Frances Borzello

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Frances Borzello
Alma mater University College London
Known for Art History, Women's Studies

Frances Borzello is a British art historian and scholar, feminist art critic and author. Her work specializes in the social history of art, and includes study on the social position of European woman artists in the context of their society, the study of female self-portraits and female nudes.[1] She authored the book Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self Portraits, which has been continuously published since 1998 and has 30 editions.[2] Her work widely recognized as contribution to the fields of art history and women's studies.


Borzello earned her PhD from the University College London in 1980.[3] Her dissertation published in 1981 and was titled, "The relationship of fine art and the poor in late nineteenth century England".[4] Borzello was a member of a women's photography group founded in the 1970s called Second Sight, which included members such as Annette Kuhn, Jill Pack, and Cassandra Wedd.[5]

Borzello's writing "Preaching to the converted? Feminist art publishing in the 1980s," was included in the 1995 book New Feminist Art Criticism: Critical Strategies.[6]

Her book first published in 1998,[7] Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self Portraits discusses women creating their own images and the power of self-portrait rather than being portrayed as objects, as well as a historical look at gender, identity and representation.[8][9] The book is an in-depth look at history, starting with the self-portraits of Medieval nuns and eventually ending in the 21st century, the book is acknowledging themes in the self portraits including motherhood, female beauty, musical talents as seen in early work and in the 20th century themes of sexuality, pain, race, gender and disease.[1] Some artists in the book Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self Portraits include: Judith Leyster, Anna Dorothea Therbusch, Marie-Nicole Dumont, Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot, Suzanne Valadon, Gwen John, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Charlotte Berend-Corinth, Frida Kahlo, Wanda Wulz, Charlotte Salomon, Judy Chicago, Jo Spence, Hannah Wilke, Carolee Schneemann, Cindy Sherman, Tracey Emin and more.[8][10][7] The 2016 edition of Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self Portraits is fully revised and includes a new afterword by the author about selfies.[7][11]

The 2010 book, Frida Kahlo: Face to Face was co-authored with American artist Judy Chicago, and focused on Frida Kahlo's career as well as Kahlo's artwork in relation to topics like female self portraiture and commercialization.[12][13]



  • Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self-Portraits. Thames & Hudson, 2016. ISBN 0500239460
  • The Naked Nude. Thames & Hudson, 2012. ISBN 0500238928
  • Frida Kahlo: Face to Face. co-authored with Judy Chicago, Prestel, 2010. ISBN 3791343602
  • At Home: The Domestic Interior in Art. Thames & Hudson, 2006. ISBN 0500238316
  • Reclining Nude. co-authored with Lidia Guibert Ferrara, Thames & Hudson, 2002. ISBN 0500237972[14]
  • Mirror Mirror: Self-Portraits by Women Artists. by Liz Rideal and contributions by Frances Borzello and Whitney Chadwick, Watson-Guptill, 2002. ISBN 0823030717
  • A World of Our Own: Women as Artists Since the Renaissance . Watson-Guptill, 2000. ISBN 0823058743
  • Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self-Portraits. (first edition) Harry N. Abrams, 1998. ISBN 0-8109-4188-0
  • Civilizing Caliban: The Misuse of Art, 1875-1980. Routledge Kegan & Paul, 1987. ISBN 0710206755
  • The New Art History. co-authored with A.L. Rees. Camden Press, May 1986. ISBN 0948491078
  • Women Artists: A Graphic Guide. co-authored with Natacha Ledwidge, Camden Press, 1986. ISBN 0948491051


  • Auchmuty, Rosemary, Borzello, Frances, Davis Langdell, Cheri. “The Image of Women's Studies.” Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 6, no. 3, 1983, pp. 291–298, doi:10.1016/0277-5395(83)90054-7.[15]
  • Borzello, Frances. “Helene Schjerfbeck: And Nobody Knows What I'm Like.” Woman's Art Journal, vol. 25, no. 1, 2004, pp. 48–50. JSTORS, doi:10.2307/3566500.
  • Borzello, Frances. “Tea, Toilets & Typewriters: Women's Clubs in London.” History Today, vol. 58, no. 12, Dec. 2008.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b Purvis, June (1999-02-05). "Reclaiming the self through art". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  2. ^ "Borzello, Frances". OCLC World Cat. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  3. ^ Korda, Andrea (2017). Printing and Painting the News in Victorian London: "The Graphic and Social Realism, 1869-1891. Routledge. p. 14. ISBN 978-1351553247 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Borzello, Frances (1981). The relationship of fine art and the poor in late nineteenth century England (Thesis). Boston Spa, England: Document Supply Centre, British Library. OCLC 501940803.
  5. ^ Kuhn, Annette (2017). The Power of the Image: Essays on Representation and Sexuality. Routledge. pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-1136137648.
  6. ^ Deepwell, Kate (1995). New feminist art criticism: critical strategies. Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719042577 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b c Cooke, Rachel (2016-04-11). "Seeing Ourselves: from Boccaccio to the age of the selfie". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  8. ^ a b Moore, Suzanne (April 4, 1998). "Who does she think she is?". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  9. ^ O'Sullivan, Niamh (January 9, 1999). "Self-regard". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  10. ^ "La Fridamanía toma la web: Así es la más grande retrospectiva digital sobre Frida Kahlo". La Nación, Grupo Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  11. ^ "Sexy selfies through the ages". The Spectator. 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  12. ^ Miranda, Carolina A. (2014-07-14). "Saving Frida Kahlo From Her Own Celebrity". ARTnews. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  13. ^ "Face to Face with Frida Kahlo, Judy Chicago, and Frances Borzello". Broad Strokes: The National Museum of Women in the Arts. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  14. ^ Borzello, Frances (2002-11-02). "Nude awakening". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  15. ^ Auchmuty, Rosemary; Borzello, Frances; Davis Langdell, Cheri (1983-01-01). "The image of women's studies". Women's Studies International Forum. Elsevier. 6 (3): 291–298. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(83)90054-7. ISSN 0277-5395.
  16. ^ "Tea, Toilets & Typewriters: Women's Clubs in London". History Today. 2008. Retrieved 2018-06-11.

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