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The Baltimore Museum of Art Made a Pledge to Buy Art by Women. Is It Just a Stunt?

The museum will only purchase artwork made by women in 2020. That won’t do much, if anything, to change the balance of representation in its collection.
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Steve Ruark/AP

To great fanfare, the Baltimore Museum of Art announced earlier in November that the institution will only purchase works made by women in 2020. Just 4 percent of the museum’s 95,000 artworks and objects were made by women, typical of the gross imbalance in art collections across America and around the world.

Christopher Bedford, the museum’s director since 2016, described the initiative as a proactive effort to address a root problem for the art world. “To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical,” he told The Baltimore Sun.