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Where are the Women?


In New York Magazine, there is an interesting article written by Jerry Saltz that asks, Where Are All the Women? at the MoMA. The author states that the:

MoMA is our fountain of youth, our Garden of Eden, our Promised Land. But all these things will not last much longer if this institution continues excluding women from the display of its permanent collection of painting and sculpture from 1879 to 1969, which lives on the fourth and fifth floors. Everything about this museum rides on the vibrancy and diversity depicted there, and MoMA is allowing that life to drain out. It is slowly turning the history of modernism into a procession of dead presidents and greatest hits, in effect making modern art a gated community and a state religion.

He goes on to say:

By my count, only about one percent of all the art up to 1970 in MoMA’s Painting and Sculpture Collection is by women. The people who run this institution are earnestly trying to do the right thing; I’m not declaring them sexist bigots. Nor am I a quota queen, advocating that women be allotted their 51 percent: Art history isn’t about fairness.

I’m not quite sure how to take this article? Have a look at it and a related piece “Who Should Get the Job?” What is the evolving role of women in the Arts both artists and administrators…Can they make it better, healthier? Louise Nevelson. (American, 1899-1988). Sky Cathedral. 1958. 












Georgia O’Keeffe. (American, 1887-1986). Abstraction Blue. 1927


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Where Are The Women?

I am a female artist. I write and illustrate children's books. During the 1960's I did plenty of surrealistic art. Also, I love to do portraits, fashion illustration, pictures of animals, and historical art. Over time I became good at it, although for many years my work was much more mediocre than I imagined. Thanks to the comments of teachers and others who excelled in the art world I realized the level of myopic vision in reviewing my own art and resolved to learn more. I have finally done much work that I feel proud of. As an answer to "Where Are the Women?" I believe that the art world is somehow perceived as a man's world. If you regard who the greatest artists have been...Rembrandt, Monet, Pissaro, Picasso, Dali, Michelangelo, DaVinci, ElGreco, VanGogh, Renoir, and the more modern painters, it is easy to see that men have received more accolades. I say this with admiration, without a tinge of jealousy, and I cannot be anything but awe stricken by the beauty of the works of these artists. I also believe that women are much more reluctant to show their art work. For them, it may be regarded as more of a hobby like knitting, crocheting, or creating orgami. If more women dared to exhibit their work I believe we would see a change in the landscape of exhibits. There are definitely some female artists who deserve recognition. Perhaps it is not yet the time for that expansion in culture. Nevertheless, I believe that time eventually may come! Blessings to you and yours! Geraldine Nathan

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