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Women and Museums 1850-1914Modernity and the Gendering of Knowledge$
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Kate Hill

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719081156

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719081156.001.0001

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Women as patrons: the limits of agency?

Women as patrons: the limits of agency?

(p.127) 5 Women as patrons: the limits of agency?
Women and Museums 1850-1914

Kate Hill

Manchester University Press

This chapter outlines the limits of women’s actions and roles in museums, by examining the extent to which they were able to exercise substantial influence, patronage or leadership in museums. It shows that while women made a variety of bids to lead or significantly influence museums, there were barriers in their way. As a result women either dissembled their aims, withdrew altogether from such attempts, or founded their own museums. Such museums, though freer from masculine control, were also much more marginal than museums run by men. Women’s aims were not, initially, particularly feminist, though they were often distinctly feminine; but they became more feminist in the face of male exclusion.

Keywords:   Patronage, Leadership, Feminism

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