for Visibility: Women Artists in the Nationalgalerie before 1919“

Alte Nationalgalerie

On 10 October 2019 the special exhibition “Fighting for Visibility: Women Artists in the Nationalgalerie before 1919” opened at the Alte Nationalgalerie on the Museumsinsel Berlin. The accompanying catalogue, available in German and English versions, is the first study to present an in-depth survey of all the paintings and sculptures in the collection produced by women artists before 1919. It is simultaneously a revision of the collection, when viewed against the background of current discourse on gender equality.

It was not until the spring of 1919 that women artists in Germany were permitted to enrol in a regular art programme at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (Academy of Arts), a course of study now offered by the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Yet despite all the adversity, numerous successful women artists, many of whom have been forgotten today, had already left their mark. The book introduces when and how the works of some very well-known women artists – such as Paula Modersohn-Becker, Elisabet Ney and Sabine Lepsius, but also some now lesser-known painters and sculptors – gained recognition; how their works came into the collection; and which unconventional lifestyles often accompanied their careers.

In addition to essays by Yvette Deseyve, Ralph Gleis, Nuria Jetter and Birgit Verwiebe, the catalogue features biographies of the women artists and directories of the works that the women painters and sculptors represented in the Nationalgalerie produced before 1919. It also includes lists of museum inventory that has been lost through war or expropriation. This publication therefore goes beyond the scope of the exhibition and serves as a collection catalogue.

The book is published by the Reimer Verlag (in English or German, softcover with flaps, 224 pages, 21.5 x 27.5 cm, numerous colour illustrations; ISBN Ger.: 978-3-496-01634-2; ISBN Engl.: 978-3-496-01635-9). Price: 29,90 euros (on-site museum edition purchase: 24,90 euros). The exhibition catalogue is also available through the Webshop of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.