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Dual role of women in art highlights fall exhibition

08/29/2011

For Jason Shaiman, curator at the Miami University Art Museum, the fact that historically, women artists rarely received their proper recognition inspired him to create this year's fall exhibition series, "Out of the Shadows: The Rise of Women in Art," which runs Aug. 23 through Dec. 10.

The art museum will have a public opening reception for its fall exhibition series 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. A museum members’ preview reception will be held 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Preparing last semester’s “Understanding Identities Through Art” exhibition, which featured a small display of portraits of women, reignited Shaiman’s longtime interest in the role of women in art. He saw the potential of a complete show using the museum’s large collection of artwork. Bob Wicks, director, explained that over the last several years, the museum’s focus has been on collecting works that relate to groups of people who are underrepresented, such as women. In addition, Shaiman has borrowed more than 40 works of art from area collectors.

“The pieces just started falling into place providing us with a backdrop to showcase the fascinating dual role of women as subjects for artists and women as artists,” Shaiman said.

“Out of the Shadows” examines women as the subject of art, explores the role of women as artists, and looks at the struggles women endured in an effort to be recognized for their talents. The exhibits explore the topics of figurative, nature and non-representational art. The series exhibitions include “From Subject to Creator;” “A Flowering Spirit;” and “The Modern Woman.”

Miami junior Natalia Bogatschow, majoring in history of art and architecture, curated an installation in Gallery 5: Global Perspectives/Art History titled, “Portraits and Perfume: Women in the Ancient World.” A 2011 Undergraduate Summer Scholar, Bogatschow studied women portrait coinage of Imperial Rome and ancient glass in the art museum’s collection and documented her work for her project.

A number of artists represented in “Out of the Shadows” have local connections to Oxford, Oxford College for Women, Western College for Women, Miami University and the Greater Cincinnati area.

“This community connection pulls from the region’s plethora of substantial artists and shows that women don’t have to live in New York or Paris to have an impact on the art world,” Shaiman said.

Wicks added, “The double entendre of women as subjects and women as artists works so well together.”

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