Zoë Mahler

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Eric Wolf

Second Advisor

Agnes Berecz


It has been 50 years since the publication of Linda Nochlin’s renowned 1971
essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” On the 50th anniversary, the question remains the same. Questioning the woman artist’s place in the art world has become nuanced, and the restraints women experienced, as highlighted by Nochlin, still have validity today. By exploring the last 20 years of the art market and the perception of the woman’s place in the art world, it is clear progress has been made in certain respects, especially regarding Women Old Masters. The canon of art history and the subsequent study of it is based on a structure of exclusivity. Visibility for women artists has always been difficult. Particularly for women artists in the Renaissance to Rococo periods, where, were they to promote their work openly, they would be akin to other professions not considered respectable in society. A study to recognize the perception of how women artists were treated during their careers and how their work is now regarded
on the market showcases the subtle institutional bias and sexist structure the art market has perpetuated since these Women Old Masters were creating their renowned works.