Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Art in Art History and Visual Culture



First Advisor

Sarah Cantor

Second Advisor

Stefanie Snider

Third Advisor

James Hutson


This thesis reviews the importance of Prehistoric Cave Art and the partial basis of its creation, including some ways in which gender and society of the time influenced and led to the creation of said art, with a considerable focus on the devaluation that women have faced as artists in prehistory. The timeframe under consideration follows the Upper Paleolithic period, which covers 50,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago. Reviewing images from certain cave art in this time period of 50,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago, and recent scholarship allows for a specific look into the assumptions of who created these works and for a chance at analyzing the reality of the various works of cave art. In examining the relationship between cave art and other art found in various places around the world, an interpretation of gender roles can be made when viewing the stylistic differences and similarities in these paintings that have been found in natural settings. The roles played by different genders might be difficult to understand from this time period, as there is no absolute way to know who created the art, why, or how. This thesis examines previous findings under Western views based on European and American traditions and works to reconsider the findings and understandings of said view through a feminist methodology, providing an equal viewing of men and women in prehistory.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License