In a game changing move for art, one significant arts museum in the US has vowed to only buy from female-identifying artists throughout 2020.
“We have to do something big and radical,” the Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Christopher Bedford told CBS Baltimore.
Indeed, the move feels truly historic, considering the history of art has been dominated by men. In this museum, just 4 per cent of the museum’s 95,000 objects are by women artists.
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@powerdecals “enhance your mani with meaning.” 💅🏽 Visit the pop-up nail shop at the opening reception for Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure to rock one of four custom designs by @yeshi_is. The mini-mani station is in collaboration with @cocoahippie and @createavibestudio. . . Stop by the reception this Sunday from 5:30-8:30pm for music by @trillnatured and @blkottonkandy, cocktails designed by @mickalenethomas, and light food by @gertrudesck, sponsored in part by the Joshua Johnson Council. #mickalenethomas #bmalivingroom #nailart
What’s exciting is the fact that people are finally awakening to the idea of equal honour, dignity and respect that men have always simply assumed in the art community. Women artists have been overlooked and taken less seriously than male artists.
Bedford announced the decision two days ago, saying that it is part of the museum’s 2020 Initiative.
“2020 Vision is just an extension of a code of ethics that has been deeply embedded within the museum,” he said. “We aim to recognise the voices, narratives, and creative innovations of a range of extraordinarily talented women artists.”
“We aren’t alone in committing the sin of negligence, but we do want to address it head on.”
And he’s right about that.
Earlier this year, a comprehensive study revealed that 85 percent of artists featured in permanent collections are white, while 87 percent are men. The study analysed of more than 40,000 works of art detailed in 18 major U.S. museums’ online catalogues. Of all the solo exhibitions since 2007 at the Whitney Museum, 29 percent went to women artists. Some statistics have improved. In the year 2000, the Guggenheim in New York had zero solo shows by women. In 2014, 14 percent of the solo exhibitions were by women.
“The goal for this effort is to rebalance the scales and to acknowledge the ways in which women’s contributions still do not receive the scholarly examination, dialogue, and public acclaim that they deserve,” added Bedford.
Let’s hope this decision will set a precedent for other museums to follow.