👩🏽🎨 Artists: From “Old Masters” to Digital Creators
FemWealth Issue #40
Happy Sunday, FemWealth Friends!
I love art. Yet, until recently, I had minimal awareness and knowledge of women’s contributions to artistic expression and art history. Learning about their extraordinary lives and works is eye-opening.
Despite being prohibited from public life, art guilds, and academies during the Renaissance and up until the eighteenth century, women like Suor Plautilla Nelli, Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Rachel Ruysch, and Angelica Kaufmann have achieved high levels of success during their times.
Art historians, auction houses, and the world’s top art museums (including the Uffizi Galleries in Florence) are now trying to redress the historic gender imbalance in the artistic canon. Organizations such as Advancing Women Artists and Guerilla Girls have spearheaded the recognition and advancement of women in arts.
“The divisive classification ‘women artists’ but never ‘male artists’ is at the heart of a debate that has been disputed for decades, and yet continues to be a trap that is so often fallen into. Female artists should not be pigeon-holed nor segregated, which is precisely why we are holding a sale that appears to be doing exactly that – in order to turn the tables and open up this debate. Yes, these artists are women, but more importantly, they are artists.” - Marina Ruiz Colomer, Contemporary Art Specialist at Sotheby’s, on the occasion of the inaugural auction sale dedicated to women artists across the centuries, spanning over 400 years, from Old Masters to the 21st century (May 2021)
Men continue to dominate the art world. Of the $196 billion spent on art at auction between 2008 and the first half of 2019, women accounted for only 2% of sales ($4 billion). Of the meager 2%, five (white) female artists accounted for $1.6 billion (40 percent) of the $4 billion spent on women artists: Yayoi Kusama, Joan Mitchell, Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Agnes Martin. Despite progress, black women artists and other minorities remain marginalized.
Similarly, women’s representation in art galleries and museums still lags behind. In 2020, only 1 in 10 artists represented by galleries in Europe and the US were women, despite women representing more than 60% of graduates in creative arts and design.
The NFTs hype and the intersection of Art x Crypto spark new conversations about art's meaning and value(s). But the NFT art market boom overwhelmingly benefits male creators, with female artists accounting for just 5% of all sales.
For the Art (and NFTs) lovers among you, I'm creating a dossier featuring the most inspiring artists and resources about art history, the art market, artistic currents and innovations. I'm building it in public and will continue to add new content (I will reshare the link 🔗 in future editions).
Who are your favorite artists? If they aren't yet included, please add their names in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you.
A big thank you to my Twitter friends who have given me valuable insights! 🥰
FemWealth Favorites ❤️
🙌🇩🇪 8 Women and 8 Men: Germany Gets Its First Gender-Equal Cabinet - Angela Merkel hands off the chancellorship to Olaf Scholz. In his new cabinet, women will run all security and diplomacy-related ministries (defense minister, foreign minister, and interior minister).
👏 Continuing With Female Leadership, NYSE Names Lynn Martin President - Martin will succeed Stacey Cunningham as president. Sharon Bowen, a female ICE (NYSE’s parent company) and NYSE board member will become the next chair of the NYSE - the first Black woman in that role
🔔 Fed-Up Banker Quit for a Startup, and Now She’s a Billionaire - Nubank, the Brasil-based digital bank cofounded by Cristina Junqueira, went public at a $44 billion valuation. Junqueira's 2.6% stake in the company is worth $1.1 billion.
💸 UK’s BenevolentAI agrees Europe’s largest Spac deal - The drug discovery group led by Joanna Shields will list with a €1.5bn valuation on the Amsterdam stock exchange.
💸 Female-founded fintech Enfuce raises €45m - Founded by Denise Johansson and Monika Liikamaa, Enfuce describes itself as a CaaS (card-as-a-service) platform for card issuing. The company hit the €1M-mark in monthly recurring revenue.
“If you look at the categories that we bet on — that’s health, wellness, beauty, education — the majority of end consumers in these categories are women.” - Montse Suarez, founder and managing partner at Iris.
👏 The Midas List Europe - Forbes’ list of the top Venture Capital investors in Europe, Israel, and the Middle East in 2021 includes Luciana Lixandru of Sequoia Capital, Sonali de Rycker of Accel, and Reshma Sohoni of Seedcamp
👨👩👦 Women’s Health & Family Tech: Reproductive Health Company Proov Raises a $9.7M Series A to Support Its New “Complete” Hormone Testing Product | Delivering new life into the fertility market: How digital health is reinventing the path to parenthood | Parent-tech startups on the rise with VCs after pandemic upheaval
“We’re building economic infrastructure for the community economy. Our goal is to help get more people into Web3, because clearly it’s so nascent and early.” - Tiffany Zhong
She Was D.C.’s Top Crypto Cop. Now She’s One of Silicon Valley’s Top Crypto Investors. - Insightful interview with Katie Haun, general partner of A16Z on the state of crypto innovation, regulations, and consumer-facing applications
“I’m personally excited about a lot of what I see as consumer-facing applications coming out, because there’s been so much progress on some of the blockchains and the performance and interoperability of blockchains.” - Katie Haun
💪 Google fired its star AI researcher one year ago. Now she’s launching her own institute - Timnit Gebru launches Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR) to document AI’s harms on marginalized groups
Things To Poder On
Kamala Harris Needs to Get Serious - This week US VP Kamala Harris issued a nationwide call to action to address the maternal health crisis. But she was also heftily criticized over staff departures, making her supporters believe she is targeted by a discredit campaign.
“In the United States of America, in the 21st century, being pregnant and giving birth should not carry such great risk. Women in our nation are dying—before, during and after childbirth.” - US Vice President Kamala Harris
Myanmar’s Suu Kyi convicted in further blow to democracy - The civilian leader, ousted in a coup earlier this year, was sentenced to 2 years of house arrest and faces other charges. Criticized by the international community and civil society, the verdict is seen as an attempt to discredit and keep her from running in the next election. A Nobel Peace laureate, Suu Kyi was considered an icon of Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement, but in recent years, she was heavily criticized for showing deference to the military while ignoring and even defending rights violations, including a 2017 crackdown on Rohingya Muslims that rights groups have labeled genocide
European tech booms, but Southern Europe and founder diversity still lagging - According to the new Atomico’s State of European Tech, women have raised just 1.1% of total capital, the lowest proportion since 2017. For more, read Dr. Fiona Pathiraja's (Crista Galli Ventures) take on the report and the lack of diversity in VC.
Women in prison falling through gaps in feminist funding, report finds - the report published by Women Beyond Walls states that more than 60% of organizations working with women in prison are in a precarious financial situation
Thank you for reading FemWealth! Have a lovely Sunday!
Founder and Writer of FemWealth
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