The question behind my research is how women in the nineteenth century saw art: where they went to see it, what they had to say about it, and how they were contributing to what was then not called "art history," but typically "art criticism." Since my speciality in English is 19th-century British literature, I focus on British women writers who were active the Victorian era (1837-1901), and as a major fan of the novelist George Eliot, I put her at the center of this project, even though an art historian would see her as a minor figure in art history. The other two writers, Anna Jameson and Lady Elizabeth Eastlake, are known mostly to specialists in the field of art history, because they did write (among other things) books and articles that addressed the visual arts.
This site is intended as an accompanying website to a traditional academic research project, my M.A. Thesis. Part of the goal is to give you a glimpse of the bigger story of women writers traveling to see art and "doing" art history in the nineteenth century that I am tracking in my thesis. But on this website, I am trying to do this in ways that a thesis or a published article cannot do, with interactive visualizations and opportunities for you to take your own journey through the various maps, images, and quotations that you find interesting to come to your own conclusions about these women writers and their contribution to Victorian ideas about art and art history.
I am making parts of this website public even as I am building it, because I would love feedback and/or questions during this clunky and drawn-out process, especially about the maneuverability, the bugs, and the overall usefulness of this site to you as the "end user." Please get in touch, too, if you are curious about how to do something like this yourself, or if you are, like me, interested in Digital Humanities work and want to trade ideas, especially on building maps. I recently completed a certificate in the Digital Humanities and I am still taking coding classes. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Omeka- and Neatline-based site is my creation, and all errors and oversights are mine. Pages and collection items that have had contributions from others such as the linked Romola Project explicitly note these contributions and the names of my collaborators. Many of the photos of art works were taken by Mark Bauer, who graciously lets me use all his work. I intend what I have created here to be fully shareable (open-source, open-access), as long as you credit me or go back to the sources that I steered you to.
This site was last updated in April 2020