The Brooklyn Museum’s Director sends a strong message to the Art world. Indeed, the museum acquired no less than 96 Artworks from Contemporary Women Artists. The idea is to develop a living legacy of women’s artistic practice.
The women Artists promotion of the Brooklyn Museum
The past few years have been marked by the multiplication of exhibitions and programs dedicated to women’s place in Art History organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Art-Trope did publish an article about this topic by talking about the Italian city of Florence’s initiative favoring women Artists from the Renaissance. Regarding the Brooklyn Museum, October 2016 was the month of the launching to the program “Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism.” As a result the museum reaffirmed its will to give a new perspective on women’s place in Art History. The program came alongside with an exhibition dedicated to Georgia O’Keefe. Also, the exhibition “Radical Women” put 123 Latin American women Artists’ Artworks in the spotlight coming from 15 countries. The Museum’s Director, Anne Pasternak, is the one who took the decision to acquire 96 Artworks from Contemporary women Artists.
A political and economic decision
The Brooklyn Museum is the third New York cultural institution in terms of space. Its collection is huge with close to 1.5 million Artworks. However, its operation budget is limited to 36 million dollars a year. The competition is fierce with its counterpart the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Moreover, the recent nomination of Max Hollein, a personality known for his pugnacity when it comes to fundraising, is likely to make the difference. Art-Trope wrote an article dedicated to this new Director one of the biggest institutions in the world. As a result, in comparison, the Manhattan’s giant receives 43 million dollars a year through its admissions only which represent 14% of the total operating budget according to the Financial Times. The nomination of Anne Pasternak in 2015 was followed by the adjustment of the collection policy. By then she said “right now, we are working on a collection policy that would be additive to a city with a high potential of collection. We look at areas that haven’t been caught up yet and were great pieces are still available for us.”
A Director committed to addressing the question of identity
When she was nominated in 2015, Anne Pasternak was polemical. Indeed, she decided the re- hang the American part of the Museum’s collection the focuses on identity issues. She said “we do not have an understanding of who is American. We have de define it.” Also, Contemporary African-American Artist Nona Faustine said “what women Artists want the most is to be visible.” Such a strong commitment runs alongside with a will to get the Museum out of its static aspect. Indeed, the goal is to make people want to come back. Prior to heading the Museum, Anne Pasternak directed from 1994 to 2015 the non-profit organization Creative Time that made itself a name with the staging to Nick Cave‘s Grand Central invasion with a herd of decorated horses. The Director was able to experience the reaction of the audience to Art. Her decisions made the Museum’s attendance increase by 52% since she arrived. Nonetheless, the recent nomination of a white female, Kristen Windmuller as the head of the African-American Art department made several local organizations angry.
Read our article about the tuition refund demand of Columbia University’s Art students here.