By Anna Braz, Nicki, Camberg, Victoria Ellis, Sept 10, 2022 – Science
Women are the muses of the art in our museums, but rarely the creators.
Why it matters: Female artists’ work is a fraction of what’s displayed in museums, but that’s not due to a lack of women in art.
By the numbers: A recent analysis of major U.S. art museums by researchers at Williams College found that just 13% of artists featured in those collections were women. But some 55% of working artists are women, per data from the career platform Zippia.
The big picture: Kelema Moses, an art history expert and professor at the University of California, San Diego, points to a centuries-old pattern of women being left out of the art world.
“Let’s think back to the renaissance,” she says. “Women were kept out of art schools and institutions, and therefore could not become artists with a capital ‘A’.”
Now, women make up the majority of art students and working artists, but they’re still catching up to that long history of exclusion.
And museum directors or those in charge of curating the art are majority male, Moses notes.
“It’s sort of cliche to say that representation matters, but it really does. To see yourself, or at least a portion of your identity represented in museum spaces is critical because it can act as a vector for social change,” Moses says.
What to watch: Change is coming — albeit gradually.
” Smithsonian Institution, research institution founded by the bequest of James Smithson, an English scientist. Smithson, who died in 1829, had stipulated in his will that should his nephew and heir himself die without issue, his remaining assets would pass to the United States and be used to found the Smithsonian Institution.”
Calling all coloring book lovers. You can now take part in #ColorOurCollections 2017–a campaign where museums and libraries worldwide will make available free coloring books, letting you color artwork from their collections and then share it on Twitter and other social media platforms.
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