Critical Voices is a fascinating account of women writing about art in Britain at the turn of the twentieth century. Meaghan Clarke employs extensive original research in order to demonstrate the significant contribution made by women to the art world and draws on a diversity of sources, including diaries, letters and periodicals, to highlight the many different forms their criticism took. Focusing in particular on the work of three women - Alice Meynell, Florence Fenwick-Miller and Elizabeth Robins Pennell - Clarke argues that in order to understand fully art debates of the time it is essential we broaden our understanding of the role of women in the construction of art history. John Singer Sargent, James MacNeill Whistler, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Elizabeth Butler, William Holman Hunt, Frederic Leighton, Walter Sickert, Henrietta Rae, and Rosa Bonheur are among the artists considered.
Contents: Introduction; Art criticism: professional patterns and opportunities; 'Art Critic' I never called myself: re-visiting the 'Angel in the House'; 'There is no sex in art': art and feminism; New woman, new criticism; Epilogue; Notes; Bibliography; Index.