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Women in the Art World: An Introduction

Cara Despain’s 2014 poster for Micol Hebron’s Gallery Tally project representing the overall percentage of women artists represented in New York and L.A. galleries. COURTESY CARA DESPAIN FOR MICOL HEBRON’S GALLERY TALLY PROJECT

Cara Despain’s 2014 poster for Micol Hebron’s Gallery Tally project representing the overall percentage of women artists represented in New York and L.A. galleries.

COURTESY CARA DESPAIN FOR MICOL HEBRON’S GALLERY TALLY PROJECT

In the 45 years since Linda Nochlin provocatively asked in ARTnews, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” we have regularly revisited the question, wondering whether, as Nochlin argued, institutional power structures have made it “impossible for women to achieve artistic excellence, or success, on the same footing as men,” or whether it is a matter of what constitutes “greatness” and how we measure it. We have assembled comparative statistics from recent years and have sought assessments from leading scholars and critics. Above all, we have asked women artists themselves to reflect on their progress and suggest what could be done to improve matters.


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