city. Washington, DC
size. 36" x 24"
media. mixed media painting
“Bluestocking” - A dangerously intellectual woman.
In 1869, when women first enrolled at a university in Britain, they were dismissed as strange eccentrics. Mocked by some, reviled by others. Doctors warned women that if they studied too hard their wombs would wither and die. Essentially warning, if women went to university they would give up their only social function - to breed.
When first admitted into universities, women were shunted into dusty back rooms and denied the right to an actual degree. In fact, Cambridge university denied formal degrees to women until 1947.
While men left universities with degrees and prospects, women left with the stigma of being called a “Bluestocking” - a derogatory term for an educated woman.
This painting is in honor of Women's history month - to honor all the woman who came before us, who pushed boundaries, who struggled against not only sexism, but classism, racism and other obstacles in order to be taken seriously.
The background of this painting are patents by four great female inventors including:
Patricia Bath - the first African American female doctor to receive a medical patent. She invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.
Margaret Knight - a prolific inventor in the late 19th century. She was often compared to her male contemporary Thomas Edison, and nicknamed “Lady Edison”.
Marjorie Stewart Joyner - the first African-American woman to create and patent a permanent hair-wave machine. She invented her wave machine as a solution to the hair problems of Black women, ensuring her a prominent place in cosmetology history.
Becky Schroeder - the youngest woman to hold a patent. In 1974 and at age 12, Becky Schroeder received a patent for her glow-in-the-dark paper invention. The “Glo-sheet” received significant demand from doctors, photographers, and EMTs – anyone who needed to write on paper in the dark. To develop her invention, she experimented with phosphorescence paint on papers and clipboards after trying to complete her homework in the car at night, proving that anyone at any age can have a breakthrough idea 💡