1st century C.E.: According to Roman mythology written by Pliny the Elder, the first drawing in history was made by a woman named Dibutades, who sketched an image of her love onto a wall. (Though, perhaps take this fun fact with a grain of salt!)
November 15, 1887: Georgia O’Keeffe, later known as the “Mother of American Modernism” is born in the town of Sun Prairie, WI. O’Keeffe is perhaps best known for her close-up floral paintings, which some art historians say were meant to represent the female form.
July 6, 1907: Frida Kahlo is born in Mexico City, Mexico. A self-taught painter, Kahlo’s work is celebrated for her focus on Mexican and indigenous traditions and culture, as well as her feminist focus on the female existence.
1971: “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” is first published. With this essay, Writer and Historian Linda Nochlin launches the fields of feminist art history and theory in earnest.
1979: The Dinner Party, a large-scale installation piece that revolutionized the world of feminist art, is first exhibited. The piece features 39 place settings, each one designed for a different woman (both fictional and real) who made history. Judy Chicago’s seminal work has been on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum since 2007.
1979: Barbara Kruger begins to use found images in her work, creating her now famous signature-style of feminist collage. Predominately using Futura Bold typeface to plaster ironic, challenging, and clever sayings over black and white photographs, Kruger has become a renowned critic of American culture and misogyny.
Spring of 1985: Seven women, calling themselves The Guerrilla Girls, form an anonymous feminist activist artistic group in New York City, with the goal of bringing discussions of gender inequality and racism in art to the forefront. Famous early posters pasted throughout NYC by the group include questions like, “Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum?”
1990: Carrie Mae Weems debuts her seminal photographic series, The Kitchen Table. Over the course of a year (1989-1990), Weems photographed herself every single day (along with others in her life) at her same kitchen table, creating a now iconic statement on representation, gender, and relationships.