Canon Fodder!: Lady Name Project

Ever notice the 108 names of famous men that are carved on the outside of the Carnegie Library
in Oakland (Pittsburgh, PA)? LUPEC has partnered with the Skinny Building to bring you 108 Ladies
who were doing basically the same things at the same times as the gentlemen in question.

In the names at the top of each completed entry is a link to sited material. Some ladies' names
have more than one source sited, and the additional sources are at the end of each listing.

The research for this list has been completed off-line.
Please pardon our dust as we reconstruct the list here for our web-visitors.


Finnish Sculptor (1860-1935)


German Author (1757-1840)

In her mid-teens, Sophie Albrecht married a doctor and began writing poetry. She also became one of Germany's most famous and highly paid stage actresses. When she began writing plays, they would often focus on unhappiness in marriage, the importance of erotic love, and the conflict between the two.


American writer (1832-1888)

Lousia May Alcott is most famous for writing the "Little Women" books. In actuality, she disliked writing those books, but did it to support her family. I heard that she considered them pap, but she did it for the money. I wasn't able to confirm this anywhere though. She constantly struggled against the opposing force of her will and her father' idea of her being possessed by demons for being so willful. For her writing was an escape, an expression of her inner-life. She was a suffragist, and anti-slavery. She wrote for the Women's Journal, and also wrote under the pseudonym A. M. Barnard.


Russian Pianist and Composer (b. 1835)

Alexandrowa, Mlle. A. (A pianist, singer and published composer)


German composer, patroness of music (1739-1807)

The musical life of 18th century Germany was enlivened by two Anna Amalias, both belonging to the Prussian royal family of Frederick the Great. The first of them, the younger sister of the King, shared her brother's abilities as musical patron and composer. But it was their niece, later Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, who made the stronger mark with her own writing. She brought together the major musicians and poets of the day in the Weimar court, where the genre of German opera came into being under her encouragement. Of her own works the largest surviving piece is a Singspiel or musical play called Erwin und Elmire. She wrote it in 1776, setting a text by Goethe, and it shows thorough technical competence and spontaneous inventiveness. Her collection of about 2000 volumes is now in the Zentralbibliothek der Deutschen Klassic, Weimar.

Composer, Princess of Prussia (1723-1787)

The youngest sister of Frederick the Great, Anna Amalia studied music under Frederick himself and Gottlieb Hayne, a renown organist.    Although her musical studies began in her youth, it was not until she was well into her 30s that she began studying composition.  Anna Amalia’s output includes marches, sonatas, marches, chorales, arias and settings of works by other composers.   As well as being a composer, Anna Amalia was a collector of compositions.  Her collection, invaluable for its strong representation of 18th century music, remains on permanent loan to the Royal Library in Berlin

Italian Mannerist painter (1532-1625)

Sofonisba Anguissola gained worldwide fame as a painter-possibly one of the first women to do so. A contemporary and peer of Michelangelo, Anguissola was a prolific painter and a large body of her work has survived into the present day. The style of her work was very much mannerist and she was considered a master portraitist.


Greek philosopher (mid 4th century BCE)

Arete of Cyrene is one of the few ancient women philosophers that actually had a philosophic career. For 35 years she taught natural and moral philosophy in the schools and academies of Attica. Arete was the daughter of Aristippus, who was the head of the Cyrenaic school. Arete became the successor of the that school.

Italian Composer (1813-1901)

Asperi, Ursula (Produced her first opera in 1827, conductor of an orchestra in a Florence theater for a year 1839)


English Philosopher (1666-1731)

Mary Astell was born to merchant-class parents in Newcastle-on-Tyne. After her parents died, an 18-year-old Astell went to live in the Chelsea district of London where she became involved with a circle of women who were interested in changing the status of women in society. Astell's first work, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies for the Advancement of their True and Greatest Interest, was published in 1694 and contained some of her thoroughly modern ideas regarding the education of women and her attitude toward marriages that result in unhappiness.

See Also:


Bohemian composer (1843-1878)

Auspitz, Auguste Kolar (A successful concert pianist who left many songs and piano works)


English Electrician (1854-1923)

Phoebe Sarah Marks changes her name to Hertha Ayrton


American Ornithologist (1863-1948)


Scottish Poet and Playwright (1762-1851)

Inspired by her love for nature and tales of Scottish heroes like William Wallace, Joanna Baillie enjoyed a long a successful career as a poet and a playwright. Her work was popular amongst readers in England, Scotland, and the United States. Her series of plays, Plays on the Passions, examined human passions and emotions. Critics often insisted that some of her work must have been written by her brother, because it was simply too "masculine" to have been written by a woman.

See also:


French traveler (1760s)

German composer, musician (1709-1758)

American philosopher (1800-1878)

Catherine Beecher was from a famously progressive family, but
their modern views did not include equal education for women. Disappointed with the finishing school education she had received, Beecher started The Hartford Female Seminary in 1824, providing girls with training not only in the "womanly" arts of sewing and dancing, but also in math, Greek, Latin, science, and other areas previously restricted for men only. Beecher spent her life advocating better education for women.


English Poet, Playwright (1640-1689)

Aphra Behn (English Poet, Playwright, 1640-1689) Aphra Behn had at some time previously acquired schooling in languages and in literature and soon turned to writing poetry, novels, and plays to earn a living.She wrote The Forced Marriage (1670), The Rover (1678), The Feigned Courtizans (1678), The City Heiress (1682). Her plays were very successful and were performed under royal patronage by the Duke's Theatre Company. In 1688, she published the novel, Oroonoko, or the History of the Royal Slave. This novel introduces the idea of a noble savage, which was later developed further by Jean Jacques Rousseau and it may be the first English philosophical novel.

Aphra Behn's influence was later applauded by Virginia Woolf in A Room of One's Own, but during her own time she was suspected of plagiarism and accused of lewdness because of her gender.


English physician (1821 - 1910)

French Composer, (1893-1918)

In 1913, 20 year old Lili Boulanger became the first woman to win the Prix de Rome. Although her life was short, Boulanger was a prolific composer and left behind a strong and popular body of work.


English/American Poet (1612-1672)

Anne Bradstreet was born Anne Dudley in Northampton, England. Anne married Simon Bradstreet when she was sixteen years old. Two years later, the Bradstreet’s moved to the wilds of New England with Anne’s parents. Anne began writing poems while raising eight children and combating
persistent illnesses. A devout Puritan, Anne’s poems were often religious in nature and many were dedicated to her family. Anne died in 1672 after becoming the first woman to be published in the United States, but has since been considered by many to be the first American poet.

See Also:

Italian architect, painter (1615-c1690)

Born into an artistic family, Plautilla Bricci is the first woman known to practice architecture. In 1663, Bricci received a commission for a Villa from Elipido Benedetti. Villa Benedetti was considered a masterwork and, while critics of the time suggested it was mainly the work of her architect brother, Basilio, surviving papers show only the hand of Plautilla in both conception and execution of the Villa.

English geologist (1791-1857)

Mary Buckland


Italian composer (ca. 1540 - ca. 1590)

Maddalena Casulana was the first woman to publish her music, and the first to consider herself a professional composer. She received her early training at her birthplace of Casola d'Elsa, near Siena, and later in Florence. In 1583, Scotto published her First Book of Madrigals for Four Voices, and it was about this time she moved to Venice, where she gave private instruction. She is recorded as having played the lute for a private entertainment in Vicenzia. Thereafter she possibly moved to Milan, because her Second Book of Madrigals for Four Voices (Venice: Girolamo Scotto, 1570) is dedicated to a Milanese government official. Apparently she married, for the title page of the reprinted First Book of Madrigals for Four Voices (Ferrara: Angelo Gardano, 1583) refers to her as Maddalena Mezari detta Casulana. Her last known madrigal, a piece for three voices, appeared in a collection now known only in its second edition: Il Gaudio (Venice: Erede di Girolamo Scotto, 1586). After that, nothing more is known of her life.

French Sculptor (1864-1943)

Camille Claudel was a young sculptor who, as a 19 year old student, began and affair with her 43 year old teacher Auguste Rodin. The affair ended badly and seemed to trigger in Claudel a quick descent into madness. The dramatic nature of the affair has served to overshadow the real talent of Claudel, who was at least an equal of Rodin if not his superior in certain aspects of her art. Claudel was committed to an insane asylum by her family in 1913 and died there 30 years later.

Sorry, folks-there's no nice, neat internet site to send you to for a bio of Claudel-just reviews of a movie and some write-ups obsessed with her as a "victim"-which she may have been, but no info out there about her as an artist. This book seems to be getting good reviews, though, so try this if you wish.


English Poet (1689/90-after 1759)

Mary Collier was an English washerwoman who was taught to read by her parents. Collier's most famous work, "The Woman's Labour," published in 1739, was a response to Stephen Duck's 1736 poem, "The Thresher's Labour," which criticized rural women and accused them of being lazy. Through her writing, Collier attempted to close the gender gap and unite the working class against the ruling classes.

See Also:


(Mary Elizabeth Jane)
American Architect (1869-1958)

Born in Pittsburgh to Irish immigrants,  Mary Colter might seem like the last person to become an architect specializing in Native American Culture.  Her appreciation of  American Indian art began when her parents moved the family to Minnesota and Colter became acquainted with the paintings of local Sioux  artists. At 17, Colter used her inheritance from her father to attend art school in San Francisco, training to become both a teacher and an architect. 

In 1910, on vacation from her teaching job, Colter visited the store of a dealer in “Indian Artifacts.”  Her off-the-cuff offer to improve his interpretation of his holdings led to Colter being hired to not only help the store, but to design restaurants and depots along the Santa Fe Railway that would echo and reinforce the aesthetics of the indigenous peoples of those areas.

Colter’s reputation grew and, by 1905, she was invited to design “The Hopi House,” a museum for Native American Artifacts located on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.   Constructed from her plans by Hopi men and women, The Hopi House is directly across from the El Tovar hotel, the cocktail lounge of which was also designed by Colter.  Other works by Colter located at the Grand Canyon include Lookout, Hermit’s Rest, Bright Angel Lodge, Watchtower and Phantom’s Ranch.


Byzantine Mathematician
and Astronomer (1083-1148)

English Author, philosopher (1631-1679)

Anne Conway


German Astronomer (1610-1664)

Italian Composer (1794-1877)

Francesca Nava d'Adda

Italian Painter, (1413-1463)

Caterina was born into a noble Bolognese family in 1413 and was educated in the Court of Ferrara. She entered the Convent of the Poor Clares after her father death in 1427. As well as being a renowned painter, Caterina was also well versed in Latin and skilled in music and manuscript illumination. She was elected abbess of the convent soon after the Poor Clares moved to her native Bologna in 1456. She died in 1463 and her body is enshrined in the church of the Corpus Domini. She was canonized in 1703 and has became one of the patron saints of Bologna


Mexican Playwright (1648-1695)

Theology was a topic that Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz avoided until 1690. Why she then wrote a letter with a critical analysis of a sermon given by a Jesuit priest is unknown. It was published despite the statement that it was meant to be read only by the recipient of the letter. The supposed publisher of the letter was another nun ... but the real publisher was the Bishop of Puebla, a friend of Sor Juana's. It appears to have been a move in a power struggle between the Bishop of Puebla and the the Archbishop of Mexico. Attacking the sermon given by a priest that the Archbishop admired was a veiled attack on the Archbishop. Having the critique written by a woman and published under a woman's name added another insult: the Archbishop despised women to a pathological degree. An intellectual woman was an affront to him, a nun who wrote secular plays (the Archbishop didn't like theater ... in fact, he doesn't seem to have liked much) was more than he could stand. For years he had issued vague reprimands through intermediaries, restrained by her close relations with the Viceroys and their wives, but the letter unleashed the opportunity to attack Sor Juana.


Italian Poet (C 1364-C1430)

Christine de Pisan was very devoted to France and was horrified by the civil strife that erupted after the assassination of Louis of Orleans. In 1410, she wrote Lamentations on the Civil War, and then The Book of Feats of Arms and Chivalry, which was one of the first books to be translated later into English. She was devastated by the hostilities with England and the Hundred Years' War and, in 1418, she retired to live in a convent. Encouraged by the early successes of Joan of Arc, she dedicated her last known poem Hymn to Joan of Arc to Joan in 1429.


Italian sculptor (c 1490-1530)

Rossi did not produce traditional sculpture until she was in her 30s, concentrating instead on carving miniatures out of fruit stones. Once she changed mediums, she quickly earned a reputation as a serious artist and had numerous commissions including orders for altarpieces and church sculpture

French Playwright (c1640-1683)

Marie Catherine Desjardins (Madame de Villedieu ) was born into a family of minor nobility, grew up around Normandy, but accompanied her mother to Paris after her parents divorced. In Paris, young Catherine was a hit in the various salons of upper society. By the time she was 20, Catherine was writing poetry and prose, including a summary of a Moliere play. She published enough of her plays and prose to be independent, although her success never made her wealthy.

American Poet (1830-1886)

"He buys me books, but begs me not to read them,
because he fears they joggle the mind.
I would like to learn. Could you tell me how to grow
Or is it unconveyed, like melody or witchcraft?"


German Botanist, Naturalist (1821-1891)

Koncordie Amalie Dietrich


Welsh Photographer, inventor (1816-1906)

Mary Dillwyn


French Physicist, Mathematician (1706-1749)

Disguising herself as a man in order to study science,
Emilie du Chatelet was given early support by her father to seek an education as he thought she was too ugly to ever receive a marriage proposal. Ironically, she was married at 19 years of age and later became the mistress of Voltaire, among others. Among her greatest achievements was a translation of Newton's Principia, which was published after her death along with a "Preface historique" written by Voltaire.


American geologist (1917-1997)


American Botanist (c1710-c1780)

Jane Colden Farquahar

French Pianist and Composer (1804-1875)

Jeanne Louise Farrenc was a child prodigy whose musical talents were recognized and encouraged. Best known for her excellent cycle of chamber works, Farrenc was also an influential teacher of piano and an early proponent of the study of early music. With her husband, she compiled a 23 volume anthology of harpsichord and piano music, Le tresor des pianistes, in which she gathered keyboard music from the previous 300 years.

Italian Painter, (1552-1614)

Lavinia Fontana was one of a number of successful women artists of her time. She broke new ground in the fact that she was able to establish a career for herself as an artist. As a female artist, Fontana went beyond unofficial boundaries of subject matter, depicting religious and mythological scenes. She painted several large altarpieces and was a portraitist much in demand among the nobility of Bologna. She was the mother of 11 children and her husband, also a painter, acted as her assistant in the studio.


English chemist (1920-1958)

Elsie Franklin discovered the double helix structure of DNA. Her death at 37 from ovarian cancer allowed her discovery to be subsumed by James Watson and Francis Crick, who received the Nobel Prize for the double helix model of DNA in 1962.


Originally from Beaver, Pennsylvania, May French-Sheldon became the first woman to make an expedition into East Africa.  On friendly terms with the famous adventurer Henry Morton Stanley, French-Sheldon ignored much of his seasoned advice on how to travel in Africa and which areas to avoid.  French-Sheldon seems to have approached her safari in Africa as if it were a grand tour of Europe, packing gifts, jewels, ball gowns and even wigs so that she could greet any tribal chiefs she might meet in full regalia.

For all the derision her methods brought her, her instincts proved to be accurate.  Elders and chiefs of hostile tribes saw this white woman with her walking staff and her retinue as an equal.  She acquired a Swahili nickname; “Bebe Bwana,” which roughly translates to “Lady Boss.”

Unlike the expeditions of her male counterparts, French-Sheldon’s trek was without violence.  From the porters who carried her trunks of equipment to the tribal women who included her in their secret ceremonies, French-Sheldon’s journey was one of peace and learning.  Her book of her travels, Sultan to Sultan: Adventures among the Masai and Other Tribes of East Africa (1892) was a bestseller.  The sound geographic info she included moved the The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) of London to admit her as their first female member.


American journalist, reformer (1810-1850)

Margaret Fuller was one of the leading figures of the Transcendentalist movement during the mid-19th century. Highly educated, Fuller was colleagues with such notable names as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Her 1845 book, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which detailed the oppression of women throughout history and advocated equal rights, has been regarded as the manifesto for the women's rights movement. Fuller later moved to Italy, where she aided the Roman revolution that began in 1848. She carefully documented the war, but her manuscript was lost when she, her husband, and her infant son were killed in a shipwreck on their way to New York in 1850.

See also:

Italian painter (1600-1670)

Best known for her miniature,  Portrait of a Young Man (1625; The Hague, Willem V Mus.), Garzoni spent much of her career painting for significant patrons, first Cassiano dal Pozzo and Anna Colonna, and Charles Emanuel II, Duke of Savoy.  Eventually, she found work for various members of the Medici Court after she settled in Rome around 1651.  Author of a book on calligraphy, Garzoni herself was a patron of the Accademia di S Luca, to which she bequeathed her estate.

Scottish naturalist and writer (1809-1873)

Margaret Gatty didn't begin writing until she was 41. She was well known as an author of children's stories, but a longtime interest in the natural sciences led her to research and write British Sea-weeds in 1863. This volume became, and remains, the definitive text on the subject.

Italian painter (c1593-1652)

Artemisia Gentileschi was a skilled painter who excelled at painting scenes from the Bible as well as history. She received early training from her artist father and continued her studies as a young woman under a family friend who raped her. The trauma of both the attack and the trial seems to have informed many of Gentileshci's paintings, the most famous of which is her mannerist masterpiece, Judith Slaying Holfernes. Gentilleschi went on to marry and continued her painting. Her patrons included Grand Duke Cosimo of the Medici family as well as England's Charles I.


French astronomer, mathematician (1749-1827)

Viennese Composer (b1770)

Josepha Mueller Gollenhofer was a Viennese composer, best known for her compositions for harp

French printer (d. 1556)

French Composer (1830-1907)

Grandval dominated French music in the second half of the 19th century. She published extensively, sometimes under pseudonyms, composing operas, orchestral and choral works.


Irish Pirate (1530-1603)


American inventor (1755-1814)


American writer (1788-1879)

Sarah Josepha Hale was well known in her time, especially for her novel "Northwood" which was published in 1827 to critical acclaim. She was a poet, a novelist and wrote for children. She produced over 50 volumes of work. She was the first female editor of a magazine.(1837) She was the first to publish Edgar Allen Poe in her magazine. She campaigned for a separate place for children to play outdoors, and so the public playground was born. Convinced that a holiday such as Thanksgiving could save the union, she campaigned for Thanksgiving to be recognized as a national holiday. She met with President Lincoln and presented her views on the holiday to him. He signed a proclamation soon after.
She wrote, "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

English composer (1629-1704)

As a student at Mrs. Salmon's School, Mary Harvey (Lady Dering) studied lute with the famous lutenist and composer, Henry Lawes. Compositions by Lady Dering can be found in certain editions of Lawes' published compositions.

Artist (4th c. BCE)

Believed by many scholars to have painted
"Alexander the Great Confronts Darius III at the Battle of Issus."

Guerilla Girls, The. The Guerilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. page 15. (New York: Penguin Books, 1998).



German astronomer in England (1750-1848)


Greek Philosopher (b 330 BCE)


American poet (1819-1910

Julia Ward Howe was an anti-slavery and women's rights activist. A journalist as well as an essayist. she edited Women's Journal and wrote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Among other things, she founded the New England Women's Club.

Source: The Complete Chautauquan The Lyceum Movement by Jeffrey Scott Maxwell


American physiologist (1857-1945)


Greek Philosopher (370- 415 CE)

First woman to write on mathematics.

Guerilla Girls, The. The Guerilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. (inside cover page). (New York: Penguin Books, 1998).


French Composer (French Pianist (1804-1875)

Arabian poet (c 75- c 646 CE)

Al-Khansa [(Khansa / al-Khansa /Tumadirbint 'Amr) Arabian Poet, c.575-c.646 CE] Tumadir bint 'Amr ("bint" means "daughter of") is usually called Khansa; the name means "gazelle" to some translators, "snub-nosed" to others. She was one of the major poets of pre-Islamic Arabia (in the period Islamic scholars call the "Jahiliyya"). Her diwan (poetry collection), like those of her contemporaries, was carefully preserved by Islamic scholars who needed to study seventh century Arabic in order to explicate the Qur'an.

German Composer (1810-1858)

Johanna Kinkel was a composer, poet, historian, and pianist. Her musical abilities were recognized and supported by her family, who engaged several influential teachers for their daughter. Her first marriage at age 22 ended in a protracted divorce. She moved to Bonn, Germany, where she was a fixture at the many musical and intellectual salons of the day. While in Bonn, she worked with several choral groups, both as conductor and performer. During this time she published a series of Lieder, the strength of which count in large part for her reputation today.

Russian composer (1768?-1831)


French zoologist (1744-1829)


English Poet (1569-1645)

Aemilia Lanyer published in the same year as the King James Bible (1611), Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (Hail, God, King of the Jews, 1611) is a poem about the Passion of Christ. Dedicated to women and addressed to women, Lanyer makes no apology for publishing a serious work of poetry under her own name. Arguing for women's religious and social equality in the introductory dedicatory poems, Lanyer continues her feminist theme when she reinterprets the biblical creation story as well as the stories of Christ's life and death from a feminist point of view. Indeed, her entire Passion story is viewed from a feminist perspective.


English Poet (1722-1746)

Mary Leapor was born in Northamptonshire, England and worked for her father as his housekeeper after her mother died. Educated by her family, Leapor's poems, such as "An Epistle to a Lady" and "Mira's Will," were noticed by Bridget Freemantle, a local gentlewoman. Freemantle helped Leapor to be published, but Leapor died of measles at the young age of 24 before she got to see her words in print.


German composer (1796-1835)


Russian composer, (c1780-c1840)

Indian Natural Philosopher (Ancient India)

Sanskrit Vedic literature refers to her as a respected natural philosopher.

Austrian composer, (1744-1812)

Martinez composed over 200 works including a symphony, concertos, a large oratorio, masses, and numerous keyboard and vocal works, many of which featured a trademark elegance and freedom . In her later years she was the hostess at salons that were popular among the many Viennese artists of her day.


English inventor (b c1680)




American poet (1839-1868)

Though not regarded as one of America's finest poets, Adah Isaacs Menken set out to do things on her own terms and accomplished that goal during her short life. As an actress, Menken scandalized audiences and critics when she appeared in the role of a man wearing nothing but a flesh-colored body stocking. She further defied convention by widely distributing promotional photographs of herself, kept her hair cut short, married and divorced multiple times and smoked cigarettes. Infelicia, a collection of her poems that she dedicated to Charles Dickens, was published just after her death in 1868.

See also:


German artist, scientist (1737-1798)


Dutch entomologist, botanist, artist (1647-1717)



American Essayist and Poet, (1855-1948)

Mrs. N.F. Mossell - American essayist, poet - 1855-1948

Born Gertrude Bustill in Philiadelphia, Pennsylvania, the woman who would come to be known as Mrs. NF Mossell had her talent for writing recognized at a young age when her high school commencement speech was published in Bishop Henry McNeal Turner's Christian Recorder. Bustill went on to have a number of articles on political and social issues, particularly those affecting women, published in such notable periodicals as the Philadelphia Times. After marrying Nathan Frances Mossell and having two daughters, Mrs. Mossell published The Work of the Afro-American Woman, which recognized the works and achievements of black women in a number of professional fields.

See also:

American Inventor (d 1980)

Bette Nesmith Graham was an artist and single mother supporting a young son when she mixed up a batch of "mistake out" in her blender at home. The tempera based mixture worked well to correct Graham's typing errors and soon she was bottling her invention for other typists in her building. By 1956, Graham started the company that would soon be known as "Liquid Paper." By 1967, Liquid Paper was a million dollar product. Her business continued to grow and, when she sold her corporation in 1980-right at the dawn of word processing-she netted $47.5. Graham put thousands of dollars into women's issues and organizations, including founding a feminist think tank.


Chinese historian (c. 45-115 CE)

Pan Chao was born in the year 45 CE during the Han Dynasty and was to become a preeminent scholar and first female historian of China.


English botanist, mycologist, author (1866-1943)

Best known for her children's books, it was her scientific background that gave Beatrix Potter the ability to render her bunny heroes and hedgehog heroines so convincingly

French Composer (1810-1889)

Best known for her best-selling song, "Mon Pays," Puget was a popular and prolific composer, responsible for over 300 compositions.

Music in Paris in the Eighteen-Thirties Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts 14-17 April, 1982 Peter Bloom, H. Robert Cohen Journal of Musicology, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Oct., 1982)

Female Pianists and Their Male Critics in Nineteenth-Century Paris Katharine Ellis, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 50, No. 2/3 (Summer - Autumn, 1997)


Italian Physicist (1700s)

Dutch Painter (1664-1750)

Rachel Ruysch was a painter of still lifes, known for her paintings of flowers.


Greek poet (c 630-612 BCE)

Sappho was an ancient Greek poet who infused her works with intense emotions - especially love, desire, longing, and their companion, suffering. She crafted her poems primarily as a tribute to the private world of women, something from which we are generally excluded in Greek literature. Therefore the poems provide us with a valuable and remarkable glimpse into the lives and aspirations of Greek girls. In some respects, they could be termed "romantic", but Sappho transcends her subject with such a moving, insightful, and poignant power that the poems are still highly relevant even today. Simply stated, she created some of the most vibrant love poetry ever composed.


German Midwife, scientific writer (1670-1705)

Justine Siegmundin was a midwife who, with approval of the court published her scientific and medical works. (1689)

English Astonomer, (1780-1872)

Mary Somerville conducted scientific experiments on magnetism and became the first woman to have her work published in the Royal Society.
When the death of her first husband left her financially secure and personally independent, Somerville, ignoring the disapproval of others, devoted herself to the study of astronomy and Newton's teachings. She was an ardent women's rights advocate and suffragist, and in 1879 Somerville College in Oxford was named after her in recognition of her strong support for women's education.


British Poet (1786-1854)

Caroline Bowles Southey e was a poet, whose work ranged in topic and content from â?" romantic epic to comic burlesque to dramatic social protest to meditative personal lyric. Some consider her a better poet than her husband, Robert Southey, who is better known. She was acquainted with Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Hogg. She was the "second wife", and so not well regarded.



Canadian naturalist (1802-1899)

Hungarian composer (1803-1871)

Unger, Caroline (A contralto chosen by Beethoven. She composed an album of 46 songs)


French Naturalist (1794-1871)


(Maria Theresia)
Austrian composer and Pianist (1759-1824)

Blind from age nine, von Paradis was best known as an accomplished pianist.  Born to courtiers of Empress Maria Teresa, the Empress herself funded von Paradis’ musical studies when the child’s talent became apparent.  By the time she was 16, von Paradis was a fixture in the Salons of Vienna, with Mozart, Haydn and other composers writing works just for her.

Viennese Composer (c1763-c1840)

Known as singer, composer and artist as well as a formidable pianist, Nanette von Schaden has left her traces in history but little music. Two concertos are all that are known about. She was born in Ebelsberg and brought up in a Viennese household that welcomed many leading musicians. Her husband Joseph, a critic, gave financial support to Beethoven. They moved to the court of von Oettingen-Wallerstein, a strong musical centre since the 17th century, where the dominant musician was Antonio Rosetti. Von Schaden's musical character is cultivated, vigourous and sensitive.

German composer (1724-1780)

Maria Walpurgis was a German aristocrat-musician, with much influence over the musical life of 18th century courts. She was Electress of Saxony by marriage, and learned music both in Munich where she was born and in Dresden. Her heyday was the mid-century period before the Seven Years' War when she painted, wrote poetry, sang in her own operas and acted as patron to other artists, among them her own composition teacher Johann Hasse.


American writer (1819-1885)

Susan Warmer wrote the first American bestseller,"The Wide, Wide World" in 1850. She wrote 29 books for children and adults, including theological works.


American engineer (1843-1903

German composer (1819-1896)

Clara Wieck-Schumann's parents were both musicians. In the eight years that they were married, they had eight children. In 1824, they were separated and divorced shortly after. Clara's mother married an acquaintance of her father's. Being considered legal property of their father's, Clara and her siblings remained with him. Her general studies were below par, but she learned a lot about music and business from her father.

Clara had known Robert Schumann as children and were wed in 1840 despite Clara's fathers refusal to give consent to their marriage. He was an unknown composer at the time while she had an international reputation. They lived in Leipzig, Dresden and Dusseldorf and had eight children. Robert went insane and tried to commit suicide in 1854. He was committed to a sanitarium in Endenich where Clara was not allowed to see him for two and a half years. She only saw him in his last few days. He died in July 1856.


American Zoologist, (1899-1964)

Roger Arliner Young was the first African-American woman
to receive a doctorate in zoology. Young overcame significant difficulties, including depression and the responsibility of caring for an ill mother, to pursue her studies. She earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940.

German Composer and Conductor (1796-1857)

Emilie Zumsteeg was a highly influential composer who was noted for her excellent piano and sight-reading skills. She was the Director of the Choir of Stuttgart.