“By Women, for Tomorrow’s Women” is the first-ever all-women artist benefit auction organized by Miss Porter’s School, an all-girls institution based in Connecticut, USA. The sale will take place on March 1st, 2019 in Sotheby's New York. The funds raised are meant to help young american girls from all backgrounds to access a good education.
Art by women
According to a recent American study published by the Public Library of Science and relying on the databases of the 18 largest museums in the United States, 87% of the artists currently on display are men. In order to promote the work of female artists, the "By Women for Tomorrow's Women" auction will exclusively contain works by women.
"We are setting an example for others to follow as we seek to remedy the inequities women experience in the art world." explains Dr. Katherine Windsor, Head of School.
A century-old school looking to the future
Established in 1843, Miss Porter’s School is an all-girls high school based in Farmington in the Connecticut. Originally, the school was created to give young girls the opportunity to receive the same quality education as their male counterparts. The school offers a full range of science, language and mathematics courses, in addition to various athletic and artistic opportunities. As of today, 312 girls are studying in the school, most of them living on campus. The project "By Women for Tomorrow's Women" was born to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Miss Porter's School.
"And a school like Miss Porter’s, incubating future generations of leaders coming from all backgrounds, will be instrumental in helping to shape the future for women in key leadership positions in all fields.", says Agnes Gund, Auction Honorary Co-Chair.
Artists involved in the project
The auction is composed of 40 works by 38 artists. Two-thirds of the artworks were offered by the artists themselves, the rest being donated by collectors or art galleries. Among the main pieces, one can find From Survival: Men Do not Protect ... by conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, the screenprint Blue and Red Waterfall by the American painter Pat Steir, the painting Hack Wit - life is candy by artist and writer Roni Horn, the photograph Untitled by African-American artist Carrie Mae Weems, and also the illustration Beach Blanket Babylon by British painter Cecily Brown.
Nevertheless, Carmen Herrera is the leading artist of the event. The female painter, now 103 years old, became famous late in life as she celebrated her 89th birthday. For "By Women for Tomorrow's Women", the philanthropist and co-patron of the sale, Agnes Gund, has offered Herrera's Blanco Y Verde, an artwork estimated between one and two million dollars. The painting comes from a retrospective of the artist, and was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
The sale will also include works by Ghada Amer, Alice Aycock, Gabrielle Banks, Anney Bonney, Louise Bourgeois, Katherine Bradford, Mariana Cook, Jay Defeo, Niki de Saint-Phalle, April Gornik, Katharina Grosse, Fairmild Macmonnies Low, Jane Freilicher , Jane Hammond, Chantal Joffe, Lee Krasner, Louise Lawler, Adelaide Lawson Gaylor, Vera Lutter, Beatriz Milhazes, Mariko Mori, Alice Neel, Catherine Opie, Pauline Palmer, Peggy Preheim, Dorothea Rockburne, Cindy Sherman, Jean Shin, Kiki Smith, Lily Stockman, Ursula von Rydingsvard and Laura Woodward.
Oprah Winfrey and Agnes Gund will honorary co-chair the auction. As a former student of Miss Porter's School, Agnes Gund is a strong supporter of the school's educational model. Passionate about art, she is now one of the main patrons of female artists in the United States and also president emeritus of the MoMA in New York. Oprah Winfrey is very committed to promoting girls' education as well, as she is the founder of the Oprah Winfrey Girls' Academy (OWLAG) in South Africa.
"It’s more important than ever for women to own their individual power." (Oprah Winfrey)
The works are exhibited in Sotheby's gallery in New York since February 22, 2019. The auction will start live in the gallery on March 1st and will continue online until March 7th.