Suitable for teaching 11-14s. Historian Anna Vickery explains how Anna Maria Garthwaite designed patterned silks during the Industrial Revolution, at a time women were kept out of art and industry.
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Historian Amanda Vickery presents the life and work of Anna Maria Garthwaite (1690-1763). During the 18th Century, being an artist was seen as a man’s work. Men were trained as apprentices with masters. Women did not have the same opportunities. Their creativity was limited to the home doing needlework and watercolour paintings. These were considered ‘crafts’ rather than ‘art’.
We are told the Industrial Revolution meant women’s artwork could be used when making manufactured goods. Anna Maria Garthwaite had over 800 of her designs used on fine silks worn by the upper classes. We see shots of her patterns, watercolours and finished textiles. She turned her floral watercolours into technical templates that were used to produce patterned textiles on an industrial scale. She became the most famous silk designer of her time, both in the UK and America. Rich and important women wore her silks. Even though she was a success, her work was still seen as ‘craft’ and not as ‘art’.
This clip is from the BBC series The Britain that Women Made. Social historian Professor Amanda Vickery casts the spotlight on five talented female artists whose battle to pursue their artistic ambitions charts a pivotal moment in the journey of female creativity in Britain, from the 17th Century to the end of the 19th Century. She highlights the achievements of Anna Maria Garthwaite, Angelica Kauffmann, Anne Seymour Damer, Lady Elizabeth Butler, Gertrude Jekyll and Karin Larsson.
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For Class Clips users, the original reference for the clip was p0206g50.
Teaching Art or History?
The relevant key historical concepts are covered in this video: change and continuity; causation
Relevant historical periods: Industrial Revolution; social, political and economic change of the 18th century
The teacher could post the following questions: How did technology help change the way people worked? How did technology help women get a higher status? How did technology help women do work that was thought just for men? How did the Industrial Revolution change the status of women artists?
This clip is suitable for teaching Art and History at Key Stage 3 and Third Level.
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