Women Painters Index

1893 Chicago World's Fair and Exposition

Compiled by K. L. Nichols



"The greatest meeting of artists since the fifteenth century!" exclaimed Auguste Saint-Gaudens, the famous nineteenth-century sculptor describing the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

For women artists, the event was even more important.  It was the first opportunity they had ever been given to exhibit in large numbers to large American and international audiences.  Thus, the 1893 Exposition forms a valuable record of what women artists in the late-nineteenth century were accomplishing despite an art world that rarely accepted women artists as equals and had often refused to give them the same art training and support considered essential to the development of male artists and their careers.

Some of the following women artists who exhibited at the 1893 Exposition became well-known and even very successful in their day. Others achieved only passing recognition for a few excellent works. However, since nineteenth-century women artists are routinely neglected in art histories, they all need to be re-assessed today. One surprise should be the number of women engaged in professional painting.  Another should be how interesting much of their work is.  You may even find some unsuspected gems here or there.


Austrian Women Painters

Belgium Women Painters

British Women Painters

Canadian Women Painters

Danish Women Painters

Dutch Women Painters

French Women Painters

German Women Painters

Japanese Women Painters

Norwegian Women Painters

Russian Women Painters

Cuban, Mexican, Spanish, Italian Women Painters

Swedish Women Painters

U.S. Women Painters

Unidentified Paintings

NOTE: Where possible, I have included images of the actual paintings the women artists displayed at the 1893 Exposition, but many of their paintings have been "lost" or are unlocated. In some instances, I have used the only image available online so that a representative work could be seen. Women artists for whom I could find no painting online were omitted.  Although attempts have been made to be accurate, the historical records often contain errors or omissions.


Further Reading

A "Room" in American Art for the Woman Artist from the Gilded Age to the Modern Period--a review of two recent scholarly books on late 19th Century women painters.

Women and Art at the Turn-of-the-Century--an extensive bibliography of women artists is available at this online course: (scroll down the page).

American Women Artists: 1867-1930--the emergence of the woman artist in the late 19th Century is covered in this essay.

Different but Equal? Victorian Women's Sense of Self--Nunn's scholarly paper on the development of the woman artist's professional image in her self-portraits.

Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?--Nochlin's classic article asks--and answers--that critical question.



Go to Austrian Women Painters

Return to Cassatt's Lost Mural

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These pages are for educational use only.

Text written by K. L. Nichols

Painting, top of page: Marie Konstantinovna
Bashkirtseff, In the Studio (1881).

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Suggestions/Comments: knichols11@cox.net
Posted: 6-25-02; Updated: 02-12-16