Celebrating Female Artists
March is Women’s History Month. Established in 1981 to commemorate the vital role that women have played American history, Women’s History Month brings together the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in a collaborative celebration of female achievement.
Throughout history, the canonisation of female artists has not been prioritized and female artists remain overlooked and undervalued. According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) a data analysis of 18 major U.S. art museums found that their collections were 87% male.
Commercial statistics are equally revelatory, showing that 96% of artworks sold at auction are by male artists. The most expensive work sold by a woman artist at auction, Georgia O’Keefe’s Jimson Weed/ White Flower No. 1 (1932) sold in 2014 for $44.4 million — more than $400 million less than the auction record for a male artist, Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci, which sold in 2017 for $450.3 million.
Whilst there is a movement to rectify this, as NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling points out, “People in the art world want to think that we are achieving parity more quickly than we are.” Our new exhibition Testing Boundaries: In the Studio with Nancy Valentine and Christina Hutchings looks at the work of two of Bermuda’s most progressive female artists (a mother and daughter) who, with their unwavering quest for experimentation and innovation, are helping to pave the way forward.
Click here to find out more about the exhibition.
Exhibition generously supported by the Christian Humann Foundation. In the Studio with Nancy Valentine and Christina Hutchings is on display through to June.