For my first example I am going to look at is Portrait of a Young Woman by Meredith Brampton (1936)
I started off by thinking about which of my Contextual Positions this piece could encompass. There is a lot of symbolism in the piece with the objects surrounding the women giving away a lot about her and her social status. I also knew that from the dates she was a women who was surrounded by a lot of sociological points because she was alive between the two world wars.
By reading the small paragraph supplied by the Tate I understood that the model is Miss Margaret Austin Jones. However that is about all I could find of her. I had to deduct a lot about her life through her portrait.
Here is the link to the Tate explanation: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/frampton-portrait-of-a-young-woman-n04820
Here at the notes I made on this small writing. I also incorporated some of my own ideas and thoughts and looked at some significant dates for women to see how they compared with the date of my piece.
1928 Vote for Women
1944 Education Act
1929 Wall Street Crash
From this I took the image of my painting and reflected on it that way. This for me would highlight the symbolism that I could find within.
From my findings I can understand further the symbolism shown in this image. I can deduce but not prove that she is a strong determined personality, the books on the desk and the writing paper show us that she is in somewhat educated and the violin shows she can read music. However her clothes are very feminine and pastel colours which makes the painting softer. The painter describes the objects in the painting as “Beautiful objects in their own right” ( http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/frampton-portrait-of-a-young-woman-n04820). This is crucial in the dissecting of this piece and how the women fits into it.
The section of Poetry and Dream that my piece was included in was called Realism. Reading the overall blurb of Realism I highlighted several points that could be relevant to my study.
I pulled out in particular the idea of Art made for ordinary people and how realism became associated with equality. Artists aim was to capture the world around them. I wonder in this case how the model and Frampton related to each other, I can see she is in several of his works.The style of realism was contributing to the rebuilding of society post World War One. This made me go forward to look up the society between the wars to see if I could further understand Frampton’s work.
The website I came across that was most crucial for my historical study was Sparknotes Interwar Britain. (http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/interwaryears/section7.rhtml). This website enabled me to look at how society was run between these times. It gave me an insight to who the political powers were and how the country was run. Britain was in a stage of rebuilding after the war, however there was also a lot of workers strikes and economic downfall.
This helped me to generalise the period however my study is about women so this is when I looked further into depth about the women of this period. I came across a website called Striking Women ( http://www.striking-women.org/module/women-and-work/inter-war-years-1918-1939). I wanted to get to the bottom of what Social Class Margaret Austin Jones was and how she fitted in to the British Society. Though this website I discovered about how women were treated in terms of the workforce in comparison to men. Here are my highlighted notes on this subject.
From this I looked briefly at the right to vote. Even at the start of this study I knew it was something I wanted to look into even if it did not go into the final content of my essay, its relevance is still ongoing.
I looked at two websites to gather information. The first is Women’s Suffrage (http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/suffrage.htm). This website was useful for having a chronological timeline of the dates that Women can vote. The second from the CIA ( https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2123.html) provided me with a list of ages that voting was allowing in each country around the world. From this I have found out the New Zealand were the first to allow Women’s votes (1893) followed by the United Kingdom in 1928. Countries such as Kuwait have just instigated the right to vote to women (2005) and Saudi Arabia do not allow women to vote at all.
For this study I have also looked at the book The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf which has helped me to explore the notion of Feminism and what Feminism actually means. This is a crucial part of my study and I feel by showing another book reference in my work instead of taking a definition from the internet it will show my capabilities to take from a range of sources.
Source : http://thebumpideereader.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/beauty-myth-by-naomi-wolf.html
Alongside this I have also studied Women, Art and Society by Whitney Chadwick. This book provided me with several useful definitions about the role of women post World War One. This helped me to gather further information about my point on the jobs of women. This information I took from the chapter Modernism, Abstraction and the New Women, 1910-25.
Source : http://www.hallofbooks.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=3056