A new print exhibition which recognises the impact that women artists had on the history of printmaking has been unveiled.
The exhibition Making Her Mark opens from Friday 12 October and explores how women artists used the printmaking art form in the 1800 and 1900s to expand their artistic practice, gain financial independence and have their work seen by the wider public.
Over fifty works from the Ulster Museum collection are on display including examples of lithograph, etching and lino print as well as wood-engraving by artists such as Agnes Millar Parker, Clare Leighton, Gwen Raverat and Lady Mabel Annesley.
Many of the women artists featured in the exhibition were central to the wood-engraving revival of the 1920s and 30s and the exhibition includes findings from extensive new research on National Museums NI collections, as part of its Foundations for the Future research initiative.
Historically women had little access to training in commercial printmaking as it was heavily dominated by young male apprentices who were taught by Master teachers. Printmaking redeveloped as an art form through the 1800 and 1900s.
Anna Liesching, Curator of Art at National Museums NI, explains “As printmaking as an art form became more accessible for women, many used the medium as a powerful tool to express their views on social inequalities in society at the time whilst some used it simply as another means of expression.”
She added “Making Her Mark tells the fascinating story of women and the power of print and includes works, some of which have never been seen before, which highlight the history of women who made their mark in the print industry over time.”
A key highlight in the exhibition is a selection of works by the artist and arts advocate, Lady Mabel Annesley, who gifted 100 wood-engravings in 1939 to the Ulster Museum (formerly the City of Belfast Museum and Art Gallery). Lady Annesley was a champion of her fellow female artists and was central to the wood-engraving print technique in Ireland.
Making Her Mark is the final exhibition of National Museums NI’s year long programme of exhibitions and events entitled Hear Her Voice. The series of exhibitions highlight the women in its collections, marking the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which was the first milestone in the journey of women’s right to vote in political elections.
Making Her Mark is on display at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, until 14 April 2019. Admission is free. For further information on all exhibition and events visit www.nmni.com