The Four Ages of Woman: Perspectives from Bethlem Museum of the Mind
The representation of women in visual culture is often shaped by the appraising gaze of men, and there is evidence for this in the reserve art holdings of Bethlem Museum, as there are in the holdings of every art gallery. Yet in Bethlem’s collection there is evidence of other perspectives: the perspectives of women themselves on their own life history.
‘The Four Ages of Woman’ highlights a diversity of artistic observations on the lived experiences of women from childhood to old age, including but by no means restricted to experiences of mental distress. It includes work by artists who deserve to be better known – Marion Patrick, Elise Warriner Pacquette, Charlotte Johnson, Lisa Biles, Bibi Herrera, Stephanie Bates, Cynthia Pell among others – and who are determined to narrate their own stories.