Robbins was excited about underground comics, but she found it hard to get attention, let alone support from many male cartoonists. “They didn’t want any girls in their boys club,” she said. “The wives and girlfriends would even do things like color in the art, and they would sell their stuff for them at conventions. There was nobody selling my stuff for me and I resented the hell out of it.” She also found the misogyny in the underground comic scene increasingly disturbing. Some men, like R. Crumb, drew comics about rape and murder and thought her failure to find them funny meant she had no sense of humor.
"Charles understood that Ray was an equal partner in their creations, and he was always eager to acknowledge her integral role. “Anything I can do, Ray can do better,” he said. But the wider world was slow to recognise her talents. This was the era of Mad Men, when even the most gifted women were often regarded as mere wives or secretaries. Ray was frequently forgotten, or dismissed as her husband’s little helpmate."
The Monir Museum located in Negarestan Garden, a former palace in Tehran, is the first museum in Iran to be devoted to a female artist, reports Tim Cornwell at the Art Newspaper. The museum, which is run by the University of Tehran, includes 50 works from the artist. Farmanfarmaian, who has had a complicated relationship with the politics of her native land but a deep love for its culture, says she sees the museum as her final legacy in an interview with Cornwell. “I can leave this country with a representation of my life’s work,” she says. “My love for my culture is in everything I create.” Read more: Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
Showing exquisitely detailed images of the plants, insects, spiders, butterflies and amphibians of Suriname at the turn of the 18th century, Merian’s Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium caused a sensation when it was published in 1705, with George III acquiring her work for the royal collection. Sotheby’s said it was “one of the most important natural history books of the period”, with very few studies of insects having been done previously, and Merian one of the first naturalists to observe them directly, as well as one of the first female scientific explorers.
More surprising, and more likely to make waves in the art world, is the choice of Sherald to paint Mrs. Obama’s portrait. Sherald, a Baltimore-based artist, won the $25,000 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, hosted by the National Portrait Gallery, last year. The triennial competition helped bring Sherald’s work to a larger audience, and Sherald’s winning work, “Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance),” dominated an exhibition of finalists and other winners.
In total, at least 170 women are known to have been commissioned by the capital’s transport system since 1910. Many more are likely to have designed posters for the system, their identity hidden by initials, subsumed under the name of an Advertising Agency, or simply unsigned. For the first time, this exhibition attempts to recognise some of these forgotten design heroines.