Here’s a simple task proposed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts: Name five female artists. It’s perhaps easier said than done, but the museum isn’t trying to make you feel guilty. Instead, it has a social media campaign focused around the hashtag #5womenartists, aiming to publicize the work of women in the visual arts, who are historically underrepresented in museums, textbooks, and in the collective consciousness. (Who are your favorite female artists? Let us know, in some detail, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Museums from around the country have joined in the campaign, tweeting and Instagramming images of women in their collections, and individuals have shared their favorites as well.
Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay with this work by one of the most distinctive and successful artists of her time, Mary Cassatt. One of the principal American expatriate painters in Paris and the only American to show with the Impressionists, Cassatt was devoted to recording the world of women like herself. Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926). Young Mother Sewing, 1900. #TheMet #MaryCassatt #WomensHistoryMonth #5womenartists
In that spirit, and with the help of Nshira, The Atlantic’s archive fellow, I’ve selected several passages from our archives focusing on female artists.