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Women and patronage: an overlooked art history

Weekend-long art history and theory course

Short course

  • 29 February 2020, 10am — 5pm
  • 1 March 2020, 10am — 5pm

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Titian, Portrait of Isabella d'Este (detail), ca. 1534-1536.

Oil on canvas. Courtesy Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

This weekend course will look at the significant contribution of women patrons in the arts, highlighting their enormous, oft-overlooked, impact in shaping our approach and appreciation of art.

The term “patronage” stems from the Latin root for father, and frequently our history of what defines patronage has been cast in this gendered way. Despite this, however, the influence women have had on establishing and nurturing great collections of art is irrefutable. Between Catherine de’ Medici, Anne of Denmark, Peggy Guggenheim and Helen Clay Frick alone, the evidence of women’s patronage is all around us.

Over this weekend-long course, participants will learn from leading academics about how women have acted as patrons throughout history, looking at not only their role but how our writing of history itself has downplayed their achievements. The course will reflect on the unique ways in which different women have given patronage, including questions of taste and the circumstances that informed their approach.

Each lecture is designed to facilitate discussion with participants, reflecting on the open-ended nature of the subject and its ongoing relevance to how we navigate the art world today.

Minimum age 18. If you have any accessibility needs, please contact academicprogrammes@royalacademy.org.uk.

This course is part of a programme of events at the RA to mark International Women’s Day 2020. Details of further events in the programme will be released in January 2020.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 29 February 2020, 10am — 5pm
  • 1 March 2020, 10am — 5pm

Wolfson British Academy Room, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£420. Includes all materials, light refreshments and a wine reception at the end of day one.

Book now