NPG to improve visibility of women in its collection with support from the Chanel Culture Fund 8 Apr 2021

The National Portrait Gallery has launched a new three year project ‘Reframing Narratives: Women in Portraiture’ to bring greater visibility to women in its collections, in partnership with the Chanel Culture Fund. Currently, only a quarter of sitters and 12% of artists in the NPG collection are women, which is compounded by the fact that many are under-researched. Dr Flavia Frigeri, the newly appointed Chanel curator of the collection said “they might have made an important contribution to the war effort. They might have written treatises on mushrooms … the range is quite vast.”  The project will also seek to commission new portraits of contemporary women as well as acquiring portraits of historically significant figures, such as Lilian Lindsay, the first British woman to qualify as a dentist. The overall outcome should be a greater proportion of women artists and sitters on display when NPG reopens in 2023, ‘tell[ing] urgent and untold stories that broaden definitions of greatness’.  The Chanel Culture Fund is also operating a broad programme internationally to support artists in the post-pandemic world. Its Chanel Next Prize will celebrate ten artists in fields from performance to visual arts who ‘radically redefine their fields’, with each winner receiving €100,000. Chanel will also work with The Underground Museum in LA,  GES-2 in Moscow and arts institutions in Asia. Harper’s Bazaar comments “the idea of luxury brands and conglomerates offering prizes to rising talents is nothing new in fashion, but Chanel's take on its support of the arts is broader than the norm.”  M + H, Vogue, Country & Town House, Tatler, Guardian,  Harper’s Bazaar, Chanel Culture Fund, maxwell museums