It’s March, and along with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, this month also marks the second year for the feminist art history hashtag campaign known as #5womenartists. The campaign invites you to think on how quickly and easily you can list 5 women artists. While naming 5 women artists isn’t hard for me (I teach a class on Women in the History of Art), I suspect there are many out there who might have some difficulty. Why? Well for starters, women make up only 9 percent of the artists represented in the most widely used art history survey textbook, and only 5 percent of the
artists represented on museum walls. What’s worse, is the inequities apply to contemporary art as much as art history. This recent sticker created by the art action group the Guerrilla Girls makes this point clear. Even in 2015, men have almost total control of the art market.
The campaign was created last year by National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). The folks there saw it as a starting point towards positive change As NMWA director Susan Sterling explained at Big Think last year:
“By calling attention to the inequity women artists face today, as well as in the past, we hope to inspire conversation and awareness.”