Among the most famous women artists are impressionists such as Marie Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, modernists such as Georgia O'Keefe and the famed folk artist Grandma Moses. Renowned contemporary artists include but are not limited to Katarzyna Kozyra, Yayoi Kusama, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Marina Abramović and Rachel Whiteread.
Female artists have been present since the dawn of ancient cultures. In India, the famed devotional artworks produced in the city of Mithila were created exclusively by women. In the West, some ancient vase renderings of artists display men and women working side by side. During the Middle Ages, Saint Hildegard of Bingen, an author, abbess and Christian intellectual, produced a number of celebrated spiritual pieces related to her mystic visions. Throughout the Renaissance, Baroque and Enlightenment periods, women participated in all the major styles and forms, including portraiture, still-life and history painting. Among the most notable are Caterina van Hemessen, Lavinia Fontana, Mary Beale, Maria Cosway and Marguerite Gérard.
With the coming of modernism in the 19th century, women such as Cassatt and Morisot, along with fellow impressionists Suzanne Valadon and Olga Boznańska, were at the vanguard alongside men such as Monet, Degas and Renoir. As Modernism grew and diversified, women artists followed suit. Tamara de Lempicka, for example, became a renowned Deco artist and one of the first women artists to attain great celebrity on account of her talent. American photographer Dorothea Lange captured poignant images of women and families during the Great Depression era, thus not only participating in the realm of social realism but also in the evolution of documentary photography.