Women Are Taking Over Baltimore’s Art Institutions

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This week, the Walters Art Museum welcomed its new director, Julia Marciari-Alexander. Marciari-Alexander replaces Gary Vikan, a 27-year veteran of the institution, and joins Doreen Bolger (director of the Baltimore Museum of Art) and Rebecca Hoffberger (director of the American Visionary Art Museum) to make a trifecta of badass women in charge of the city’s largest art institutions.

Writing in ChangingMedia, Angelique Weger calls Marciari-Alexander, Bolger, and Hoffberger “art sisterhood” and points out that it wasn’t so long ago (1994) that there were only three women in the entire nation who served as directors of major art museums. These days, that’s hardly the case; 43 percent of art museum directors are women, making it one of the few industries where women are making major headway in gaining upper-level management positions. But the only other cities where a woman leads the major art museum are Seattle and Minneapolis, but Baltimore is the only place with such an impressive trifecta of woman leaders. Add to this the fact that Baltimore was also the first city to have a woman conduct its orchestra (Marin Alsop!), and it’s pretty clear that our city is leading the way in terms of women in arts leadership.

Next stop:  a female president for MICA. Well, why not?



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