Arte alle Donne!

6 online lectures by Alessandra Montalbetti

Can only naked women enter museums? This was the stinging question of the Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous group of feminist, female artists devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the art world for over 40 years. It may be surprising that precisely the art world, which should allow for freedom of expression and defy conventionality, has always been dominated by men.

Female artists struggled for a long time to prove their worth, attend art academies, and exhibit their works alongside those of their colleagues. A visit to any museum will prove this discrepancy—an inconsistency that requires all of our attention in order to understand it. This course will focus on the role of women in the arts, from painters of the past to those of avant-garde and contemporary art movements, to art critics, gallery owners, collectors, and all the unrecognized women who have always played a role in famous masterpieces.

The first lesson is open to all, while the following ones are for members only. The registration will open on Friday 1 October and the proceeds, in the form of a tax-deductible donation of 75 euros, will support the museum.

Alessandra Montalbetti introduces the lectures

Alessandra Montalbetti

In 1982 she entered the didactic section of the Superintendence of Artistic-Historical and Demo-Ethno-Anthropological Heritage of Milan, with Dr. Bandera, now former Superintendent; she elaborates didactic materials for every type of school and, specializing in contemporary art history, participates with contemporary art lessons in the refresher course for secondary school teachers, organized by the Superintendency with the support of the Amici di Brera Association; she elaborated the first educational courses dedicated to schools for the Museo di arte contemporanea (Cimac) for the Direction of the Civic Museums from 1983 to 1990; in 2000, she participated in the working group of the Superintendence for the preparation of intercultural teachings for primary and lower secondary school (project "A Brera anch’io"). Since 1983, she has collaborated with important Italian associations and museums (Associazione Amici di Brera e dei Musei Milanesi, Italia nostra, Anisa, Associazione Milano Cultura e Natura, Università Unitre, Associazione Amici del Loggione - Teatro della Scala, Associazione Volarte, Associazione Amici del Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Rotary Club and, since 2012, Peggy Guggenheim Collection) while continuing her research and publication work.

Pioneer artists

October 11, 2021, 7pm

What lies behind the painful and well-known story of the painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1653)? Art historians tend to look at women artists at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as Orsola Caccia (1596–1676), Lavinia Fontana (1552–1614) and Fede Galizia (1578–1630), exclusively for their biographical vicissitudes, thus ignoring the artistic value of their work.

This lesson is free and open to all.

Avant-garde artists

October 18, 2021, 7pm

Women artists played a fundamental role in the avant-gardes of the early 1900s. If the US painter Mary Cassatt (1844–1926) actively participated in the group of Impressionists, the Italian sculptor Regina Cassolo Bracchi (1894–1974) was one of the protagonists of the second Futurist wave in the 1930s, while the French artist Sonia Terk Delaunay (1885–1979) was essential for the official recognition of applied arts, and the US painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) decisively influenced US modernism.

Art historians

October 25, 2021, 7pm

Numerous, influential art historians researched and emphasized the role of women in the history of art, for their understanding of contemporary developments and their organization of exhibitions that opened up research previously unexplored by their colleagues. Among those who advanced the study and interpretation of art history, the lecture will focus on Lea Vergine, Barbara Rose, Lara Vinca Masini, and Whitney Chadwick.

Collectors & gallerists

November 8, 2021, 7pm

Peggy Guggenheim has been an exemplary role model for many women who love art and wish to support artists and collect their work. Among the numerous women collectors and gallerists who deeply believed in, supported, and launched artists, the lecture will focus on Palma Bucarelli and Claudia Gianferrari. The unique cases of Margherita Sarfatti, coordinator of the Novecento group, and Marieda di Stefano, artist and collector, will also be discussed.

Contemporary artists

November 15, 2021, 7pm

Numerous women artists are at work in the contemporary art world. The lecture will consider Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) and her unconventional vision of both family and society, Marina Abramović (b. 1946) and her attention on the body and bodily reactions, Teresa Margolles (b. 1963) and her political and social commitment, and the unique case of the US artist, Judy Chicago (b. 1939).

Mysterious muses

November 22, 2021, 7pm

Female bodies play a prominent role in a large number of works of art, especially of the past. As mythological gods or Christian saints, these women were real and authentic and likely wives, lovers, daughters or sisters of the artists who borrowed their faces and bodies. The lecture will look at the stories of these muses, revealing the mystery behind the works in which they are portrayed.

How to participate
  • Lectures are in Italian, last one hour, and are streamed online on Zoom via a link which will be emailed to those who have enrolled.
  • Members only can enroll. Become member by taking advantage of the 20% discount promotion from October 1 to October 17, 2021. Membership is valid for 12 months.
  • The lecture series is available with a donation of €75. Participation in a single lecture is not available.
  • It is possible to register even after the course has started and request the registration of previous lessons.

Lectures are open to members of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection only.


enroll now

*Payment by credit card only. Charitable donations to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice branch, are tax-deductible for IRPEF and IRES according to D.L. 35 on 14/03/05.


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