2019 - 22nd Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

Presentation Title

Pre-Raphaelite Women: Hysteria, Prostitution, and Suffrage

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Eliska Mrackova, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Department or Major

Art History

Location

Lillard 044

Abstract

In 1848, as political revolutions swept across Europe, a group of rebellious British artists established a society aiming to revolutionize the art of the Royal Academy. The art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood not only challenged traditional style, but also created images that looked at the social issues of nineteenth century England. This paper argues that Pre-Raphaelite painters made images of prostitutes, suicides, and other “Fallen Women,” inspired by the “science” of phrenology, by medical thinking about hysteria, and by laws aimed at controlling women on the streets. In addition, these visual stereotypes of independent and unruly women then contributed to the campaign targeting the women’s suffrage movement.

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-9-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-9-2019 10:15 AM

Panel

Histories from Below: Gender, Power, Poverty

Panel Moderator

Rudi Batzell

Field of Study for Presentation

Art History, Women's and Gender Studies

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM Apr 9th, 10:15 AM

Pre-Raphaelite Women: Hysteria, Prostitution, and Suffrage

Lillard 044

In 1848, as political revolutions swept across Europe, a group of rebellious British artists established a society aiming to revolutionize the art of the Royal Academy. The art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood not only challenged traditional style, but also created images that looked at the social issues of nineteenth century England. This paper argues that Pre-Raphaelite painters made images of prostitutes, suicides, and other “Fallen Women,” inspired by the “science” of phrenology, by medical thinking about hysteria, and by laws aimed at controlling women on the streets. In addition, these visual stereotypes of independent and unruly women then contributed to the campaign targeting the women’s suffrage movement.