The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is paying tribute to the formidable women who have shaped our history and the art that has defined them for centuries with the upcoming exhibition “Women Behaving Badly: 400 Years of Power and Protest.”
The exhibition, open from July 18 to Dec. 19, will feature more than 75 prints, photographs and books depicting the condemnation and celebration of independent, rebellious women from the Renaissance to the early 20th century.
“Rebellious women who pushed against the confines of their prescribed roles to assert agency and claim their human rights have long been trivialized, shamed and punished. Art has played a powerful role as a messenger through time and culture, both upholding and reimagining longstanding misconceptions,” said Andaleeb Badiee Banta, BMA senior curator of prints, drawings and photographs, in a recent media statement.
“Women Behaving Badly” opens by exploring how historic depictions of women created the narrative that female ambition and independence were something to be contained and punished. This first section includes images of ancient Greek and Roman women, witches, vampires and biblical sinners such as Eve, Delilah and Salomé.
The second section highlights artwork from 1800 to the early 20th century as first-wave feminism came onto the scene and women began breaking from their traditional roles in society. These trailblazers include performers Josephine Baker and Isadora Duncan, authors Colette and Virginia Woolf, and activists Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth.
“Women Behaving Badly reclaims the representations of women whose actions were chronicled in visual culture as transgressive, inflammatory and disruptive and celebrates the ground work they laid for generations of women afterward,” said Banta.
Tickets are free, but reservations are required to visit the galleries. Note that face masks must be worn at all times inside the museum. The BMA is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.