There is no bad day to raise awareness about the lack of gender equality in the art world. But there are some that just particularly scream, "Celebrate the women artists in your favorite museum's collections and demand way more of them!" And those are the days in Women's History Month -- i.e., right now.
Happy Women's History Month, by the way!
Throughout the month of March, the National Museum of Women in the Arts will be celebrating gifted lady artists past and present with the social media campaign #5womenartists.
The digital call to arms was inspired by the sad fact that, as easy as it sounds, many people have trouble naming just five women artists, which is insane because some of us can probably name five male artists named Robert alone. (Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Frank, Robert Therrien, Robert Heineken, Robert Irwin. Woo! Robert Longo. Robert Wilson. Ugh.)
For centuries, women have fought the unjust limitations placed upon them as artists and creators. Denied access to training, restricted in subject matter and style, and excluded from the art market, women artists have struggled to create and receive adequate recognition for their work. Museum walls are lined with classical depictions of naked women, and yet you'll have to scour dozens of wall placards to find a single woman's name in too many collections.
In the wise words of the museum: "Art is a reflection of society. If the artistic landscape neglects women, what does that say about society as a whole?" Nothing. Good.
Can you name #5womenartists? No judgment if not. I don't blame you, I blame the patriarchy! But if you have more trouble than you hoped, please keep an eye on the National Museum of Women in the Arts this month, who will be celebrating iconic artists including contemporary artist-performer Ingrid Mwangi, 17th century zoological illustrator Maria Sybilla Merrian and abstract expressionist Elaine de Kooning.
With that, good Internet, get thee to social media and start sharing the women artists who move you, inspire you, put that fire under your ass and make you do your thing. Use the hashtag #5womenartists and prove to the world that you can accomplish the basic task of naming just five women artists, and challenge others in your life to do the same.
See more women artists being rightfully revered on social media below.