The Baltimore Museum of Art devotes a year to women artists

The museum’s 12-month long 2020 Vision initiative will attempt to redress gender imbalance in the art world
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Mickalene Thomas. Le déjeuner sur l'herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noires. 2010. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Collectors Circle Fund for Art by African Americans, and Roger M. Dalsheimer Photograph Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2010.36. © Mickalene Thomas, courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York
Mickalene Thomas. Le déjeuner sur l'herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noires. 2010. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Collectors Circle Fund for Art by African Americans, and Roger M. Dalsheimer Photograph Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2010.36. © Mickalene Thomas, courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

The Baltimore Museum of Art has many important works by Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso in its permanent collection. However, paintings by those big, dead, male artists ended up in the museum’s trove thanks to two shrewd female collectors, Claribel Cone and Etta Cone, whose Cone Collection provided the BMA with many of its finest works.

 

Joan Mitchell. Bracket. 1989. Collection of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. © Estate of Joan Mitchell. Photograph: Katherine Du Tiel
Joan Mitchell. Bracket. 1989. Collection of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. © Estate of Joan Mitchell. Photograph: Katherine Du Tiel

This autumn, to mark the 100th anniversary of female suffrage in the United States, the museum will celebrate female collectors such as the Cones, as well as prominent women artists, with a series of 20 exhibitions.

The series, called 2020 Vision, will begin with By Their Creative Force: American Women Modernists, focusing on the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Maria Martinez, Grace Hartigan among others; it will also feature a new, living-room-like installation in the museum’s East Lobby courtesy of the contemporary American artist Mickalene Thomas; as well as solo shows by Candice Breitz, Tschabalala Self, Ana Mendieta and Lisa Yuskavage and others.

 

Grace Hartigan. Ingres' Bath. 1993. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Alice and Franklin Cooley Fund, BMA 1994.160. © The Baltimore Museum of Art / Estate of Grace Hartigan
Grace Hartigan. Ingres' Bath. 1993. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Alice and Franklin Cooley Fund, BMA 1994.160. © The Baltimore Museum of Art / Estate of Grace Hartigan

“The BMA’s 2020 Vision initiative serves to recognize the voices, narratives, and creative innovations of a range of extraordinarily talented women artists. 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,” said Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “This vision and goal are especially appropriate, given the central role women have played in shaping this museum throughout its history.”

 

Great Women Artists

Can’t make it to the BMA? Then take a look at Great Women Artists; it features many of the artists in 2020 Vision and is the most extensive fully illustrated book of women artists ever published.


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