Women of WAM: Depictions of Femininity in Early Modern Europe

Self-guided Exhibition

Jan Gossaert, Portrait of Queen Eleanor of Austria, about 1516
Jan Gossaert (Netherlandish, about 1478–1532), Portrait of Queen Eleanor of Austria, about 1516, anonymous loan.

The Worcester Art Museum's collection of European art contains many paintings and sculptures depicting female saints, mythological subjects, and members of elite society. In this self-guided exhibition, you will have the opportunity to reflect on how these works both embodied and reinforced the idealized notions of femininity in Early Modern Europe. Come experience the psychological “double bind” such often contradictory depictions reinforced for those who hoped to emulate both the piety and sensuality they saw in art.

The works in this self-guided exhibition can be viewed in the early European galleries (210, 208, 206, 204, 201, 203) on the second floor surrounding the Renaissance Court.

Download the exhibition guide (PDF 596KB)

Download map showing exhibition location (PDF 374KB)

Collaboration between Clark University and the Worcester Art Museum made this exhibition possible. Clark University students chose the theme, selected the works and wrote the special labels and brochure. Funding was provided in part by the Art History program, Visual & Performing Arts, Clark University, and seeded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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