Women's History Seminar
Institute of Historical Research
University of London
IHR at 17.15 (Room to be determined)Friday, 31 October
Zoe Thomas (RHUL) ‘At Home’ with the Women’s Guild of Arts: Studio Spaces and Professional Artistic Identity in London 1880-1920
This paper considers the tactics middle-class women decorative artists used to construct professional artistic identity between 1880-1920. Using the Women’s Guild of Arts as its focus, the paper reflects on the importance members placed on having a studio. The paper reveals women artists increasingly attempted to acquire studios, be this separate to their home, or through the reforming of existing rooms. The studio permitted women a new site in which to partake in a range of artistic, social and egalitarian activity, perceived to at least ideologically be separate from the constraints of the domestic and the amateur. This research builds on the flourishing body of academic work locating the blurred nature of middle-class women’s professional and domestic lives in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century.