Gender and the Visual Arts

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Unlike other forms of material culture, visual art seems always to entail high status. Because of its relationship to high status, unlike other forms of material culture, visual art also always has a relationship with elite markets, high finance, and wealth. Other forms of material culture may be commodities, but visual art is a distinctive class of asset. As a category of material culture, visual art is strongly demarcated against other forms of production and this demarcation is often produced in gendered terms. Whereas men make visual art that can be considered works of great genius, women are more often considered as creating either other forms of material culture or lesser forms of visual art. The demarcations between art and non-art, between the extraordinary and the ordinary, and between male and female work reflect differences in the monetary and social value of the various types of material culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Anthropology
EditorsHilary Callan
VolumeGender and Sexuality
ISBN (Print)978-0-470-65722-5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018


  • gender
  • Visual Art
  • Anthropology


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