DMA Insight

Gender Representation in the Dallas Museum of Art Collection (July 2018)

In 2018, the Dallas Museum of Art took a close look at the number of women artists represented in its collection. This analysis corresponded with the Museum's exhibition of work by the Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous collective of women artists who use humor, marketing strategies, and bold text to expose gender- and race-based discrimination in the art world and beyond.

Take a closer look at the graphic at left or read on to learn what our collection analysis in July 2018 revealed:

  • Women created nearly 2,000 of the over 24,000 objects in the DMA's collection.

  • Works by women artists represent approximately 8% of our permanent collection, compared to 3-5% on average for major US museums.

  • 65% of the objects made by contemporary women artists entered the DMA's collection since 1985, when the Guerrilla Girls debuted their critiques of the art world.

  • Around one-third of the 4,400 objects currently on view have individual makers. Of these, 270 artworks are by artists designated as female.

  • 6% of the art on view was made by women artists. This is only slightly more than the 5% of art on view at major US museums.

  • The DMA collection as a whole represents 3,000 male and 670 female artists. In other words, women make up approximately 20% of the artists represented in the DMA's collection.

  • Over 95% of the works in the following curatorial departments do not have identified makers: Arts of the Pacific Islands, Arts of Africa, Classical Art, and Arts of the Americas. Objects from these departments make up 25% of the DMA's collection.

  • Within the Contemporary Art department, there are 540 objects made by women artists. Of these, 99 entered the DMA's collection in the last 5 years.

Adapted from

  • Emily Schiller, Gallery text, The Guerrilla Girls, 2018.

  • The Guerrilla Girls, DMA exhibition summary, 2018.

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