Norton Museum of Art Celebrating Art by Women

The Norton Museum of Art presents For the Record: Celebrating Art by Women, a new exhibition drawn largely from the Norton’s collection that explores issues of representation and inclusion in the art world. On view June 11 through October 3, For the Record: Celebrating Art by Women features work by Emma Amos, Teresita Fernández, Helen Frankenthaler, Gertrude Käsebier, Käthe Kollwitz, Maria Martinez, Mariko Mori, Alison Saar, Mary Sibande, and Carrie Mae Weems, among others. With its interrogations of themes of labor, activism, race, identity, gender, and perceptions of “masculine” and “feminine” media and scale, the exhibition illustrates the diversity of art by women – from technique to subject matter – and the need for equity in representation. For the Record is curated by Assistant Curator J. Rachel Gustafson.  

The Museum also will expand its hours and public programs. June kicked off summer at the Norton, with the museum open six days a week and free admission for Palm Beach County residents with a valid ID on Saturdays through Labor Day. With a robust calendar of programs for visitors of all ages, guests can enjoy offerings such as yoga classes, Sculpture Garden tours, artist workshops, Art After Dark’s Jazz Fridays, family studio, and more which will activate the Museum’s galleries and garden. Highlights from the Norton’s summer calendar include free music and movies on the Norton’s lawn, including bluegrass, folk, soul, R&B, and Latin music concerts; and a family-friendly series of films featuring strong female leads. The Norton will also continue to offer bilingual self-guided programs including a cell phone tour, a family guide, and Norton Art+, an augmented reality app on Norton iPads that creates interactive experiences with contemporary art. A full listing of the Museum’s programs, many of which build on themes explored in For the Record, will be available at Norton.org.

For the Record: Celebrating Art by Women

For the Record: Celebrating Art by Women explores issues of representation in the Norton’s collection and the art world at large. Highlighting work by artists from across generations and around the globe, the exhibition establishes dialogues between works through visual and thematic connections. In conversation with works by women on view in the collection galleries, the exhibition spotlights the Norton’s commitment to collecting art by women and dedication to activating its expanded space to showcase various artistic perspectives in new contexts, offering visitors greater opportunity to engage with a wide range of collection works.

Two featured works by artists Svenja Deininger and Klara Kristalova were acquired by the Museum from their respective Recognition of Art by Women (RAW) exhibitions at the Norton. RAW, launched by the Norton in 2011, is a biennial exhibition series that launches and bolsters careers of women artists from across the world.  

For the Record offers a spectrum of approaches and subject matter as artists respond to the environments and time in which they create their work. From Suzanne Valadon and Käthe Kollwitz’s early 20th century portraits, and Agnes Martin’s nascent exploration of the geometric grid, to Emma Amos’s expressive mixed media compositions and Viola Frey, Alison Saar, and Mary Sibande’s imposing sculptures that employ the female form, there are so many works on view for our audiences to enjoy and study,” J.Rachel Gustafson, Assistant Curator, said “Together, the exhibition and its supporting programs highlight the diverse contributions of female artists while offering opportunities to highlight the strength of our collections. For the Record reminds us of the importance of taking stock of where we are as an institution, and as an industry, and strengthening representation and equity in the art world and beyond.”

KÄTHE KOLLWITZ (Germany, 1867-1945) Gesenkter Frauenkopf (Woman with Lowered Head), circa 1905. Etching and drypoint on Japan paper
17 1/8 x 14 3/4 in. (43.5 x 37.5 cm). Anonymous gift, 2017.28

Highlights from the exhibition:

  • Teresita Fernández, Nocturnal (Rise and Fall), 2010 – Across scales, Fernández explores natural phenomena and how light impacts perception. The graphite in Nocturnal (Rise and Fall) appears to become animated as viewers move around the work, facilitating unexpected views of the world through the lens of a mineral.   
  • Viola Frey, Weeping Woman, 1990-1991 – Installed near 2014 RAW artist Klara Kristalova’s Daphne, 2010a glazed porcelain work, the pairing inverts the association of ceramics with femininity, as they assert their space at large scale.
  • Ellen Gallagher, Ishmael, 2011  Gallagher’s works appear to be abstractions, but on closer look reveal her examinations of themes of race and the development of racial stereotypes. For the Record marks Ishmael’s debut at the Norton.
  • Nikki S. Lee, Part (14), 2002 – Lee’s work depicts her attempts to assimilate into different social and subcultural groups, as she poses and mimics the other subjects of the photo. Raising questions about the nature of heterosexual relationships, the Parts series is a dynamic examination of sense of self.
  • Mariko Mori, Butterfly, 2013 – Mori uses technology to create her sculptures; Butterfly was originally modeled as a 3D form and printed. The work, on view for the first time at the Norton, alludes to the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and marriage between the East and West in its round form.
  • Alison Saar, Rio Dulce, 1993 – One of five sculptures evoking resources for the South and first exhibited in the High Museum of Art’s celebrated Fertile Ground exhibition, Rio Dulce, recalls the collective memory and trauma of slave culture in the South. 
  • Mary Sibande …of Prosperity, 2011 – Drawn from generations of women in her family working as domestic servants, this sculptural work of a voluminous Victorian dress invites viewers to consider race, gender, and class in post-colonial South Africa.  
  • Kate Shepherd, Stones, Red Ache, 2010 – Stones, Red Ache is composed of thin lines of oil paint on enamel, connoting architecture in its linear nature.
  • Jennifer Steinkamp, Daisy Chain 2004 – This video installation, debuting at the Norton in For the Record, appears as an animated mural, with a pixelated projection of pulsating daisy chains. A leader in digital animation, Steinkamp’s large scale work invites a close viewing, with its intricate natural forms.

About the Norton Museum of Art

The Norton Museum of Art is home to the leading and most far-ranging collection of art in Florida and the region, with distinguished holdings in American, European, Contemporary, and Chinese art and Photography. In 2019, the Norton unveiled an expansion by Foster + Partners, featuring the new 59,000-square-foot Kenneth C. Griffin Building, which greatly enhanced the Museum’s facilities and was accompanied by the complete reinstallation of the museum’s renowned collections in state-of-the-art galleries.

The Norton is also recognized for advancing the practice and appreciation of emerging and under-recognized artists. In 2011, the Norton launched RAW (Recognition of Art by Women). Since its inception, the series has presented the work of Jenny Saville, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Phyllida Barlow, Klara Kristalova, Nina Chanel Abney, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Svenja Deininger, and María Berrío. In January 2019, the Museum launched an artist-in-residence program, which hosts four artists annually who are in residence on-site in restored homes that border the Museum’s campus. This year, María Berrío was in residence during the presentation of her first museum survey, and photographer Jessica Ingram, whose publication Road Through Midnight was recognized by the New York Times, returned to participate after being forced by the pandemic to cut short her planned 2020 residency.

The expansion of the Norton also provided new and enhanced facilities for its educational programs, special exhibitions, lectures, tours, and other activities that serve the Museum’s diverse audiences. It also transformed the Norton’s 6.3-acre campus into a “museum in a garden” which celebrates the beautiful year-round weather in West Palm Beach and features new, verdant public spaces and a 37,000-square-foot sculpture garden.

For more information on museum hours and safety protocols, please visit Norton.org.

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