Two female profiles (in the foreground Marianne Preindelsberger), 1881, Helene Schjerfbeck, Finnish National Gallery, CC0
Pioneers Trailblazing women in the arts, sciences and society

Pioneers highlights the lives and achievements of 8 remarkable European women in the arts, sciences and society. From groundbreaking women’s rights campaigners to brilliant scientists, this exhibition celebrates the historical contribution of innovative women to human knowledge and culture. Every week, from now until International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’ll publish a new exhibition chapter telling the story of a female pioneer. We’ll encounter brilliant women from across Europe, both famous and less well-known, from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Europeana and Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, are proud to bring you this online exhibition which is part of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel’s strategy to empower women and increase their participation in the digital economy. Pioneers seeks to raise awareness of women’s historical contributions to society and provide a platform for the representation of emblematic professional women in Europe.

Our journey begins with Maria Skłodowska-Curie (1867–1934), the Nobel Prize-winning scientist famous for her pioneering discoveries in physics and chemistry, whose life’s work transformed perceptions of women working in science and technology.