Nochlin’s essay was an apt comment on the way feminist issues, including the issue of ‘the lack of great women artists’ was being discussed and debated in the public domain. At the time, there were pseudo-scientific rationalizations rampant that condemned women as incapable of greatness. and biased studies that derided women’s inability to come up with ambition and achievement in spite of decades of equality and opportunity. This contention, however, has lost favor even in the mainstream society in modern times as there has been more and more scientific as well as experiential evidence indicating that women are in no way inferior to their male counterparts – neither physically nor cognitively. Nochlin was correct in postulating that the difference between male and female artists (and common people per se) nevertheless continues not owing to any actual difference between the genders, but due to the way we continue to perceive achievement (artistic or otherwise) from the male perspective. That a male is able to achieve easily what eludes the female is probably the outcome of a self-fulfilling prophesy – where the female is deprived of opportunity and resources and casted in varied roles of mother and wife, attributed to being non-intelligent or not and then expected to fail at greatness in her profession. Nochlin articulately places the experiences of women artists in the correct historical context when comparing them with their male counterparts. Nochlin explains how the father- -to-son tradition (as opposed to father/mother to daughter) had facilitated the growth and career development of male artists. In her own words, What if Picasso had been born a girl? Would Senor Ruiz have paid as much attention or stimulated as much ambition for achievement in a little Pablita? Nochlin has also warned against presenting a defensive face by enumerating and extolling the women artists who had indeed left their marks – simply for the reason because there had indeed been few memorable artists and almost none that had been raised to the height of greatness. While, the case had been true at the time of Nochlin’s essay, it no longer stands to reason in the modern times where, according to Chadwick, there had been innumerous great female artists and achievers.
Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists