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Heather Bode

ARTE 344
Title: The Guerrilla Girls Bedside Companion To the History of Western Art:
Introduction/Chapter 1: Classi Babes
Author(s): Guerrilla Girls
The Guerrilla Girls bedside companion to the history of Western art. (1999). New York: Penguin
Main Idea/Purpose (2-3 sentences):
In the Guerilla Girls book, The Guerrilla Girls bedside companion to the history of Western art
the Guerrilla Girls discuss the discrimination against women and how they have not been
acknowledged compared to white men in Western art. The Guerrilla Girls state how difficult it is
to find art created by women in Greece and Rome since most of it was destroyed and not written
about. Art historians did not appreciate women art and if a woman possessed artistic skills they
believed she was an abnormality of women (p. 15).

Short Overview (Including at least 2-3 important quotes):

The Guerrilla Girls (1999) state But even after overcoming incredible obstacles, women artists
were usually ignored by critics and art historians---who claimed that art by white women and
people of color didnt meet their impartial criteria for quality (p. 8). Critics and art historians
possessed a bias against all womens art no matter what race.
According to the Guerrilla Girls (1999), Winkelmann wrote about ideal beauty in the female
sex, he interspersed his requirements for females with passages on the ideal depiction of horses
and other animals (p. 14). Winkelmann viewed womens attractiveness on the same status level
as animals. The Guerrilla Girls (1999) mention how Winkelmann was a gay, German art
historian who enjoyed looking at Archaic-period statues of young, naked males and thought
they were the highest expression of perfection (p.14). It was okay for homosexual males to
come out but not female homosexuals.
As stated by the Guerrilla Girls (1999), There were women artists in Greece and Rome,
although we will never know how many or even what race they might have been. There are vases
and reliefs that depict women painters (p.15). It is extremely difficult to find art created by
women from the Greece and Roman times. The only art saved was associated with tombs.

Critical Response: Reflections and/or relevance to personal art educational experiences/or

teaching experience
The majority of my art education has been taught by strong and talented women artists. My
school art teacher who inspired me to be an art teacher is a woman and she shared historical art
videos with us about women such as Faith Ringgold and men. It is hard to believe how women
artists were treated in Greece and Rome. It is unfortunate that most art created by women in
Greece and Rome has decomposed or been destroyed by wars as stated by the Guerrilla Girls (p.
13). It is sad and disrespectful that Winkelmann related womens attractiveness to animals such
as horses. This shows how women were treated in Greece and Rome in all aspects of life. The
only art that has been saved from Greece and Rome is art that has to do with death. Today more
art historians and critics should be raising awareness of the great female artists from the past like
the Guerrilla Girls. Male artists can learn from women artists and vice versa. As a future art
educator, I will educate my students about male and female artists equally.