Art in Focus: Figuring Women: The Female in Modern British Art

Art in Focus is an academic initiative for members of the Yale Center for British Art Student Guide Program, through which students are introduced to every aspect of exhibition practice. Students intensify their engagement with the Center’s collections, strengthen their research skills, and test writing in new formats. Student curators select objects for exhibition, write text panels and object labels, and make decisions about installation. 

The curatorial challenge for the 2007–08 student guides was to design an exhibition showcasing highlights from the Center’s collection of late nineteenth- through twenty-first-century paintings and sculpture. The Victorian to Modern collection usually mounted on the second floor was consolidated on the fourth floor, in two bays of the Long Gallery, to accommodate the Center’s special exhibitions Pearls to Pyramids and A New World.

Figuring Women: The Female in Modern British Art focused on representations of women from the Victorian era to the present day. Student guides used a variety of paintings and sculpture to explore how artists, including Walter Sickert, Vanessa Bell, Harold Gilman, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth, have interpreted the female form.

View works from the collection included in this exhibition here.


The student curators of the exhibition were Jenny Elizabeth Braun (DC ’08), Jessica Dilworth (BK ’10), Panda Ebling (DC ’08), Charles Gariepy (TD ’09), Andrew Lee (BR ’09), Sharon Madanes (DC ’08), and Adrienne Wong (MC ’10), working under the direction of Cassandra Albinson, Associate Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, and Linda Friedlaender, Curator of Education.

Top image
Dame (Jocelyn) Barbara Hepworth, Four Rectangles with Four Oblique Circles (detail), 1966, slate, Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Susan Morse Hilles, © Bowness