The Rapidian Home

Gender and art: Do the numbers add up to anything?

Looking at the gender ratios at the Exhibition Centers, ArtPrize 2011
Male to female ratios at the Exhibition Centers

Male to female ratios at the Exhibition Centers /Miriam Slager

Underwriting support from:


"For over forty years, Director Lynn Hershman Leeson has collected hundreds of hours of interviews with visionary artists, historians, curators and critics who shaped the beliefs and values of the Feminist Art Movement and reveal previously undocumented strategies used to politicize female artists and integrate women into art structures."

-!Women Art Revolution

Last week I attended a screening of W.A.R., Women Art Revolution at the Wealthy Theatre. I now sense a greater awareness of gender and art as I walk through the venues and spaces participating in ArtPrize 2011. The movie served as a reminder that females had very little recognition in the the art world in the 1960's. The belief that males were superior artists was widely held and acted upon at all major Exhibition Centers in North America. Since this assumption was popular in the disturbingly not-so-distant past, I thought I might make some calculations during ArtPrize 2011.  


I created this graph as a way to present the visual comparison of the total volume of art pieces and the gender of the artists in our own Exhibition Centers in ArtPrize 2011.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.


I added up the total overall (because certainly we don't expect each Exhibition Center to divy up their selections so that men and women are equally represented based on their gender, do we?) and found that overall, in exhibition centers, women are 41% of the artists selected. This seems like quite a jump from very little representation in the 60's. Perhaps this graph presents a cause to rejoice?

Thank you Miriam, for visualizing this information. Yes, perhaps hopeful-- it'll be curious to continue to track this in the years to come.  What else can we graph? Size of artwork in relation to gender?