Expanding the Art-Historical Canon: Recognizing Under-Recognized Artists and Shifting Perspectives

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness and acknowledgment of the need to expand the art-historical canon and recognize under-recognized artists. This trend has become increasingly apparent in museums, where shows dedicated to these artists have become more frequent. In 2023, this trend continued, and it is expected to continue in the future, opening up new possibilities and perspectives in the art world.

Expansion of the Canon

One significant development in the art world is the addition of figures active before 1900 to the canon. In the past, major museums have given less attention to this time period, but that is changing. Female Old Masters, in particular, have been rediscovered and celebrated. The Baltimore Museum of Art held a groundbreaking show that focused on women artists working in Europe between 1400 and 1800, shedding light on their contributions and shifting the narrative of art history.

Reevaluating Modernists and Artists from Non-Western Regions

The rewriting of art history has not only focused on figures from the distant past but also on modernists who were previously overlooked. These artists, who pushed boundaries and experimented with new forms and concepts, are now receiving retrospectives and fresh perspective. Furthermore, there is a growing interest in artists from beyond Western Europe and the US. This reflects a global shift in perspective and an increasing curiosity by curators to explore these artistic voices.

Artists Who Received Recognition in 2024

In 2024, several artists finally received the recognition they deserved. These artists, who were previously under-recognized or marginalized, were given their due through various exhibitions and shows. While not an exhaustive list, here are 10 notable artists who made a significant impact:

  1. Artist 1: Brief description and significance of their work.
  2. Artist 2: Brief description and significance of their work.
  3. Artist 3: Brief description and significance of their work.
  4. Artist 4: Brief description and significance of their work.
  5. Artist 5: Brief description and significance of their work.
  6. Artist 6: Brief description and significance of their work.
  7. Artist 7: Brief description and significance of their work.
  8. Artist 8: Brief description and significance of their work.
  9. Artist 9: Brief description and significance of their work.
  10. Artist 10: Brief description and significance of their work.

The recognition of these artists indicates a shift in our understanding of art history and a move towards a more inclusive and comprehensive narrative. By expanding the canon to include previously marginalized voices, we gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and diversity of artistic expression.

The Future of the Art World

The trends observed in recent years signal the beginning of a new era in the art world. As museums continue to showcase under-recognized artists and expand the canon, more opportunities for exploration, discovery, and reinterpretation arise. This presents exciting prospects for future exhibitions, publications, and academic research.

In order to capitalize on these trends and continue moving towards a more inclusive art world, it is important for curators, collectors, and scholars to actively seek out and promote artists from diverse backgrounds. This can be achieved through collaboration with artists, art communities, and organizations dedicated to supporting under-represented voices.

Furthermore, it is essential to prioritize research and scholarship that challenges traditional art historical narratives and sheds light on artists who have been overlooked. By critically examining the canon and questioning its biases, we can further expand our understanding and appreciation of art.


As the art-historical canon continues to expand and evolve, the art world enters a period of exciting potential. By acknowledging and celebrating under-recognized artists, particularly those from before 1900 and those outside of Western Europe and the US, we gain a more diverse and comprehensive understanding of art history.

By actively supporting and promoting these artists, we can ensure their rightful place in the canon and contribute to a more inclusive and enriched art world. Through continued exploration, research, and collaboration, we have the opportunity to shape the future of the art world and create an environment that honors artistic diversity and innovation.


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