Art Quarreling over Quality

A feminist critique blasts old assumptions about how we judge an artist's works

Mention feminism and art in the same breath, and some art critics begin to fume. "The feminist movement has not come up with a single talent heretofore unknown to us," insists Hilton Kramer, the founding editor of the New Criterion, a monthly arts review. "It tells us nothing about the qualities one should be studying in a work of art." But those are fighting words to the legions of artists, critics and scholars who have devoted the past 20 years to developing a feminist critique of art history. Their efforts have virtually set the agenda for academic discussion and have begun...

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