Arts Everyday Living: Celebrating Women’s History–Twentieth Century American Women Artists




March is Women’s History Month and we will be featuring women artists through the centuries. A number of them are “famous,” but others have been overlooked and still being discovered. So enjoy our special online exhibition with fast facts highlights accompanying each image. Generally, the works of art will be presented chronologically.

Laura Wheeler Waring, Portrait of a Lady,1947, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 1/8 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Gift of Vincent Melzac, 1977



Because of copyright restrictions, I am unable to show the actual paintings and images created by twentieth century women artists. However, I will provide readers with a list of some of these painters, including their dates as well as titles of a few of their best known works of art.


Born: 1891, Columbus, Georgia

Death: 1978, Washington, D.C.

African-American artist, basically considered abstract in her style, renowned for both her depictions of nature plus visions of outer space.  See her portrait above done by African American portraitist Laura Wheeling Waring (1887-1948).

Wind and Crepe Myrtle Concerto, 1973, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Snoopy–Early Sun Display on Earth, 1970, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music, 1976, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.


Born: 1902, Cincinnati, Ohio

Death: 1988, New York City, New York

Her subjects were often of New York City in the first half of the twentieth century, particularly the Union Square area where Bishop had a studio. She often focused on women, her style realistic yet expressive reflecting contemporary society.

Young Woman, 1937, oil and egg tempera on masonite, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.

Dante and Virgil in Union Square, 1932, oil on canvas, Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington, DE.


Born: 1908, New York City, New York

Death: 1984, New York City, New York

A leading Abstract Expressionist, Krasner was overshadowed though by her husband, iconic Jackson Pollock. Their home, the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York, is open to the public, where visitors can experience the environment that inspired the pair.

Cobalt Night, 1962, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Rising Green, 1972, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.


Born: 1905, Boston, Massachusetts

Death: 1998, Washington, D.C.

The visual art of African-American artist Lois Mailou Jones is diverse, often incorporating her multi-cultural experiences including her travels in Africa and years living in Haiti.

My Mother’s Hats, 1943, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Suriname, 1982, oil on canvas, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.




The Smithsonian American Art Museum does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the Smithsonian American Art Museum participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions), Smithsonian.





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