Calendar Letters: How women artists get left out of art history

Women lost in art history

Regarding “Who Holds the Power in Art? (Hint: Not Women)” [Nov. 1]: When I was in grad school in the ‘70s we were told that there had never been any significant female artists in history. Proof offered was the Janson’s “History of Art” textbook we were using. Years later at a College Art Assn. session in New York, a lecturer informed us that the early decisions about which artists would be included in that venerated bible of notables in art history were often made based on whose images could be easily obtained from museums or collectors. Women’s paintings and sculptures were then barely collected nor routinely photographed for reproduction. That added another confirming layer of bias to their invisibility and their work’s perceived insignificance.

Suvan Geer

Santa Ana


“Not women,” indeed. I was privileged to study with a very young Linda Nochlin. I remember her lectures vividly. The images as well as her words. She was not only concerned with the dearth of famous women artists but with how women were depicted in paintings throughout history. Her seminal essay is still highly relevant: “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Dear Linda: We’re still working on it.

Maren Henderson

Los Angeles

Earlier film score composer greats

In his background information on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” [“Can’t Quite Slip Off to ‘Dream’-land,” Nov. 4], Mark Swed claims that Erich Wolfgang Korngold “became the first of the great symphonic soundtrack composers.” It takes nothing away from Korngold to point out that by the time he wrote his first original film score for “Captain Blood” in 1935, acknowledged masters Max Steiner (“King Kong”) and Alfred Newman (“Street Scene”) had already been plying their trade for years.

A story goes that when Steiner and Korngold had both been working at Warners for a decade, Steiner kidded Korngold by claiming, “Your music has been getting worse, and mine has been getting better. Why do you suppose that is?” Replied Korngold, “That’s because you are stealing from me and I am stealing from you.”

Preston Neal Jones


‘Moms’ that are bad for anyone

Regarding “Bah, Humbug for the ‘Bad Moms’” [Nov. 1]: This is a very well-thought-out and written review, but why do only “Female audiences deserve better than this”? We all deserve better, don’t you think

Peter Gerrard


Fox did OK at the World Series

Regarding “Fox Hits Most of the Bases” [Oct. 31]: Your take on the Fox coverage of the World Series put on paper exactly what my thoughts have been. I agree wholeheartedly with all your comments and observations. I hope the powers that be at Fox follow up on some of your suggestions. Joe Buck and John Smoltz did a fair job ( I give them a C+).

How we all miss Vinny’s voice.

We’ve been Dodger fans since the first Coliseum days, season ticket holders since the first day at Dodger Stadium, and now our great-grandchildren are attending games.

Geri Witt

Los Angeles

Waiting for Plant to sing Zeppelin

Regarding “Robert Plant’s Doing What He Wants” [Nov. 2]: Despite doing his best to distance himself from his past, Robert Plant is mainly remembered and revered as the lead singer for Led Zeppelin. I’ve been to a few of his shows and the audience only rouses itself when he pulls out a Zeppelin song from the archives. The plain fact is that no one attends his concerts because of his solo work or to hear the Sensational Space Shifters. People come in the hopes of hearing him belt out one of his classics from his 1970s heyday. It seems that the only one who hasn’t figured this out yet is Robert Plant himself.

Charles Reilly

Manhattan Beach

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