Malweiber: The subjugation of the women artists of German Modernism

Silvia Wistuba

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The aim of this presentation is that I may acquaint you with a topic which is just as relevant today as it was 120 years ago – the marginalisation of women artists. My research project will focus on the era of Modernism, between the years 1871 and 1918, in Imperial Germany. My thesis will draw attention to the women career artists who were subjected to discrimination, ridicule, insult, and oppression, simply because they chose to enter the male-dominated arena of the artworld. These women were given the label ‘Malweiber’ [Painting women]. The label was originally aimed at Dilettantes, women who were filling in time, with art, until they got married, but as more women chose to seek a career in art, male artists felt threatened and the term Malweiber was applied to any female who showed the slightest interest in the profession. My research will focus on these forgotten and overlooked artists tracing their modes of oppression in order to draw attention to the gender inequality they endured.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 09 Oct 2020
EventThe SCCI Research Seminar series for 2020: Online seminars showcasing SCCI research initiatives across 2020 - Online, various locations around Australia, the USA, Costa Rica and beyond.
Duration: 16 Apr 202020 Oct 2020


SeminarThe SCCI Research Seminar series for 2020
Abbreviated titleCommunication and Creative Industries research seminars
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Grant Number

  • Malweiber
  • women artists
  • German Modernism


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