In recent years, as part of our annual Research Conference, the National Galleries of Scotland has examined topics such as Art and National Identity, Collecting Performance and When We Were Young. This year we invited papers that explore the theme of Women Collectors in Britain from the 18th century to the present day.
A significant number of works in the National Galleries of Scotland were acquired by women, either individually, or in collaboration with their partner or agent.
Rosalind and Alexander Maitland, for example, amassed a magnificent collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including key works such as Van Gogh’s Orchard in Blossom and Gauguin’s Three Tahitians, which were presented to the National Galleries in 1960.
In 1995 the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art benefited from the magnificent bequest of the Scottish golfer, photographer and collector of surrealism Gabrielle Keiller, pictured, including major works by Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Yves Tanguy, Hannah Höch and Eduardo Paolozzi.
The aim of this conference is to raise awareness of the important contributions made by women collectors in Britain, focusing on the visual arts from the 18th century to the present day. We invite papers on topics such as, but not limited to: women as agents or ‘taste makers’; women as patrons or philanthropists; and women as ‘invisible’ collectors. Papers should take into consideration such issues as women’s social and marital status; their impact in relation to that of their partner; the role of the dealer or agent.
This year's conference will take place on Saturday, 28 September at the Hawthornden Lecture Theatre within the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.