The Visual Representation of Misery in the 19th Century
By Linda Nochlin
Illustrated. 176 pp. Thames Hudson. $35.
Next time you visit the Whitney Museum of American Art, once you’ve wended your way through the galleries and pulled out your phone on the city-side balconies, make a point of peeking through Renzo Piano’s glass walls into the museum’s staff quarters. Half visible to the public, on the walls of various conference rooms and a staff lounge, is a series of dry-transferred quotations with a distinguished feminist bite. “What if Picasso had been born a girl?” begins one. Another, looking deceptively like an official museum wall text, asks as bluntly as possible: “Why have there been no great women artists?”
Both questions are from a