Document 3: Guerrilla Girls, "How Many Women Had One-Person Exhibitions at NYC Museums Last Year?" 1985, in Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls, by the Guerrilla Girls (whoever they really are) (New York: HarperPerennial, 1995), p. 36.
Historically, museums let time pass before showing contemporary art, but beginning in the 1960s that practice had changed. Suspicions that curators were overly influenced by the art market were fueled by retrospectives given to young male artists. Among the artists who were awarded major shows were David Salle (age thirty-four) at Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art in 1986, which traveled to the Whitney Museum; Eric Fischl (age thirty-eight) at the Whitney Musuem in 1986; and Robert Longo (age thirty-five) at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989. Since museums shifted toward exhibiting more contemporary art, and the same top galleries represented the celebrated circle of male artists, museums fell victim to many of the same discriminatory practices being witnessed in galleries. By the time this Guerrilla Girls' public service announcement appeared, it was clear that museums were no longer bastions for objective quality elevated above commercial interests.
Copyright © 1985 by the Guerrilla Girls
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