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BMA’s commitment to gender equality aligns with PNC’s own inclusive values.

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is commemorating the centennial of women’s suffrage by presenting a yearlong tribute to female artists that includes exhibitions, programs and acquisitions. The initiative, called 2020 Vision, encourages dialogue and a deeper understanding of women’s contributions to the world of art today and in the past.

In addition to presenting 16 solo exhibits, seven thematic shows and a variety of educational programs, 2020 Vision includes a $2.5 million commitment by the museum to balance the scales of gender equality by purchasing only works created by female-identifying artists in 2020.

“As we looked toward honoring the gravity of this moment in time, we took the opportunity to critically examine our own history,” says BMA Director Christopher Bedford. “We are an institution built almost exclusively by powerful, visionary female leaders, yet women artists are starkly underrepresented in our collections. Our assessment that only 4 percent of our 95,000 objects were created by women incited us to begin the process of making this right.”

Among the women pivotal to the art museum’s history were Baltimore sisters Claribel and Etta Cone, early patrons of Henri Matisse who left their collection of approximately 3,000 objects to the museum in 1950. The internationally renowned Cone Collection, with masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and other modern artists, is on view in the BMA’s Cone Wing. Florence Levy was the museum’s first director, serving from 1923 to 1926, and many women board chairs, including current chair, Clair Zamoiski Segal, have been instrumental in the museum’s success.

Bedford explains that the goal for 2020 Vision is to shift the museum’s institutional policies to inform acquisition and exhibition practices in perpetuity. “We won’t achieve equality of representation in this calendar year, but as we commit year after year, decade after decade, we will see that we made a good start in 2020,” he says. “This is only the beginning, a commencement of activities without end in our lifetime.”

Laura Gamble, PNC Greater Maryland regional president, welcomed the opportunity to support 2020 Vision. “BMA’s commitment to gender equality aligns with PNC’s own inclusive values,” she says. “We are delighted the museum is honoring the centennial of women’s suffrage with such a bold commitment to women in the arts.”