london's national gallery

Race and Gender in the Main Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery in London is beautiful and lavish, but at least three-quarters of the collection is by White men who painted rich White men.

Feminist history chronicles White women’s struggle for recognition in art. Much less is written on women of colour in the early art world; not because they were not creators but because their art and knowledge was not given attention by White historians.

The experience of visiting these types of galleries is especially alienating to women of colour, with wall after wall of White male subjects peering out the canvas. Galleries are White spaces, built around the expectation of White audiences and perpetuating inequalities of the past.

It doesn’t need to be this way; mainstream art galleries can, and should, rediscover the stories of underrepresented artists, rather than basking in the Whiteness of the past and present. Art is a way to re-imagine the world, including the stories that remain hidden from the public’s view.

Source: Other Sociologist.