It is no surprise to anyone familiar with human history that the vast majority of art collected in museums worldwide was created by male artists. To correct this imbalance in their own collection, the Baltimore Museum of Art has announced that all art purchases in 2020 will be those by female artists. This new initiative is part of a larger project, 2020 Vision—a series of 22 exhibits celebrating female and female-identifying artists—along with forthcoming exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Currently, the Baltimore Museum of Art has 95,000 works in its collection, and just 4% of its holdings are works by female artists and designers. Sadly, this ratio is common.
Museum director Christopher Bedford told The Baltimore Sun: “This is how you raise awareness and shift the identity of an institution. You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall next to a painting by Mark Rothko. To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”
The current gender gap in the art world is a result of systemic prejudices that date back centuries, but initiatives, such as this, chip away at the current perception of what and whose art is considered to have value.