Since the 1970s Dotty Attie has created works with feminist content. Frequently she has chosen historical works of art to demonstrate the inequality within the art world itself. Barred from the Studio is a part of a series from the late 1980s called Episodes from the Lives of the Masters. Here Attie quotes two famous works by the American painter Thomas Eakins—Max Schmitt in a Single Scull and The Gross Clinic. Her text documents the uproar caused when Eakins, a professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, allowed female students to attend life classes with nude male models. She points out the hypocrisy of Victorian society, which took offense at not only the frank representation of a surgeon's bloodied hands, but the idea of women observing and understanding male anatomy.