Feminizing Permanence: Selected Works

“A collection constitutes an institution’s view of the world.” - Theaster Gates

Feminizing Permanence is a response to the underrepresentation of women artists in museum collections across the country. While nearly one-half of living artists in the United States are women, works by women artists make up approximately 12 percent of US museum collections and only 11 percent of museum acquisitions.  Despite the public perception that women artists are gaining parity in museums, the acquisition of works by female visual artists has not increased in over a decade. 

As you explore these works we invite you to consider why diversity within museum collections is important?  When work is acquired by a museum it ensures the item will be properly cared for, documented, researched, and made available to present and future generations. This creates permanence. This exhibition creates a space that values plural voices, expands the canon of art history, and strives to inform future museum acquisitions.

Feminizing Permanence recognizes the women artists who are currently held in the permanent collection at the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art. Presented in chronological order according to the artists’ birth year, the exhibition invites visitors to consider how historical, social, and cultural factors inform each of these artists’ trajectory. Individually, the distinct works create an opportunity to reflect on the complexity of female social identities influenced by factors such as class, race, nationality, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, ability, and gender identity. Collectively, the works speak to a shared journey towards parity.

-April Bojorquez, Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art, Curator

This exhibition is organized by the Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art in collaboration with Dr. Hossein Kohsrowjah and the students of the Issues in Modern Art course.

The gallery below shares selected works from the exhibition for one to enjoy and view. Feminizing Permanence is on view through December 8, 2020. 

Exhibition Page

(c) Saint Mary's College Museum of Art Permanent Collection