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Picturing a World

Club for women artists

During my earliest research, I read Studying Art Abroad, and How To Do It Cheaply by May Alcott Nieriker (1879) in the Boston Public Library. (How I yearned for my own copy! How easy now to read it on line!) A couple of sentences struck me forcibly and ultimately pointed to part of my dénouement:

It only needs … the co-operation of a sufficient number of earnest female students to form a club, hire a studio, choose a critic, and engage models, to secure the same advantages now enjoyed only by men, at the same exceedingly low rates. This plan was seriously talked of not long ago, and only failed of being put into execution from the want of one member with time and energy enough to take upon herself the responsibility of making a beginning. (pp. 49–50)

Last year, when the American Girls Art Club in Paris posted on Where the Light Falls, naturally I explored the website. A post that explains the blog’s title—American Girls Art Club—alerted me to a place where American female students could live together and have studios at the turn of the 20th C. Now known as Reid Hall, the building belongs to Columbia University, still serves students, and provides a glimpse of one of those tucked-away urban gardens I love so much.

Can anyone think of similar clubs for women artists, writers, or academics in Paris or elsewhere?
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