Academic Session 13: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference & Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th to 8th April 2017

Gendering Patronage: Women artists and the contemporary art market


Véronique Chagnon-Burke, Christie’s Education New York,

Art patronage has always been beneficial for both the artist receiving support and the patron giving it. While a tradition of aristocratic female patronage has existed since the Renaissance, it was not until the 20th century that female patrons became prominent players in the art world. The role that women such as Rockefeller, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney or Katherine Dreier played in supporting the development of modern art in the United States is well documented. Nearly a century later, what are we to make of the December 2016 Art + Auction, special issue: ‘The Power Issue’ which focuses for the first time only on women? Have women artists reached a similar level of visibility as the women collectors?

The seven presentations that have been selected will propose some answers to these two questions. They will also expand the definition of patronage to include other art world members such as curators, art advisors and art dealers while assessing their impact on the place of women artists in the contemporary art market. With a transnational perspective, the papers in this session will highlight the role that female art professionals play in being art patrons.

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts

Helen Gorrill (School of Art and Design, Coventry University) Female Patrons in a Masculine Economy: The decreasing visibility of women artists on the UK market

Aliya de Tiesenhausen (Independent) The Curious Case of Kazakhstan: The influential role of women in an emerging art market

Eiman Elgibreen and Maha al-Senan (Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Ryadh, Saudi Arabia) Behind the Lattice Window: A case for female patronage in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Cole Collins (Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Edinburgh) Making Small Easy Saleable Objects: Anna Oppermann and Barbara Thumm

MaryKate Cleary (Independent) Promoting Black Women Artists: Patronage studies of Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu

Sylvia Schlegel (Independent) Gender and Patronage: Three women collectors of contemporary Chinese art

Marta Gnyp (Independent) Miraculous Resurrections: Contemporary art market of older women artists