Can You Name Five Women Artists?

Posted March 1, 2016 in Blog


The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating great women artists, has announced a new social media campaign for this March’s Women’s History Month and has invited Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) and other museums across the nation to participate with them in this campaign. If someone is asked to name five artists, they will likely name prominent male artists, but how many people can list five women artists? To increase awareness, on March 1, NMWA will launch the campaign, “Can you name five women artists?,” on its website and blog as well as on social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Using the hashtag #5womenartists, the campaign will encourage online communities to help address the gender imbalance in the presentation of art both in the United States and internationally.

Image above: Sondra Sherman, “Julia Newberry’s Diary Brooch” (detail), 2010. Steel, sterling silver, nail polish. Photo courtesy Sienna Patti Contemporary.

Throughout the month, HCCC will join this national campaign and share information—including biographies, birthdays, quotes, images and statistics—about women artists working in traditional craft media with #5womenartists. The goal is to encourage the public to comment and share, helping the campaign and its message to reach a wide audience.

“I think this is a great opportunity for HCCC to take a moment to honor those female artists currently exhibiting in our galleries,” said HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall. “All too often, women have stood in the limelight of their male colleagues. By highlighting these talented women, we hope to empower others to recognize the successful women in their own communities as well as the accomplishments of other minority groups.”

Participating museums include Brooklyn MuseumCenter for Puppetry ArtsLos Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Art and DesignNew Mexico Museum of ArtSmithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick GalleryThe Phillips Collection, and many others will be joining the effort.

Are you interested in participating? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Challenge your friends and family to name five women artists.
  2. Tell us who your favorite women artists are and why.
  3. Share a work by a woman artist at a museum or gallery near you.
  4. Explore HCCC’s current and past exhibitions, as well as our resident artist profiles to discover artists you may not know.

Feel free to answer these questions in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram!