Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type

Capstone (Restricted Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Visual & Performing Arts; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Elizabeth Ferrell


This thesis focuses primarily on Alice Neel's complicated relationship with the time period that unveiled herself as an artist, second wave of feminism. One way in particular that shows how independent or ambivalent she was towards feminism is her portraits of pregnant women from the 1960s and 1970s. By comparing them to her earlier works of pregnant women or themes of maternity, it will prove that her opinion of pregnancy changed from the 1930s to the 1970s. It also aims to prove how these portraits defy the Western Tradition of the female nude, a goal that occupied feminist artists in their work. These portraits represent the complexity of Neel's relationship to feminism while also proving her long standing tradition of defying the Western Tradition.