Why don’t women’s clothes have more pockets? Who are the female writers and artists my education forgot to include? How does a woman go about seizing control of her government? What was it like to be a female slave and how did the lucky ones escape? When did women get to put their own name on their credit cards? Is the life of a female spy as glamorous as Hollywood has led me to believe?
In short, what were the women doing all that time? I explore these and other questions in this thematic approach to women’s history.
10.12 Paula Modersohn-Becker, an Expressionist Painter
If Paula Modersohn-Becker had lived as long as Picasso, you might know her name as well as you know his. That is the claim of multiple art historians who celebrate her for her use of color and her breaking open of the nude genre. Her work is startling for portraying women as real women, with absolutely no regard for the masculine gaze. Her life was a struggle to find her way between the demands of her career, the demands of her society, and the demands of her own heart. Unfortunately, she died in childbirth at the age of 31, and so we will never know what else she might have done, if she had lived.
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