Book Launch: Modern Women Artists in the Nordic Countries, 1900-1960

Published 7 April 2021

This transnational volume examines innovative women artists who were from, or worked in, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sápmi, and Sweden from the emergence of modernism until the feminist movement took shape in the 1960s. The book launch will be on April 26th.

The book addresses the culturally specific conditions that shaped Nordic artists’ contributions, brings the latest methodological and feminist approaches to bear on Nordic art history, and engages a wide international audience through the contributors’ subject matter and analysis. Rather than introducing a new history of "rediscovered" women artists, the book is more concerned with understanding the mechanisms and structures that affected women artists and their work, while suggesting alternative ways of constructing women’s art histories. Artists covered include Else Alfelt, Pia Arke, Franciska Clausen, Jessie Kleemann, Hilma af Klint, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Greta Knutson, Aase Texmon Rygh, Hannah Ryggen, Júlíana Sveinsdóttir, Ellen Thesleff, and Astri Aasen.

The target audience includes scholars working in art history, cultural studies, feminist studies, gender studies, curatorial studies, Nordic studies, postcolonial studies, and visual studies.

Zoom Book and Research Network Launch

Time: 6 April, 14:00-16:00 Copenhagen time.
Place: Zoom (Meeting ID: 626 6928 7689)


Modern Women Artists in the Nordic Countries, 1900–1960 (kl. 14-14:50)

  • Introductory comments: Kerry Greaves (10 minutes)
  • Addressing postcolonial politics: Bart Pushaw, “Elsa Laula, Astri Aasen, and the Ascent of Sámi Visual Sovereignty, 1904-1917” (8 minutes)
  • Gender trouble in Norwegian art history: Sigrun Åsebø, “Women Pioneers of Abstraction in 1950s Norway: The Balancing Act of Aase Texmon Rygh, Inger Sitter, and Gudrun Kongelf” (8 minutes)
  • Gendering of mid-century abstraction: Karen Kurczynski, “The Symbolic Abstraction of Else Alfelt” (8 minutes)
Plenary Q&A (15 minutes)
BREAK (10 minutes)
Nordic Feminist Art Histories Research Network Launch
(kl. 15:00-16:00)
  • Feminist Emergency: Women Artists in Denmark, 1960-Present (, Kerry Greaves (10 minutes)
  • Issues of Feminism and art history in Demark
    • Malene Vest Hansen (8 minutes) FLAME/Feminist Legacy in Art Museums (
    • Ulla Angkjær Jørgensen (8 minutes) AWARE/Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (
  • NFAHRN Future activities
    • Kerry Greaves: November conference with EPCAF (10 minutes)
Plenary Q&A (15 minutes)