women’s history

‘A woman’s work is never done’: women’s working history in Europe

Long before the home office was invented, working at home was already commonplace for one group within society: women.

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Josephine Baker – dancer, spy and freedom fighter 

Born into poverty, Josephine Baker reached heights beyond what could have been possible for an African-American woman between the 20s and 60s. She was a polarising force throughout her life as a performer and activist. Seen as a threat to the United States for speaking out against race discrimination, she was loved in France – […]

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The world was her stage: the extraordinary life and times of Unė Baye

From Hollywood glamour to the Siberian gulag, the life of Lithuanian actor Unė Baye was as dramatic in life as it was on the stage Uršulė Babickaitė-Graičiūnienė was born in the Lithuanian village of Laukminiškiai. She began acting and singing whilst in elementary school. In 1913, she moved to Russia, where she studied music, drama […]

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Queen of Arts: Christina of Sweden’s Roman reign

Anyone who wanted to see the musical avant-garde at work around 1600 went south of the Alps. With figureheads such as Monteverdi, Peri and Caccini and their work in the new opera genre, Italy pioneered an innovative repertoire and ‘modern’ styles and became the mecca for musicians in the early days of the baroque era. […]

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Madame de Staël (1766-1817): from the Enlightenment to the Dawn of Romanticism

Writer, republican, literary theoretician and philosopher, Madame de Staël contributed to the diffusion of ideas in Europe through her travels and her Salon, where she received many European intellectuals.

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Marie Jeanette de Lange and the Dutch reform dress movement

This painting from 1900 by Dutch artist Jan Toorop employs a ‘modern’, pointillist technique to depict a genuinely modern woman: Marie Jeanette de Lange.

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Carving a place for women on statues

If you were to count the statues in your local town, village or city, how many would you find that represent women? Despite women making up more than half of the population of Europe, most of the statues you come across commemorate the lives of men.

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Elsa Schiaparelli: Declaring Feminine Willpower through Fashion

Elsa Schiaparelli is one of the most renowned personalities in fashion history. Not only because she was one of the most striking designers of 1930s Paris, but also because she was a woman who always fought for her plans to become reality, and for her voice to be heard directly through her stunning and unforgettable […]

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#ColorOurCollections – our new colouring book about women in history

It’s this week again when all you need is coloured pencils, crayons and some great openly licensed images to colour in. #ColorOurCollections is back! This year, we prepared a colouring book about women in history. From the first medieval depiction of a female dentist to suffrage posters – there’s a lot to colour and to […]

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