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Linda Nochlin (born 1931 in New Yorkmarker [318787] ) is a Professor and art historian. She is considered to be a leader in feminist art history studies. In 1971, the magazine ArtNews published an essay whose title posed a question that would spearhead an entirely new branch of art history. The essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?," explores possible reasons why "greatness" in artistic accomplishment has been reserved for male "geniuses" such as Michelangelo. Nochlin argues that general social expectations against women seriously pursuing art, restrictions on educating women at art academies, and "the entire romantic, elitist, individual-glorifying, and monograph-producing substructure upon which the profession of art history is based" have systematically precluded the emergence of great women artists.

Nochlin has also been involved in publishing other essays and books including Women, Art, and Power: And Other Essays (1988), The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society (1989), Women in the 19th Century: Categories and Contradictions (1997), and Representing Women (1999).

The thirty-year anniversary of Nochlin's query motivated a conference at Princeton University in 2001. The book associated with the conference, "Women artists at the Millennium", that hosts Nochlin's new essay ""Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" Thirty Years After", and in which art historians discuss the innovative work of such figures as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Francesca Woodman, Carrie Mae Weems and Mona Hatoum in the light of the legacies of thirty years of feminist art history, appeared in 2006.

Nochlin was the co-curator of a number of landmark exhibitions exploring the history and achievements of female artists. "Women Artists: 1550-1950" (with Anne Sutherland Harris) opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Artmarker in 1976. "Global Feminisms" (with Maura Reilly) opened at the Brooklyn Museummarker in 2007.

Nochlin received her BA from Vassar College, an MA in English from Columbia University, and her PhD in the history of art from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York Universitymarker in 1963. Besides feminist art history, she is best known for her work on Realism, specifically on Courbet.

After working in the art history departments at Yale Universitymarker, the Graduate Centermarker of the City University of New York (with Rosalind Krauss), and Vassar Collegemarker, Nochlin took a position at the Institute of Fine Arts, where she continues to teach.

In 2000, Self and History: A Tribute to Linda Nochlin was published, an anthology of essays developing themes that Nochlin has worked on throughout her career.

Nochlin has also been the Norton professor at Harvard Universitymarker.

Further reading

  • Linda Nochlin, Courbet, (London: Thames & Hudson, 2007 ISBN 978-0-500-28676-0)
  • Nochlin, Linda. "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" ARTnews January 1971: 22-39, 67-71.
  • Nochlin, Linda. "Issues of Gender in Cassatt and Eakins." In Nineteenth Century Art: A Critical History, edited by Thomas Crow, Brian Lukacher, Linda Nochlin & Frances K. Pohl. London: Thames & Hudson, 1994, 255-273.
  • Nochlin, Linda. "Memoirs of an Ad Hoc Art Historian." Representing Women. London: Thames & Hudson, 1999): 6-33.
  • Nochlin, Linda. ""Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" Thirty Years After". In: Armstrong, Carol and de Zegher, Catherine (eds.), "Women Artists at the Millennium". Massachusetts: MIT Press / October Books, 2006.
  • D'Souza, Aruna (ed). Self and History: A Tribute to Linda Nochlin. London: Thames & Hudson, 2000.


  1. Linda Nochlin, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" ARTnews January 1971: 22-39, 67-71.

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