Kitty Corbet Milward is a PhD student with the History of Art Department at the University of Edinburgh. Her research addresses the way in which Norwegian artists responded to the changing roles of women between 1880 and 1913.
As Norway raced towards independence from Sweden, obtained in 1905, the surrounding decades witnessed intense and sometimes uneasy modernisation, which redefined international networks and exchanges, and which affected women’s traditional values, habits and reputations in private and public spaces. By considering the alternating issues associated with coinciding developments in the concepts of international and national identity, class and society, belief and disbelief, scientific reasoning and the notion of Scandinavian modernity, the thesis will attempt to re-evaluate the image of the ‘new’ Norwegian female alongside her rurally bound counterpart.
By setting Norwegian art in the context of European art history and the global art market, the research attempts to address to what extent, and for what purpose, the female figure became a symbol conditioned by progressive, regressive, private, public, honest and dissolute tensions prior to 1913, when Norway became the second country after Finland to award women the right to vote.