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From 'Muse' to 'Maker' with Lissa Ballinger

The Art Base

Thursday night in Basalt, a local curator will discuss the limited roles that women historically played in the art world, and recognize modern female artists.  



Pablo Picasso said, “There are only two kinds of women: goddesses and doormats.” Lissa Ballinger, an art advisor and curator for the Aspen Institute, strongly disagrees. But in her talk “Muse and Maker: Rethinking Women in Art History,” she explores why, in the past, the options available to women in the art world were limited to, in her words, “muse, lover, assistant, model, wife, daughter.”

Ballinger points out that some of the most recognized female artists, like Georgia O’Keefe and Frida Kahlo, initially gained fame because they were the partners of well-known male artists.  

One way to repair the damages of the past, she argues, is to call attention to women currently working in the art field.

“We can keep trying to unearth other female artists, and also recognize women are coming from a disadvantaged state and hopefully will have more representation in the future.”

She said the ultimate goal of recognizing female artists is simply equal treatment in the art world. “When you’re marginalized, you don’t want to be recognized for being marginalized. You want to be recognized for being as strong of an artist as...not for being a woman.”

The talk begins at 5:30 Thursday evening at the Art Base.  


Contributor Christin Kay is passionate about the rich variety of arts, cultural experiences and stories in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has been a devotee of public radio her whole life. Christin is a veteran of Aspen Public Radio, serving as producer, reporter and interim news director.