Feminist art historian Linda Nochlin has died

Published October 30, 2017

Linda Nochlin, pioneering art historian and life-long New Yorker has died at the age of 86, reports ArtNews.

Nochlin was a fundamental figure in the construction of feminist art history, solidifying her own place in that narrative with a pivotal 1971 essay titled “Why Have There Been No Great Female Artists?,” in which she explored how women—and minorities—are perpetually hindered by institutional imbalance.

“Things as they are and as they have been, in the arts as in a hundred other areas, are stultifying, oppressive and discouraging to all those, women among them, who did not have the good fortune to be born white, preferably middle class and, above all, male,” Nochlin wrote, paving the way for an introspective look at gender and race-based roadblocks in industries across the board.

She was also a source of inspiration for female creatives. Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri borrowed the “Why Have There Been No Great Female Artists?” title for a T-shirt on the Spring 2018 runway; Alice Neel and Deborah Kass used Nochlin as a subject for their paintings.

Her prolific oeuvre included numerous books, like Realism (1971) and The Politics of Vision (1991), among others. Before her passing, Nochlin was able to finish Misère, a work about “misery in the second half of the 19th century in France and England,” to be released next year, ensuring that her legacy continues to influence feminist history.