See Charmion von Wiegand’s No. 157 (above) at Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum’s current show Making a Mark: American Women Artists. (Courtesy Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum/© Estate of Charmion von Wiegand; Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY)

Arts + Culture

It’s a Woman’s World

The Baker Museum celebrates female talent with three exhibits showing through July 25.

Bringing art lovers and excitement back to The Baker Museum after a more than two-year renovation and expansion, as well as a pandemic-induced closure, was a challenge. But Naples’ leading visual arts institution has responded with a stellar slate of shows, including some anchored around female artists whose work is bursting with color and inspiration. “We were making lemonade out of lemons,” says  Artis—Naples CEO and president Kathleen van Bergen. When a previously planned exhibition was postponed to a future season due to the impact and uncertainty created by the pandemic, van Bergen began looking for an alternative that played to the museum’s permanent collection, which hosts a wealth of female artists. The centennial of women’s right to vote in 2020 inspired her, as did the museum’s many female leaders, which also includes board chair Lois D. Juliber and recently hired museum director and chief curator Courtney McNeil. “I felt a real energy and unity around celebrating women artists,” van Bergen says. The centerpiece show is the touring exhibit Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936-Present. The American Abstract Artists (AAA), founded in 1936 to advocate for abstraction when it was seen as alienating and un-American, was a rare group that welcomed women as artists, not just muses or models. Blurring Boundaries triumphantly proclaims their impact. The 56 works range across generations and styles, from founding AAA membe
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