Defining Women

This exhibition considers the roles of women in print media as subject, creator or both. It focuses on the traditional, and sometimes limited, range of identities available for depictions of women as well as the defining women artists and subjects who step outside of and challenge such prominent and recurring themes.

Defining Women : Decided at Davidson Galleries

Ellen Heck American (b. 1983)


Series: Lonely Hearts
Medium: Woodcut and drypoint
Year: 2014
Edition : 9
Size: 22 x 15 inches
Description: Ellen Heck conceived of her LONELY HEARTS series as metaphorical portraits in which she used hearts in compositions with figures to depict the many different types of love that people experience. Approaching such a mature subject in the form of young girls gives them an agency and voice for which they are so rarely credited in actuality. Indeed, Decided, by its very title if not for the smiling, self-assured girl, presents the rare case of a young woman taking an active and decisive role in love rather than one that is passive or dependent. It is she who defines the love as she experiences it.
Price: $800.00

Defining Women : La Robe Rouge at Davidson Galleries

James Abbott Mcneill Whistler American (1834–1903)

La Robe Rouge

Series: The Studio
Medium: Lithograph
Year: 1894
Signature: Butterfly signature in the stone
Publisher: The Studio, London. Blindstamp lower left
References: Way 68, Levy 96
Size: 7-1/8 x 6 inches
Description: In a composition entitled The Red Dress, one would assume the subject to be just that. This lithograph by Whistler, however, done in black and white, presents more of a portrait of his wife, Beatrix. Confident and self-satisfied, Beatrix engages the viewer with a direct gaze and amused smile. Far from being an illustration of fashion so popular at the time, we instead have a clear visual description of this formidable woman’s personality.
Stock Number: 46053c
Price: $850.00

Defining Women : Arithmetica at Davidson Galleries

Crispin Van De Passe


Series: The Seven Liberal Arts
Printer: Marten de Vos
Size: 6-7/16 x 3-5/8 inches
Description: Using the figure of a woman as a personification for an abstract concept is a tradition that goes back centuries. Here, she is shown as Arithmetic, one of the Seven Liberal Arts and essential tenets of a high education. Engrossed in her calculations, a satisfied smile spreading across her face, Arithmetica is surrounded by coins, books and her children, - the mathematicians and architects.
Condition: Fine, rich impression. Thread margins.
Stock Number: 45823c

Lovers and The Beloved

Lovers and The Beloved : Woman #2 at Davidson Galleries

Gregory Grenon American (b. 1948)

Woman #2

Medium: Lithograph
Year: 1976
Edition : 3/25
Signature: Signed in pencil
Size: 30-1/2 x 22-1/2 inches
Description: Influenced greatly by the power and beauty that he sees in women, Grenon has made his oeuvre almost entirely of women’s faces. In Woman #2, his subject is clearly divided into light and dark halves, but she is by no means broken apart. The two sides show her complexity and potential duality; the innocent and the wicked, and, possibly, the virgin and the whore. In Grenon’s eyes, however, she is not limited to the black and white binary of virtuous or depraved, rather she is literally multifaceted behind her challenging eyes and knowing smile.
Stock Number: 45045c

Lovers and The Beloved : The Wise Virgin at Davidson Galleries

Jenny Schmid American (b. 1969)

The Wise Virgin

Medium: Lithograph
Year: 2003
Edition : 23
Signature: Signed in pencil
Size: 20 x 15 inches
Description: The parable of the ten virgins is told in the New Testament to instruct Christians to be ready for Jesus’s return. Here Schmid combines the parable with more literal allusions to the trapping of a woman’s virginity. Carrying the oil lamp from the parable, the wise virgin hurries quickly by a lecherous man while simultaneously stomping on a serpent and avoiding the devil trying to pour poison in her ear. Unlike Eve, she is not swayed by temptation. The surrounding portraits of Queen Elizabeth I imbue her with the strength and authority that comes with maintaining control over one’s own body.
Price: $500.00

Lovers and The Beloved : Two Women in a Garden at Davidson Galleries

Javier Vilato Spanish (1921 - 2000)

Two Women in a Garden

Medium: Etching, aquatint and drypoint
Edition : 141/220
Size: 16 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches
Description: This intriguing work by Vilato (Picasso’s nephew) takes place in a garden, a traditional setting for lovers to meet and trysts to take place. The intimate nature and shy demeanor of the two women further allude to a romantic connection between them. Most telling, however, is the woman on the right tentatively extending her finger to brush the exposed knee of the woman on the left. The garden in this instance provides the lovers with a secluded arena in which to explore an affection that at that time would likely have been, at best, misunderstood and, at worst, reviled.
Stock Number: 18553c

Models and Muses

Models and Muses : Momento No. 9690 (muse) at Davidson Galleries

Carrie LINGSCHEIT American (b. 1984)

Momento No. 9690 (muse)

Medium: Intaglio
Year: 2010
Edition : AP
Signature: Signed in pencil
Size: 17 x 11 inches
Description: Carrie Lingscheit’s work focuses on the malleable nature of memory formation and recall, wherein she creates dubious narratives characterized by omission, distortion, and hyperbole. With Muse she presents the viewer with the challenge of not knowing whether “muse” is meant as a verb, a noun or both. We could be looking at a contemporary muse with the power to move creative minds like the wind moves a weather vane. Or we could just as easily be witnessing an event on a rooftop when a woman muses on an unknowable thought. Again with Lingsheit’s versatility, the scene could be either or both.
Price: $350.00


Performers : Isadora Duncan at Davidson Galleries

John Sloan American (1871–1951)

Isadora Duncan

Medium: Etching
Year: 1915
Edition : 100 proofs
Signature: Signed, titled and numbered in pencil. Signed and dated in the plate
References: M.172, xxix/xxix
Size: 9 x 7 1/2 inches
Description: John Sloan, a prominent member of the so-called Ash Can School, is notable for his image of the fringe culture and urban life in early 20th century New York. Isadora Duncan was a self-taught, improvisational dancer. Her work was choreographed, “to rediscover the beautiful, rhythmical motions of the human body.” Dancing barefoot, wrapped in flowing scarves, her performances celebrated independence and self-expression and were particularly adored by female audiences.
Condition: Stretch holes at margin edge
Stock Number: 29643C

Performers : Woman Playing Koto at Davidson Galleries

Artist Unidentified

Woman Playing Koto

Medium: Color woodblock
Publisher: Shinagawa, Kyoto
Size: 10-5/8 c 15-1/2 inches
Description: The koto was an instrument largely played by male musicians until the 17th and 18th centuries when women started to learn it in greater numbers. Around the turn of the twentieth century, koto lessons were incorporated both in girls’ formal school curricula and in geisha training. It was a popular instrument among the wealthy and was associated with love, romance and one of the desirable traits one looked for in a wife. Here a young women sits, quietly absorbed in her music, perhaps practicing to charm a lover, or maybe just for the pure enjoyment of the art itself.
Stock Number: 31006
Price: $160.00


Mothers : Daphnis and Chloe at Davidson Galleries

Aristide Maillol French (1861–1944)

Daphnis and Chloe

Series: Illustration for Daphnis and Chloe by Longus
Medium: Woodcut
Year: 1937
Edition : Proof
Publisher: Published by Phillipe Gonin, Paris, 1937
References: Reference: Rewald 122
Provenance: Daphnis and Chloe by Longus
Size: Image: 5 x 2 in. Sheet: 7-7/8 x 5-1/4 in
Description: Daphnis and Chloe is an Ancient Greek tale that follows a boy and a girl from young, naive love, through trials and tribulations and finally to a happy ending together. In Maillol's depiction, he shows the more mature Daphnis and Chloe, happy together and expecting a child. It is a touching portrait of a profound love that was hard earned.
Stock Number: 43468c
Price: $150.00

Mothers : Couple with Child at Davidson Galleries

Hans Erni Swiss (b. 1909)

Couple with Child

Medium: Lithograph
Year: 1953
Edition : 96/100
Signature: Signed in pencil
Printer: Maison Kratz, Zurich
References: Cailler 66
Size: 17-1/2 x 23 inches
Description: In a composition free of landscape, narrative elements or even personal accoutrements, Erni directs the focus on the bodies and connectivity of a new family. The man and women, their physical link to each and and the child they made together almost tangible, fold lovingly towards one another and their newborn child as the mother takes it to the breast. The strength and protection comes not just from the mother alone, but from the family as a whole.
Stock Number: 43452c
Price: $600.00

Mothers : Streetcar at Davidson Galleries

Francisco Mora Mexican (1922–2002)


Medium: Lithograph
Year: 1953
Signature: Signed and dated in pencil
Size: 12-3/4 x 9-1/2 inches
Description: In conjunction with other renowned artists in Mexico such as Leopold Méndez, Pablo O'Higgins and Luis Arenal, Mora and his colleagues built on Mexico’s rich tradition of political printmaking in order to advance revolutionary political and social causes. In Mora’s portrait of a mother and child, rather than an emotional scene of tender love and affection, he focuses on the social reality. The lower class woman rides in a street car with her child protectively cradled in her lap, a frown on her face and lines of worry etched in her brow.
Stock Number: 30484c
Price: $1500.00

Mothers : Mother and Child at Davidson Galleries

Toyohara Kunichika Japanese (1835 - 1900)

Mother and Child

Medium: Color woodblock
Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō
Size: 14-1/2 x 9 inches
Description: In this work by Kunichika, the artist shows a mother lovingly feeding her baby from a bottle, a look of complete joy and adoration on her face. The roundel on the wall behind her with a picture of an ox likely alludes to this child’s birth being in the year of the ox according to the Japanese zodiac calendar.
Stock Number: 42611c
Price: $425.00

Mothers : Untitled (Pregnant Woman) at Davidson Galleries

Bernhard Jäger German (b. 1935)

Untitled (Pregnant Woman)

Medium: Color lithograph
Year: 1973
Edition : 16/222
Signature: Signed in pencil
Size: 19-3/4 x 15-3/4 inches
Description: In a grand departure from the tender images of mothers and children, Jäger breaks down the anatomy of the pregnant woman into a series of shapes and parts and reconstructs it into an intriguingly grotesque composition of tubes, breasts and an amorphous polywog-like fetus. Scientifically abstracted, the inspirational subject “Pregnant Woman,” comes secondary to the construction and layout of the “Untitled” composition of shapes and colors.
Stock Number: 20451c
Price: $325.00

Warriors and Leaders

Warriors and Leaders : Buddha Head (Female) at Davidson Galleries

Katsuyuki Nishijima Japanese (b. 1945)

Buddha Head (Female)

Medium: color woodblock
Year: Date of Impression c. 1975
Signature: Stamped with artists red seal
Size: 6 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches
Description: Most likely this is Quan Yin (or Kwan Yin), the most important female figure in many Buddhist traditions, but predominantly in Korea, Japan, and China. Quan Yin is a rebirth of the bodhisattva Avolikiteshvara, a monk from a previous eon who was reborn in a heavenly realm and filled with compassion for all living beings. One legend states that Avolikiteshvara chose to be reborn as a beautiful woman to marry a famous king and convince him to become a Buddhist. Quan Yin is therefore the embodiment of compassion and is roughly equivalent to Green Tara in Tibetan Buddhism.
Stock Number: 28034c

Warriors and Leaders : Judith with the Head of Holofernes at Davidson Galleries

Hans Sebald Beham German (1500-1550)

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Medium: Engraving
Signature: Initials in the plate
Size: 4-1/2 x 2-7/8 inches
Description: This popular tale from the Old Testament starts with Holofernes, an Assyrian general who about to destroy Judith's home, the city of Bethulia. Judith, a beautiful widow, takes advantage of Holofernes’ lust for her and gains access to his tent. She gets him drunk and when he passes out, grabs his sword and decapitates him. She flees with her maidservant with Holofernes’ head in a basket. Beham’s interpretation is particularly unique in that he depicts her nude, striding forward with the sword in hand. This posture places her firmly in the category of “heroic nude,” usually an arena reserved for males.
Stock Number: 32377c

Warriors and Leaders : Te Volvi a Ver (I Saw You Again) at Davidson Galleries

Jose Guadalupe Posada Mexican (1851–1913)

Te Volvi a Ver (I Saw You Again)

Medium: Wood engraving
Year: 1942
Publisher: Published by La Estampa Mexicana
Size: 5 x 3-1/4 inches
Description: Wood engraving from 25 Prints of José Guadelupe Posada
Stock Number: 10032
Price: $145.00


Laborers : Finishing Shells at Davidson Galleries

Joseph Pennell American (1857–1926)

Finishing Shells

Medium: Lithograph
Year: 1916
Edition : 50
Signature: Signed in the stone
Size: 20-3/4 x 15-3/4 inches
Description: Joseph Pennell's Finishing Shells breaks the mold of traditional “women’s work” by showing women in an industrial setting. With two years into World War I and two still yet to go, women were a much needed labor force in the factories on the hone front. In Pennell's lithograph, men and women alike labor to make weaponry for the war effort.
Stock Number: 45696
Price: $385.00

Laborers : Preparing Yarn (Working with Ixtle) at Davidson Galleries

Fernando Castro Pacheco Mexican (1918-2013)

Preparing Yarn (Working with Ixtle)

Series: Portfolio: Mexican People, edited by Associated American Artists. 12 prints total by different artists.
Medium: Lithograph
Year: 1946
Signature: Signed in pencil
References: Prignitz 616
Size: 11 x 14 inches
Description: Pacheco was a Mexican painter, printmaker and teacher who was well known for traditional artistic forms and for his murals that invoke the spirit and history of the Mexican people. Ixtle is a fiber from any of several tropical American agave or yucca plants, traditionally used for cordage, nets, and carpets. Pacheco shows a woman here spinning the fibers by hand.
Stock Number: 13875
Price: $250.00

Laborers : Lace Makers, Puerto Rico at Davidson Galleries

Irwin D. Hoffman American (1901-1989)

Lace Makers, Puerto Rico

Medium: Drypoint
Year: 1944
Signature: Signed and titled in pencil, Signed and dated in the plate
Publisher: Associated American Artists
Size: 9-5/8 x 11-3/4 inches
Description: Known early as a talented portrait artist, Hoffman later earned a reputation for gritty genre scenes and in the late 1930s went to Puerto Rico to observe the peasant life there. Likely the women here are making mundillo, a cultivated, handmade bobbin lace that was brought to Puerto Rico from Spain, where it had thrived in major commercial markets. This lacemaking skill has now become an honored tradition among Puerto Rican women involved in the craft.
Condition: Two spots in bottom margin, verso toned
Stock Number: 31223c
Price: $400.00

Laborers : Naherin (Seamstress) at Davidson Galleries

Anton Albers German (1877–1949)

Naherin (Seamstress)

Medium: Color woodcut
Year: 1900
References: Noted in Benezit: "One of the few color woodcuts by this artist, and one of his best."
Size: 6 7/8 x 6 1/2 inches
Description: Anton Albers' image of the seamstress is a common domestic image from the 19th and early 20th centuries that show women who take in sewing work to help pay the bills. This was often the only option for income open to poor widows who had to, by necessity, stay home with small children.
Condition: glue traces verso
Stock Number: 27683
Price: $275.00

Laborers : Spinners, Dalmatia at Davidson Galleries

Clare Leighton English / American (1898–1989)

Spinners, Dalmatia

Series: Woodcuts: Examples of the Work of Claire Leighton
Medium: Wood engraving
Year: 1930
Edition : 427/450
Signature: Individual prints unsigned
Publisher: Longmans,Green &Co
Size: 6-1/2 x 4-3/4 inches
Description: Artist and illustrator Clare Leighton wrote and illustrated numerous books praising the virtues of the countryside and the people who worked the land. During the 1920s and 1930s, as the world around her became increasingly technological, industrial, and urban, Leighton portrayed rural working men and women. This work pictures traditional spinning by hand in the small region of Dalmatia on the eastern coast of Adriatic Sea in Croatia.
Stock Number: 25995c
Price: $120.00