Women’s Work

January 26, 2017

Just when I needed a to be uplifted, Judy Kinzel wrote this blog post. Judy and I don’t know each other, but the fact that she had felt encouraged and empowered to make such awesome work after going through my posts, well, it means so much to me. Be sure to visit her site and look through her Chinese Thread Book gallery. I’ve been thoroughly inspired by her work!

Purple Tree Studio

Throughout the history of art, decoration and domestic handicrafts have been regarded as women’s work, and as such, not considered “high” or fine art. Quilting, embroidery, needlework, china painting, and sewing—none of these have been deemed worthy artistic equivalents to the grand mediums of painting and sculpture. The age-old aesthetic hierarchy that privileges certain forms of art over others based on gender associations has historically devalued “women’s work” specifically because it was associated with the domestic and the “feminine.”  (Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art)

In the 1970’s I had the good fortune to see Judy Chicago’s installation The Dinner Party when it was in Boston. The thirty-nine place settings celebrated a variety of incredible women – writers, scientists, activists, artists – and reflected the history and geography of each woman with media associated with women’s crafts. (Click her for more on The Dinner Party)  It…

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2 Responses to “Women’s Work”


  1. If men define ART, then fiber, paper, quilting, etc. become “women’s work.” Fortunately, this trend is changing. More men are doing fiber art and many galleries are owned by women. We just need to persevere. I know I am. Beryl

    Liked by 1 person


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