The Mirror and the Palette: 500 Years of Women's Self-Portraits
Book presentation by writer Jennifer Higgie
"Until the twentieth century, art history was, in the main, written by white men who tended to write about other white men. The idea that women in the West have always made art was rarely cited as a possibility." Novelist, screenwriter and art critic Jennifer Higgie presents her latest book, The Mirror and the Palette, which focuses on the history of female self-portraiture from the 16th century until 1980. Exploring a cross-section of artists from Europe, the US, India, Australia and New Zealand, and filled with tales of rebellion, adventure, revolution, travel and tragedy, the book is a testament to the fact that there's more than one way to live a life –and more than one way to make art about it.
Jennifer Higgie is an Australian writer who lives in London. Her last book The Mirror and the Palette: 500 Years of Women’s Self-Portraits is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, and Pegasus Books in the United States. She is currently working on a new book about women, art and the spirit world; her BBC Radio 3 five-part essay on the subject was broadcast in January 2022.Jennifer was frieze magazine reviews editor from 1998-2003; co-editor with Jörg Heiser and then Dan Fox until 2017; frieze Editorial Director from 2017-19 and editor-at-large until 2021. She is the presenter of Bow Down, a podcast about women in art history; author and illustrator of the children’s bookThere’s Not One; editor of The Artist’s Joke; author of the novelBedlam; and writer of the feature film I Really Hate My Job. In 2015, she curated the Hayward Touring and Arts Council Collection exhibition One Day, Something Happens: Pictures of People, which travelled from 2015-17 to Leeds Art Gallery, Nottingham Castle, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, The Atkinson, Southport, and Towner Gallery, Eastbourne. She has been a judge for the John Moore’s Painting Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award, the Turner Prize and the 2021 Freelands Painting Prize, and a member of the advisory boards of Arts Council England, the British Council Venice Biennale Commission and the Contemporary Art Society. She is currently on the Imperial War Museum Art Commissions Committee. Her literary agent is David Godwin, of David Godwin Associates, and her script agent is Rosie Gurtovoy, of Peters Fraser + Dunlop.
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