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Women art workers and the Arts and Crafts movement$
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Zoë Thomas

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526140432

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526140449

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(p.220) Epilogue
Women art workers and the Arts and Crafts movement

Zoë Thomas

Manchester University Press

The epilogue uses the moment women became eligible to join the Art Workers’ Guild in 1964 as a heuristic device to probe simplistic narratives of women’s steady ‘progress’ in the twentieth century. Although, on one level, this book has provided an account of the increase in creative, paid opportunities for artistic women from the late nineteenth century onwards, and of the substantial changes they made to their lives, and the lives of those around them, the epilogue emphasises the persistent, ongoing, structural gendered hierarchies in the art world and in modern society in the decades that followed. In the 1960s and 1970s there continued to be considerable sexism about the expertise and quality of women’s designs and creativity, anxieties about women’s separatist strategies, and women still continually had to battle for recognition and equal pay, and face issues such as tokenism. The epilogue finishes by reflecting on the ideological struggles women have persistently faced when seeking to reconcile their professional, creative, and political aspirations, what we can learn from the strategies implemented by women art workers, and the ongoing issues in how the Arts and Crafts movement is portrayed to modern audiences.

Keywords:   second-wave feminism, progress, separatism, tokenism

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