A little over a year ago, India Young joined the Royal BC Museum and Archives staff, as curator of arts and images.
When she joined, she was pleased to learn that the BC Archives has one of the most inclusive collections of women artists in all of Canada.
“It’s a huge collection that I work with and so I was trying to find ways to get to know it better,” says Young. “In a typical art gallery or art museum collection, there might be about 10 per cent, up to maybe 15 to 18 per cent, women artists, and we have around 30 per cent women artists.”
Young is determined to let the public know about that 30 per cent.
“As we know, the Group of Seven, all men, has dominated a lot of our national identity around the artistic culture of Canada,” Young says. “Canada has always encouraged women artists and yet, as with so many things, women in the field tend to be underrecognized and underrepresented in exhibitions and in collections.”
Young has now begun a research project with a team of volunteers.
“We’ve all begun to research the women artists in our collection — to build their stories, and to create more robust biographies, and get to know them better,” says Young.
Veronica Cooper has more in This Week in History.