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September 05, 2023

National Gallery of Art and The Juilliard School Announce Upcoming Conference on Women in Art and Music in the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries

Lavinia Fontana, 'Portrait of Lucia Bonasoni Garzoni'

Lavinia Fontana
Portrait of Lucia Bonasoni Garzoni, c. 1590
oil on canvas
National Gallery of Art
Gift of Funds from Anonymous in memory of Montana Walker Strauss, and Patrons' Permanent Fund

Washington, DC, and New York, NY—The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art (the Center) and The Juilliard School (Juilliard) jointly announced today “Women in Art and Music: An Early Modern Global Conference.” The co-organized public conference will consist of presentations and performances that encourage attendees to think more broadly about women as creators, as part of the cultural and global economy, and as experts in their chosen fields of art in the early modern period (16th, 17th, and 18th centuries). This conference is the first collaboration between the museum and school. It is presented on the occasion of the National Gallery’s acquisition of a painting by Lavinia Fontana of Lucia Bonasoni Garzoni—a rare portrait of a 16th-century woman musician by a 16th-century woman artist.

“Women in Art and Music” consists of two parts: Part 1 will take place on October 18 at Juilliard in New York City and Part 2 will take place October 20–21 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The conference is organized by Eve Straussman-Pflanzer (curator and head of the department of Italian and Spanish paintings at the National Gallery of Art) and Elizabeth Weinfield (musicologist and faculty member at Juilliard). For the first time, the museum and school bring together a scholar-curator and a scholar-performer to contemporaneously address ideas about gender in music and art during the early modern period. Eight thematic sessions across three days will unite more than 30 scholars from Columbia University, Handel Hendrix House, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tecnológico de Monterrey, University of Oxford, and University of Victoria, among other institutions across North America, Europe, and Australia. A live music program with students from Juilliard’s Historical Performance program and the early music ensemble Sonnambula will complement presentations at both venues, highlighting the importance of performance in the study of music and the arts.

“At the National Gallery, we’re excited to join forces with Juilliard and bring together internationally renowned experts in both early modern art and music to explore the women that have been understudied in our fields for so long,” said Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art. “Art historical research is at the center of the National Gallery’s work and we are thrilled to take an inter-disciplinary approach in our studies. I am grateful to all participants in the project.”

“We greatly look forward to cohosting the ‘Women in Art and Music’ conference with the National Gallery of Art this fall,” said Adam Meyer, Juilliard’s provost. “This meaningful collaboration between our institutions brings together scholars and curators to examine the role of women as creators and leaders within their chosen fields of art. I would like to extend my gratitude to Elizabeth Weinfield for her leadership in organizing the conference on Juilliard’s behalf, and to the music history department for its support and contributions to the conference.”

In fall 2022, the Center and Juilliard invited scholars from across the humanities to submit papers, encouraging them to consider cross-cultural connections in how early modern women artists and/or musicians address issues of artmaking and performance in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and beyond.

This conference developed in relation to the National Gallery’s acquisition of a painting by early modern Italian artist Lavinia Fontana, which depicts 16th-century musician Lucia Bonasoni Garzoni. The painting celebrates the talents and intertwined stories of two creative women: its painter and her subject, a lute player and singer. This rare portrait will be on display outside the National Gallery’s East Building Auditorium for the duration of the conference.

Registration is free and open to the public. Participants may enroll for all three days in New York City and Washington, DC; register for a single day; or watch via live stream. The concerts are also free and open to the public. For more information and to register, please visit or

Bloomberg Philanthropies is Juilliard’s Lead Digital Sponsor.

About Elizabeth Weinfield

Elizabeth Weinfield teaches music history at Juilliard. Her research explores the relationships among gender, performance, and race in the early modern period. Her interests include music by women in the crypto-Jewish communities of Antwerp, music in the 17th-century Constantinople harem, performance practice, and the early music revival in America. Weinfeld is the founder and artistic director of the ensemble Sonnambula. A native New Yorker, she holds a PhD in historical musicology from the CUNY Graduate Center, an MSt in music from University of Oxford, and a BA in art history from Rutgers.

About Eve Straussman-Pflanzer

Eve Straussman-Pflanzer is curator and head of the department of Italian and Spanish paintings at the National Gallery of Art, as well as an authority and expert on Italian painting and women artists and patrons in the early modern period. She was previously the head of the European art department and the Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European Paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) from 2016 to 2020, and has held posts at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Art Institute of Chicago, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Straussman-Pflanzer received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and a BA from Smith College.

About The Juilliard School

Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. The school’s mission is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors, composers, choreographers, and playwrights from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens. Led by President Damian Woetzel since 2018, Juilliard is guided in all its work by the core values of excellence; creativity; and equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB). Juilliard is committed to enrolling the most talented students regardless of their financial background.

Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in dance, drama (acting and playwriting), and music (classical, jazz, historical performance, and vocal arts). Currently more than 800 artists from 43 states and 44 countries and regions are enrolled in Juilliard’s College Division, where they appear in more than 700 annual performances in the school’s five theaters; at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and David Geffen halls and at Carnegie Hall; as well as at other venues around New York City, the country, and the world. The continuum of learning at Juilliard also includes nearly 400 students from elementary through high school enrolled in the Preparatory Division, including its Music Advancement Program (MAP), which serves students from diverse backgrounds often underrepresented in the classical music field. More than 800 students are enrolled in Juilliard Extension, the flagship continuing education program taught both in person and remotely by a dedicated faculty of performers, creators, and scholars. Beyond its New York campus, Juilliard is defining new directions in performing arts education for a range of learners and enthusiasts through a global K-12 educational curricula and graduate studies at The Tianjin Juilliard School in China. | @juilliardschool

About the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

Since its inception in 1979, the Center has promoted the study of the history, theory, and criticism of art, architecture, and urbanism through the formation of a community of scholars. A variety of private sources support this fellowship program and appointments are ratified by the National Gallery’s board of trustees. In selecting its members, the Center seeks a diverse pool of scholars in the visual arts.

The Center currently supports the Kress-Beinecke Professor, a one-year appointment of a distinguished scholar; the Andrew W. Mellon Professor, a two-year appointment of a mid-career scholar; and the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, a three- to six-month appointment of a scholar who advances research on subjects associated with the National Gallery’s permanent collection. In addition, the Center supports various senior fellowships, visiting senior fellowships, sabbatical fellowships for National Gallery staff, postdoctoral fellowships, predoctoral fellowships, and undergraduate internships.

The Center supports an active program of publications, including collections of essays based on symposia and seminars, reference works, special publications, and an annual report, Center. | @ngadc

Schedule of Events

Part 1: The Juilliard School
Wednesday, October 18
Morse Hall, Ground Floor

9:15–9:45 a.m. | Introductory Remarks
Jane Gottlieb, Juilliard
Jonathan Yaeger, Juilliard
Elizabeth Weinfield, Juilliard

9:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. | Women Performers, Theatricality, and Display

Julie Anne Sadie Goode, Handel Hendrix House
“Music, Fashion, and Marie-Anne Loir (1705–1783)”

Maria Virginia Acuña, University of Victoria
“Women in Early Modern Spanish Musical Theater: The Case of Juana de Orozco”

Michael Burden, University of Oxford
“Regina Mingotti: A Woman Singer in Dresden, Madrid, and London”

Adam Eaker, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“The Love Songs of Gesina ter Borch”

Discussion moderated by Elizabeth Weinfield, Juilliard

1:30–3:00 p.m. | Recording and Editing Women Composers (Performance Lectures)

Shelby Yamin, New York, NY (MM ’20, historical performance)
“The Life and Works of Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen Represented through Performance”

Rebecca Cypess, Rutgers
“Marieta Morosina Priuli and the Problems of Biography”

Discussion moderated by Robert Mealy, Juilliard

3:20–5:30 p.m. | Patronage, Power, and Performativity

Introductory Remarks
Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, National Gallery of Art

Marylin Winkle, University of California, Los Angeles
“The Sound of Struggle: Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero and the Gendered Politics of Power”

Callum Blackmore, Columbia University
“‘The Instrument à la mode’: Celebrity, Colonialism, and Marie-Justine Favart’s Harp”

Barbara Hanning, City University of New York (emerita)
“Arcangela Paladini: Artist, Singer, and Medici Protégé”

Sarah Lawrence and Denise Allen, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Silent Music: Gian Marco Cavalli’s Roundel of Mars, Venus, and Cupid with Vulcan at His Forge for Isabella d’Este”
Discussion moderated by Greta Berman, Juilliard

8:00–9:30 p.m. | Performance by Sonnambula with Guests from Juilliard415

Paul Hall, Juilliard
Free and open to the public for in-person attendance or via live stream

Part 2: National Gallery of Art
Friday, October 20
East Building Auditorium

10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. | Lavinia Fontana and the Soundscape of Bologna

Introductory Remarks
Steven Nelson, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, National Gallery of Art

Aoife Brady, National Gallery of Ireland
“Lavinia Fontana and the Theater of Painting”

Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University (emerita)
“Women, Painting, and Music in Seicento Bologna: Elisabetta Sirani and Teresa Muratori”

Patricia Simons, University of Michigan (emerita)
“The Tension between Decorum and Opportunity: Lavinia Fontana’s Minerva

Discussion moderated by Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, National Gallery of Art

1:00–1:30 p.m. | Performance by Sonnambula with Guests from Juilliard415

National Gallery of Art Library

1:30–3:00 p.m. | Women Playing Music/Women Playing with Music

Sheila Barker, Studio Incamminati
Eric Bianchi, Fordham University
“The Women to Whom Men Listened: Singers, Sonnets, and Artemisia Gentileschi as Poet”

Sara Salloum, Durham University
“Fantasy versus Reality: Female Lute Players in Early Modern Art Analyzed by a 21st-Century Lutenist”

Melissa Hyde, University of Florida
“Rose Ducreux’s Self-Portrait (1791): Harping on the Question of the Woman Artist”

Discussion moderated by Elizabeth Weinfield, Juilliard

3:15–4:45 p.m. | Playing with Patronage

Emily Pegues, National Gallery of Art
“‘Come, Come and Be Crowned’: Louise de Bourbon’s Artistic Authority at Fontevraud”

David Wilkins, University of Pittsburgh (emeritus)
“Looking at Isabella Anew”

Michelle Moseley, Virginia Tech
“Fashioning the Female Collector: Identity, Self-Promotion, and the Early Modern Dutch Dollhouse”

Vrinda Agrawal, University of Michigan
“Heard and Seen: The Rasikā as a Musical Connoisseur in Pahari Painting”

Discussion moderated by Gloria de Liberali, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts

Saturday, October 21
East Building Auditorium

10:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Unconventual Convents and Contexts

Introductory Remarks
Steven Nelson, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, National Gallery of Art

Brett Umlauf, Los Angeles
“(Re)formed Icon: Ninth-Century Hymnographer Kassia of Byzantium’s Musical Legacy in Her Hymn to Saint Pelagia”

Craig Monson, Washington University in St. Louis (emeritus)
“Performing Music, Performing Art: Convent Pathways to Social (and Geographic) Mobility in Early Modern Italy”

Carolina Sacristán, Tecnológico de Monterrey
“Symbolism and Musical Performance: The Profession of a Nun in Colonial Guatemala”

Vanessa Tonelli, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
“The Performer’s Voice: Musical Training and Solos of the Venetian Figlie di Coro

Discussion moderated by Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, National Gallery of Art

2:00–3:00 p.m. | Intermezzo

Yasemin Altun, Duke University
Meredith Graham, National Humanities Center
Dana Hogan, Duke University
“Project Vox and Early Modern Women’s Collaborations in the Arts”

Discussion moderated by Elizabeth Weinfield, Juilliard

3:45–4:45 p.m. | Performance by Sonnambula with Guests from Juilliard415

West Garden Court, West Building

Contact Information

General Information
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]

Chief of Communications
Anabeth Guthrie
phone: (202) 842-6804
e-mail: [email protected]

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