The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) has announced that in 2020 it will only buy works by female-identifying artists. This commitment is an extension of “2020 Vision”, BMA’s year of exhibitions and programs dedicated to female-identifying artists and leaders.
The museum sees this as an opportunity to extend that commitment while also working to shift the scales within its collections, BMA explained, acknowledging that women artists are still underrepresented in the museum field and within museum collections.
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Announced November 14 by BAM’s director Christopher Bedford, “something radical must be done to rectify centuries of imbalance,” he said.
The Maryland museum acquired its first work by a female artist in 1916, two years after it was founded and three years before women gained the right to vote in the United States. Today, only four percent of the 95,000 pieces in its permanent collection were created by women.
Bedford says the museum is working to “correct our own canon” and address historical blind spots.
“We hope this will serve as a model and the first step towards better representation within our field. The BMA will explore works across genre, style, and medium, and will announce further details regarding the considerations and process for acquisitions in 2020 at a later date,” the museum said in a statement provided to Al Jazeera.