Now, that’s specific, isn’t it? A database of female artists from Illinois who were active between 1840 and 1940. And yet it ends up being a pretty big database. This Illinois Women Artists Project is now available at http://iwa.bradley.edu and at this writing it has over 450 artists!
From the front page of the site you can learn more about the project and do a little browsing, but I liked the artists page better. Here you can search by keyword, or explore the artists by medium, from architectural design to relief sculpture.
I chose lithography and got a plain list of ten names. But when I picked Hazel Ewell I got a variety of biographic information including spouse name, birth and death dates, mediums, exhibitions, people with whom she worked, and other occupations.
The names I looked at did not have images associated with them, though some of the artists do. If you want to see some representative paintings, head over the online exhibit, which has several dozen artworks.
In addition to the paintings and the biographical information for artists, the site also has multimedia (several biographical videos with a podcast “coming soon”) as well as some essays, a substantial link list, and a timeline.