Purpose – There is growing interest by marketers in historical accounts that paint early female artists as entrepreneurial marketers. The purpose of this paper is to challenge the traditional view of entrepreneurship to incorporate a feminist theory of cultural entrepreneurship by considering the role of two female artists. Design/methodology/approach – Using calls for historical research and new methods of enquiry in marketing, this paper traces early female artists and applies modern entrepreneurial theory to their marketing methods to identify their innovation, adaptability to change and planned marketing approach. Findings – The paper suggests that entrepreneurial marketing is fused with the artists’ persona resulting in their celebrated status being widely recognised. It contributes an important fresh body of knowledge to the wider entrepreneurship debate by offering a new model of cultural entrepreneurial marketing. The three concepts of innovation, adaptability and marketing approach have not previously been applied to link women artists as entrepreneurs, however, this article argues that there is plenty of evidence to do so. Research limitations/implications – While these artists are Australian (which could be seen to be a limitation), the art market is indeed international. In this respect, these artists join a longer international history as producers and consumers involved in entrepreneurial organisations from early days. Originality/value – The artists’ significance falls within the context of emerging modernism, feminism and cultural identity during the 1920s and 1930s in Sydney, Australia. It is combined with and explains the actions and the success of two female artists’ unusual marketing approach. It is of value to readers interested in historical context regarding equality in the visual arts.
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