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Reframing the Muse

Ruth Millington

Historically, the perception of the muse is that of a passive, powerless model (usually young, attractive, and female) at the mercy of an influential and older male artist. But art historian Ruth Millington argues that this is an unfair and romanticised trope. Looking at iconic artworks from a different perspective, she will share the true stories, and real-life figures, behind the world's most famous masterpieces — just who was Picasso's Weeping Woman and how did her politics inspire this picture? Or who was the burglar in Francis Bacon's paintings? How did Lawrence Alloway collaborate with his wife in support of feminist art? What role did an almost-forgotten fashion designer play in dressing Gustav Klimt’s models? Reframing the muse, Ruth will prove the many ways in which these inspiring individuals have shaped art history.

Ruth Millington is an art historian, critic, and author, specialising in modern and contemporary art. She has written for various publications, including the I newspaper, Telegraph, Art UK and BBC Online. She has been featured as an art expert on TV and radio, including BBC Breakfast, R4 and ITV News. Her first book MUSE uncovers the hidden figures behind art history’s masterpieces and her children’s book This Book Will Make You An Artist invites anyone to pick up a pencil and enjoy the benefits of being more creative. 

Date: Sunday 4th February

Time: 1:00pm

Venue: Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Price: Pay What You Feel

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