Her Ideas, Her Stories: Women Artists from GRAM’s Collection

Dec 10, 2020 — Mar 13, 2021
Secchia Upper Lobby Gallery

Women have been creating art for centuries. 

When compared to their male counterparts, however, women artists have often been overlooked and undervalued. Though gender bias is less apparent today, women artists continue to face many obstacles and disparities – especially minority women. The Grand Rapids Art Museum is committed to diversifying the museum’s collection by acquiring the work of women artists and to highlighting the art of creative women currently in our collection.

This exhibition showcases ten women artists in GRAM’s collection working in the United States from the 1930s to the present. Their identities as women influence their artwork in various, unique ways. For instance, Pakistani American artist Anila Quayyum Agha is influenced by her experiences of being excluded from mosques, Islamic sites of creativity and community, because of her gender. Abstract painter Lee Krasner, throughout her career, struggled against stereotypical ideas about what types of art women should create. Julie Mehretu’s work is often about her multiple, intersecting identities – she is black, an immigrant, a mother, and married to a woman. Making art, says Mehretu, is about trying to make sense of who you are.”

Featured Artists

  • Anila Quayyum Agha
  • Jennifer Bartlett
  • Ruth Bernhard
  • Phyllis Halperin Bramson
  • Gerda Firant
  • Sally Gall
  • Françoise Gilot
  • Lee Krasner
  • Julie Mehretu
  • Jennifer Wynne Reeves