Gender

Until recently women formed a high proportion of the art student population while the museums and galleries included few examples of womens' work.  The art schools have contributed to progress towards equality of opportunity: women formed a high proportion of the many winners of awards and medals gained by students of Birmingham School of Art over the last twenty years of the 19th century, and the Slade School was the first English art school to offer female students equal opportunities to study from the life model.  A dramatic change has taken place over the last 30 years, a change that has been informed and underpinned both by contextual and studio work in the art schools, several of which have now been led by women artists.