To celebrate Women’s History Month, we are highlighting female figures and artists’ work on display at Dallas-Fort Worth museums. Discover female figures in art from all over the world. Your kiddos may even gain a newfound appreciation for everything you do for them, Mom, and learn about the roles of women throughout history.
Open Tuesday–Saturday 10am–5pm, Thursday 10am–8pm and Sunday 12–5pm. Admission is free.
3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth; 817/738-1933
The goddess of the hunt, moon and nature Diana, is now on view for the first time at Amon Carter’s main gallery. The sculpture was kept in the museum’s vault since the ’90s—that is until March, following it’s restoration. The 7-foot-tall cement statue, created by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, represents the goddess who was in tune with all of Mother Nature’s glory. According to Roman mythology, Diana had the ability to talk to animals and was also associated with children and childbirth—perhaps Diana is represented in all women (minus the talking to animals part).
Woman Standing, Holding a Fan, 1878-79
Painted by Mary Cassatt during the Impressionist movement, Woman Standing, Holding a Fan, is a portrait of just that—a woman in a green dress, standing, holding a fan. Cassatt is known for her paintings depicting the life of women, with an emphasis on the bond between mothers and children. Her paintings show that even the simplest of movements and day-to-day experiences are worth appreciating.
Maternal Caress, 1890-1891
Another masterpiece by Mary Cassatt is Maternal Caress, a painting of a mom holding and comforting her child in her home. She portrays the beauty and sacred bond between a mother and child. To teach your little ones more about Mary Cassatt and her paintings, check out this YouTube video made just for kids: Biography of Mary Cassatt for Kids.
Open Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm; open until 9pm on Thursdays. General admission is free.
1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas; 214/922-1200
Sleepy Baby, 1910
Mary Cassatt paints the nurturing relationship between a mother and child in Sleepy Baby. Although there is nothing too ornate about the painting and the colors used are soft, this portrait yet again shows how special the bond is between a mother and child. The mother is in the privacy of her home—she is not dressed to entertain guests or working necessarily, but her role is still just as important.
Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye), 1910-1938
The Kneeling Female Figure with Bowl dates back to the early 20th century and is attributed to the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria. The female figure holding the bowl and the women holding the bowl from the bottom represent the beauty of the Yoruba people and their culture, with elongated necks and hair adorned in a high fashion. The art piece shows that beauty and femininity have many definitions.
Have a young fashionista in your family bunch? Take your little one to view Winter, painted by French artist Berthe Morisot. The portrait shows a stylish woman, with a muff, scarf, hat and even what appears to be wearing gold earrings. The identity of the woman in the painting is unknown, however Morisot was known to paint many of her friends. Despite her unknown identity, the portrait shows the stylish attributes of women in the 17th century.
Open Tuesday–Thursday 10am–5pm, Fridays noon–8pm, Saturdays 10am–5pm and Sundays noon–5pm. Admission to the permanent collections is free. Children under 6 are always free.
3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth; 817/332-8451
Ideal Head of a Woman, 1817
This piece, sculpted and created in marble by the Italian artist Antonio Canova in the 19th century, showcases the profile of a woman. From the details of her eyelids to the curls in her hair, Canova portrays the woman as someone who is elegant and should always be admired.
“Canova created this ideal beauty by simplifying a young woman’s [appearance] and creating the illusion of soft flesh,” according to Nancy E. Edwards, curator of European art and head of academic services at the Kimbell.
Virgin and Child, 1486
Made up of two pieces of silver that were seamed on both sides and beaten together with a hammer, this small figure is modeled after a woman mentioned in the Bible. She stands on top of the moon, and originally had a sun attached behind her, as she stood greater than both the sun and moon. The artist is unknown, however grasped the importance and celestial presence of the woman.
“This image of a beautiful young mother with long golden hair holding her baby doesn’t appear distant or remote, but invites feelings of compassion and understanding, as a bridge between heaven and earth,” according to Edwards. “The statuette touches the emotions, encouraging the worshipper to contemplate the mother’s joys as well as her future sorrow.”
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, 1781
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was an artist in the 18th century, and is known for her paintings of Marie Antoinette. Her self-portrait depicts the details from the blush in her cheeks to the tint of her lip color. She highlighted the beauty in the women she painted and like Cassatt, also painted mothers and children.
“Two of her best-known paintings depict the artist embracing her young daughter, Julie; these images of maternal tenderness and devotion reflect contemporary ideas that celebrated the nurturing role of motherhood,” says Edwards.
The Madonna and Child, 1527-30
The Italian artist Parmigianino paints a picture that is seen many times throughout history. The Madonna and Child is a portrait of the Virgin Mary caressing her son, Jesus.
Open Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm. Admission is $10 for adults. Children under 12 are free.
2001 Flora Street, Dallas; 214/242-5100
Squares with Two Circles, 1963
Purchased by Patsy and Raymond Nasher in 1968, this sculpture was created by English artist Barbra Hepworth, also dubbed one of Britain’s greatest woman artists by The Guardian. Hepworth, a mother herself, had a strong belief that she could do and form just about anything, despite the unpopularity of female artists and sculptors during her time. Her sculpture a Square with Two Circles is on display at the center’s garden.
Picasso’s Head of a Woman, 1957
The Nasher is home to one of the many notable pieces by Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman. The sculpture has been on display since the Nasher opened in 2003. Made of gravel and concrete, the sculpture features the different profiles of a woman in 90-degree angles. (Clearly the late artist knew that women have many facets.)
This article was originally published in May 2018.