April Exhibition

At the beginning of the last century, the situation for female artists was difficult, only men were allowed to participate in artist organizations, which was a requirement to be able to exhibit, among other things at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. In 1910, the Association of Swedish Artists (FSK) was founded in Stockholm by some 40 female artists. In 1921, the association held its acclaimed April exhibition at Liljevalch Art Gallery. Seventeen artists participated, of which Maj Bring, Sigrid Hjertén, Charlotte Mannheimer and Milly Slöör (Capercaillie) were previously students of Matisse. The exhibition was heavily criticised by some critics. Among other things, Albert Engström wrote in Strix: "I visited the women's exhibition at Liljewalch the other day and I have never seen anything so terrible," he wrote. The exhibition was a "disgrace to the whole female sex." Because women lacked self-criticism, they should be banned from "blaming themselves and the country" as they are now doing. The association's previous exhibitions in the 1910s had received relatively positive feedback in the daily press, but perhaps the negative criticism in 1921 was due to the fact that women were given the right to vote that year and that their role in society began to change. Women began to enter what had previously been exclusively male areas.

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