“Everything in this exhibit is prime museum caliber,” says Fort Wayne Museum of Art director Charles Shepard. “Each of these women you'll find in major collections.”
The current exhibit at Fort Wayne's art museum is called 'By Women', a selection of artworks by women...a celebration of their vision and their struggle for respect. For centuries the art world ignored female artists. French writer Amantine Dupin didn't get a book published until she changed her name to George Sand. It's a prejudice that for centuries detoured women from making art.
“How much fight could you put in and then maybe find after three or four years of fighting..five years of fighting you're still not making any money?” says Shepard. “You're right where you were when you started out.”
These works are by women who fought that fight, paving the way for those who followed. This magnificent view of Gardiner's Bay, Long Island is by Mary Nimmo Moran who got no respect for her work until she married artist Thomas Moran and finally accepted into the Etching Society of London in the 1860's, the only woman among 65 men. This portrait by Venezuelan painter Marisol is of women's rights giants Elizabeth Kady Stanton and Lucretia Mott...fought for women's rights including the right to vote. This print by canny Spero is called 'Thou Shalt Not Kill, a commentary on the plight of women and children caught in the crossfire of men's wars. This print on fabric called 'Triangle Engagement' is by long time Fort Wayne artist Betty Fishman. This exhibit is visually stunning and spiritually inspiring, of people who fought for respect and got it after centuries of struggle..a fight that didn't end until strength, determination and talent beat the odds. This is Eric Olson reporting.