Women of the Low Countries | MSK Gent
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The Women of the Low Countries (working title)

Women artists between 1600 and 1750

Exhibition
07.03 – 31.05.26

Clara Peeters National Museum of Women in the Arts Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

In spring 2026, the MSK will introduce the public to the fascinating work of women artists from the Low Countries during the ‘Long 17th Century’ (1600-1750). With this exhibition, the MSK not only extends its research into female artists but also demonstrates they were by no means rare in this region.

International collaboration

The MSK is collaborating on the exhibition with the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA, Washington D.C.), the pioneering organisation dedicated to researching and exhibiting the work of historical women artists. The Ladies of the Low Countries, which opens in Washington in autumn 2025, will highlight and contextualise the role of women in the various fields of artistic (luxury) production such as papercutting, glass etching, lace and embroidery, calligraphy, sculpture, printmaking and painting.

Important new insights

Never before has an exhibition been devoted entirely to this theme. Visitors will be able to appreciate, for the first time, that female artists were by no means rare in the Low Countries. On the contrary, they even played an essential and indispensable role in the Long 17th Century’s flourishing artistic economy. Ladies of the Low Countries is thus an important new step in the study of women artists and expands on the themes that the MSK first touched upon in the 2018 exhibition The Ladies of the Baroque. Women painters in 16th- and 17th-century Italy.

With work by: Judith Leyster, Alida Withoos, Clara Peeters, Anna Maria Janssens, Johanna Koerten-Block, Rachel Ruysch, Geertruydt Roghman, Anna Maria van Schurman, Maria Faydherbe, Margareta de Heer, Maria Strick-Becq, Maria Sybilla Merian… and numerous anonymous artists active in the production of lace and embroidery.