The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Women’s Art in the U.S

•November 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Metamorphoses Book V Arethusa to CeresTolentino-Ovid

Posted by Dorothy Lander

Cultural Comment in The New Yorker by Jia Tolentino, staff writer.

Jia Tolentino re-writes Ovid’s Metamorphoses through the lens of Me Too.

As Alpheus caught up to her, Arethusa prayed to Diana. “Cold sweat / Poured over my limbs,” she tells Ceres, and then, suddenly, “wherever I moved / There seemed to be a pool.” She became a deep spring, plunging beneath the earth. “But even so, he knew me,” she says. “He laid aside his human shape, became / A river again, a watery shape, to join me.” I

The Shiva Gallery at John Jay College is currently home to an exhibition called “The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Women’s Art in the U.S.,” in which the male depiction of rape as a triumphant act of conquest is wholly absent.


Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

•December 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Posted by Dorothy Lander

Annette Kellerman Mermaid for Brazen by Penelope

Annette Kellerman advocated for practical female bathing suits and got arrested for it

Brazen is a forthcoming graphic novel by Pénélope Bagieu highlighting women throughout history.

Front cover Brazen by Penelope Bagieu1_V33Po0F8kebrlFfaWqSmsg

Stay tuned to this site as Brazen shares excerpts in the lead up to International Women’s Day.   Click on the link below to learn about Annette Kellerman, this week’s excerpt.  She was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing suit.

Space pioneers, queens, doctors and athletes will appear in illustrations in the weeks to come.

Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting opens at MOMA

•October 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Posted by Dorothy Lander

Excerpted from Joyce Beckenstein’s interview with Carolee Schneemann in Hyperallergenic.   

This interview is a striking exemplar of the role of the female body in speaking truth to power.

Schneemann spoke with Joyce Beckenstein about her early struggles for recognition, the sensuous connections between the beautiful and the grotesque, and her enduring kinship with cats.

Carolee Schneemann received the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion Award. She is also the subject of a major retrospective, Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting, which will travel from the Museum der Moderne Salzburg to open at MoMA PS1 on October 22 — a level of recognition for which she has waited five decades.

A suspension from Bard College for painting herself nude (despite permission to pose nude for male students) seeded her sense of female empowerment. She went on to use her body as a medium to spring the female form from its frame, and to pursue explicit expressions of female sexuality. If her physical body was central to her project, it also often eclipsed her larger body of work.

Carolee Schneemann flesh art

A Witch on a Broomstick

•October 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment


Posted by Dorothy Lander

Extensive coverage of offensive costumes for Hallowe’en does not mention witch costumes.  Perhaps the witch on a broomstick is the original offensive costume.

Excerpt from Allison Meier

The First Known Depiction of a Witch on a Broomstick

In the 15th century, the image of the witch flying on a broomstick first appeared, its meaning laden with sexual and spiritual depravity.

Dylan Thuras at Atlas Obscura wrote that the “broom was a symbol of female domesticity, yet the broom was also phallic, so riding on one was a symbol of female sexuality, thus femininity and domesticity gone wild.”

Art has Shaped Ideals of Woman’sBeauty throughout History

•October 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Posted by Dorothy Lander

Ideals of Woman’s Beauty have changed throughout history, from Aphrodite of Knidos to Pamela Anderson to Serena Williams.  A telling reminder of the instability of representations within and across cultures.

An excerpt from:

What Art History Can Tell Us about Female Beauty Ideals


Aphrodite of Knidos

Serena Williams