African Women in the Visual Arts

  title={African Women in the Visual Arts},
  author={Lisa Aronson},
  journal={Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society},
  pages={550 - 574}
  • L. Aronson
  • Published 1 April 1991
  • Art
  • Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
The arts of sub-Saharan African societies offer a window for viewing the cultural construction of gender through which we are able to see the complex ways in which different groups of African men and women act out their roles in social, political, economic, and religious arenas. The arts are also valuable indicators of socioeconomic change as reflected by changes in their styles, materials, production, technology, and modes of distribution and consumption. Scholars of African art have been… 

Gender and South African Art

This issue of African Arts is devoted to the topic of gender in contemporary South African art. Its co-editors, Brenda Schmahmann and Kim Miller, present us with five articles that consider a wide

Art, history, and gender: women and clay in West Africa

Women dominate the production of pottery in Africa, yet few scholars have considered women the likely creators of the figurative ceramic sculpture recovered archaeologically across the savanna.

Art as Neglected ‘Text’ for the Study of Gender and Religion in Africa

The visual and performing arts in Africa provide unique opportunities not just for the reinforcement of gender differences but also for the subversion or transcendence of those differences to ensure

Paradoxes of Gender

In this innovative book, a well-known feminist and sociologist-who is also the founding editor of Gender & Society-challenges our most basic assumptions about gender. Judith Lorber argues that gender

The Dipylon Mistress: Social and Economic Complexity, the Gendering of Craft Production, and Early Greek Ceramic Material Culture

This article considers the role of changing contexts of production in the evolution of ceramic material culture in early Greece. Rather than focusing on the aesthetics of ceramics or reading

“Rural” and “Urban” Locales as Complements: Reflections on the Contexts of Ceramic Art Practice in West Africa

INTRODUCTION In 1984, Sidney Kasfir published a paradigmbreaking article titled “One Tribe, One Style?: Paradigms in the Historiography of African Art.” In it, she “effectively concretized the

Seeing the unseeing audience: women and West African power association masquerades

Abstract For more than a century, observers have noted that the West African power associations known as Komo and Kono prohibit women from seeing their performances and assemblages. Reportedly

Paper Beads on the Move: Mobilizing Trajectories and Subjectivities to Shape Contemporary Art In Uganda

| african arts SUMMER 2019 VOL. 52, NO. 2 Beads cannot simply be viewed as nonrepresentational, decorative entities. In Uganda, the art of paper bead[ing] is empowering women economically while

Concealment and Exposure: Contemporary Application of Masks in Lampshade

The design outcomes from the study showed that masks as cultural objects associated with mysticism and socio-cultural purifications, could through effective design decisions be adapted for functional and aesthetic concerns.

Pottery in Sirigu Society: The Socio-Cultural Relevance and the Need for Sustenance

The study examines the Socio-cultural roles of pottery in Sirigu, an artistic community in the Upper East Region of Ghana.  The research made use of qualitative methods of focus group discussions,



Women's Status in Egalitarian Society: Implications for Social Evolution

Problemes theoriques et conceptuels de l'analyse de la place de la femme dans les societes egalitaires et par l'analyse de ces societes elles-memes. Les dangers de l'ethnocentrisme. Les donnees

For other studies on pottery that list the potter's repertoires, see A. R. W. Cross-Upcott

  • Tanganyika Notes and Records
  • 1955

For specific examples, refer to Lisa Aronson

  • African Women South of the Sahara
  • 1984

See also her Ph.D. diss., "Kuba Textiles: The Dynamics of Creation, Style, and Meaning within the Kuba Kingdom

  • 1989

See also Etienne's study of the effects of colonialism on property rights and related cloth industries among the Baule

  • Women's Work and Women's Property: Household Social Relations in the Maraka Textile Industry of the Nineteenth Century
  • 1977

Cole and Aniakor observe the same dynamic in wall painting among the Igbo of Nigeria

  • Igbo Arts: Community and Cosmos

The Messages of Tourist Art: An African Semiotic System in Comparative Perspective

  • 1984