This work is devoted to the very few women who, from 1750 to the present, have assembled significant art collections. The authors consider how and why these women collected, and explore the obstacles they overcame to assemble the objects.
This work is devoted to the very few women who, from 1750 to the present, have assembled significant art collections. The authors consider how and why these women collected, and explore the obstacles they overcame to assemble the objects. The book closely examines the characteristics of their collections, many of which can be seen today, sometimes in their entirety, in public museums and galleries. In the introduction the authors provide a general survey of the different collecting fields that appeal especially to women, including jewellery, fans, lace and textiles. It also looks at women who venture into new areas, collecting items such as fossils, insects and theatre memorabilia. In each case a leading pioneer is cited with a brief look at the nature of her collection. They observe how, with the shift from the eclectic mix of works of art and curiosities of nature collected in the 18th century to the focus on antiques in the 19th century, women were - whether by design or otherwise - collecting the possessions of their predecessors. The chapters look in detail at 30 great women collectors, each prominent in their fields. Rather than presenting these women individually, they are grouped together according to common themes such as "royal consorts" or "20th century creators of museums".
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