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'Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from the Horvitz Collection,' Exhibition -

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‘Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from the Horvitz Collection,’ Exhibition

January 26, 2018 - April 8, 2018

Eighteenth-century France was the crucible for some of the most elegant, sophisticated and refined art ever made. It was also a hotbed of philosophical and cultural reflection on many major issues, including what was known as the “woman question.” Against a backdrop of powerful conventional thinking that assigned women to limited and secondary roles based on the presumed dictates of biology, some voices began arguing for an alternative view, one that saw woman as the potential equal of man in intelligence, creativity, responsibility and power. Women could have identities beyond beauty, motherhood and emotional susceptibility.


This exhibition, by turns charming and challenging, shows for the first time how art and artists explored all sides of this debate, from stunningly refined portrayals of beautiful young women to depictions of idyllic family life, from mythological scenes of ideal or despicable female behavior to evocations of women’s creative prowess, and from touching images of romance and marriage to respectful presentations of maturity and old age.


January 26, 2018
April 8, 2018


Ackland Art Museum
101 S Columbia Street + Google Map