in other words

Everything you ever wanted to know about the art market but didn't know who to ask

#66 Why Gender Progress Is a Myth


Guest Joeonna Bellorado-Samuals and host Charlotte Burns. Photo by Matthew Magelof

Art Agency, Partners
#66 Why Gender Progress Is a Myth

BY Charlotte Burns
executive editor of In Other Words

Only 11% of the art acquired by America’s top museums over the past decade was work made by women. And acquisitions have actually declined since 2009, according to a major new study “Women’s Place in the Art World: Why Recent Advancements for Female Artists Are Largely an Illusion ” produced by In Other Words and artnet News.

The report found that there has been no progress in museum acquisitions, and that just 14% of exhibitions were of work by female artists.

The auction market for work by women doubled, but still only represents 2% of the global total—with just five female artists (Yayoi Kusama, Joan Mitchell, Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O’Keeffe and Agnes Martin) accounting for 40.7% of that total.

Discussing the report with host Charlotte Burns are guests Julia Halperin (executive editor, artnet News), Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels (director, Jack Shainman Gallery) and William N. Goetzmann (professor and faculty director of the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management).

To hear more, tune in today.

Click here for the full transcript

Charlotte Burns: Hello and welcome to In Other Words, where we cover everything you ever wanted to know about the art world but didn’t know who to ask. I’m your host, Charlotte Burns, and today we will be discussing “Women’s Place in the Art World: Why Recent Advancements for Female Artists Are Largely an Illusion”. 

This is a major study that we published just recently in collaboration with artnet News, looking at the representation of women artists in U.S. museums and the international art markets. Today we’ll take you through the report, its reception, and head towards some possible remedies for the persistent problems we’ve uncovered.


Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels

director, Jack Shainman Gallery

Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels is the founder of We Buy Gold, a roving gallery presenting exhibitions, commissioned projects and public events, and a director at the Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. She is on the curatorial team of The Racial Imaginary Institute, which seeks to change the way we imagine race in the U.S. and internationally. The institute works to lift up and connect the work of artists, writers, knowledge-producers and activists with audiences that seek thoughtful, innovative conversations and experiences. Bellorado-Samuels was a founding director of For Freedoms, the first artist-run Super PAC, which uses art to inspire deeper political engagement for citizens who want to have a greater impact on the American political landscape.

William N. Goetzmann

Edwin J. Beinecke professor of Finance and Management Studies & director of the International Center for Finance

William N. Goetzmann is the Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies and Faculty Director of the International Center for Finance at the Yale School of Management.  He is an expert on a diverse range of investments.  His past work includes studies of stock market predictability, hedge funds and survival biases in performance measurement.  His current research focuses on alternative investing, factor investing, behavioral finance and the art market.
Professor Goetzmann has written and co-authored a number of books, including Modern Portfolio Theory and Investment Analysis (Wiley, 2014), The Origins of Value: The Financial Innovations that Created Modern Capital Markets (Oxford, 2005), The Great Mirror of Folly: Finance, Culture and the Crash of 1720 (Yale, 2013) and most recently, Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton, 2016).  He teaches portfolio management, alternative investments, real estate and financial history at the Yale School of Management.

Julia Halperin

executive editor, artnet News

Julia Halperin is executive editor of artnet News, where she oversees editorial operations for the world’s most widely read art news site and manages a staff of editors and writers in London, Berlin, and New York. Previously, she served as museums editor of The Art Newspaper, where she oversaw international coverage of museums and other major art institutions, and as news editor of Art + Auction magazine. Her writing has appeared in WIRED magazine, the New York Observer, and New York magazine. Halperin holds a BA in art history and English literature from Columbia University.

Charlotte Burns

executive editor of In Other Words

Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.

Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.

The live record

Behind the Scenes of "Why Gender Progress is a Myth"

8 Images

Where to look

Slideshow: Works Acquired in the Past Decade

30 Images

You may also like...

Female Artists Represent Just 2 Percent of the Market. Here’s Why—and How That Can Change

The market for work by women doubled over the past decade—with five female artists accounting for 40.7% of that total

By Charlotte Burns and Julia Halperin

Case Studies: How Four Museums Are Making Change Happen for Women Artists

New approaches to old problems

By Charlotte Burns with Julia Halperin

Museum Acquisitions of Work by Women Peaked a Decade Ago—and Have Stalled Since

Despite talk of progress, just 11% of all acquisitions have been of work by women

By Charlotte Burns and Julia Halperin
Research By Julia Vennitti