International Womensday

It’s international womensday, I’m sure you already noticed…

Time for me to think a about women in art. I bet the first woman who came to your mind was Frida Kahlo. Am I right?

Kahlo is amazing, one just cannot elude from her pictures and the stunning photographs her father (or others) took of her. One cannot help but admire her for the way she stood up after her tragic accident.

When I thought about wether I should take her as my personal hero post today, I started thinking about the situation for female artists today. Sad enough, I came to the conclusion that there is still a lot to do. The awareness for female artists is weak.

You don’t believe me? Then name 5 male artists who had their pictures sold for more than 1m$ during the past ten years. Pretty easy even for persons who don’t spend their everyday live in the artworld. Well, now name 5 female artists whose artwork reached the same prices. No? I didn’t manage this without cheating, either.

Let me present the 5 best-selling female artists to you:

1.) Georgia O’Keeffe

Her picture ‘Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932)’ sold for 44 million $ last year.

2.) Louise Bourgeois

Her ‘spider (1996)’ sold for 28 million $ in 2015. She’s my role model, though she never wanted to be one!

3.) Joan Mitchell

Her painting ‘untitled (1960)’ sold for 11.9 million in 2014. The Joan Mitchell Foundation shows one of her sketchbooks on their website, don’t miss it. Here is a little peak inside:

4.) Berthe Morisot

Her impressionist painting ‘Après le déjeuner (1881)’ sold for 10.9 million $ in 2013. Here’s ‘Hide and Seek’

Hide and Seek. Berthe Morisot, 1873. #berthemorisot #impressionism #arthistory

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Art History Feed (@arthistoryfeed) am

5.) Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova

I have to do some homework here, I never heard of her before. Hmh, russia is some blank space in my art worldmap, I don’t know anything about russian artists! Her piece ‘Les fleurs (1912)’ sold for 10.8 million in 2008.

My cheat-sheet for the prices is this cool site on artnet btw.

And what about contemporary artists like Yayoi Kusama? Vanessa Beecroft? Yoko Ono? Marina Abramović? Barbara Kruger? Elizabeth Peyton? I’m just naming some of the best-known female artists but I assume that for most readers those names are familiar but wouldn’t have come to mind by themselves. I’ll have to ask my husband. He doesn’t work in the art branch, but he is very interested in art. I don’t hink he could name any of these. Maybe Abramović, as we saw a self-portrait of her in an exhibition last fall.

So, there is one book I want to recommend to you, in case you’re interested in woman as artists: ‘Danger! Woman Artists at Work’ by Debra N. Mancoff. You can  buy it at

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  1. So… I asked my dear husband for names of female artists. He came up with Paula Modersohn-Becker, which I think is impressive enough.

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