Okay, smartphone down. At this point, you can probably name five #girlbosses, but could you name five female artists off the top of your head? Now try naming five male artists. See the difference? These are the questions the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) wants us to be asking ourselves. Their new #5womenartists campaign just launched, with the goal of spotlighting the huge gender gap in recognition in the art world. Since even art lovers may face an initial shock of not being able to name five women artists, this is an incredibly important campaign that鈥檚 perfectly timed for Women鈥檚 History Month.


The concept is simple. The NMWA is going to keep asking, 鈥淐an you name five women artists?鈥 until everyone can, well, name five women artists. According to the museum鈥檚 website, women make up 51 percent of visual artists today, but score only 28 percent of museum solo exhibitions. Whaaat?! Even more worrisome: 鈥淥nly 27 women are represented in the current edition of H.W. Janson鈥檚 survey, History of Art 鈥 up from zero in the 1980s.鈥 Since History of Art is a who鈥檚 who in art book used in many art history classes across the country, that would explain why we can鈥檛 name five women artists off the top of our head.

鈥淭hrough #5womenartists, the Women鈥檚 Museum hopes to help the public answer the question 鈥 without hesitation 鈥 鈥楥an you name five women artists?鈥欌 said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling in a statement. 鈥淏y calling attention to the inequity women artists face today as well as in the past, we hope to inspire conversation and awareness. We are excited to invite other art museums to join us in this initiative.鈥

So our (and the museum鈥檚) challenge to you is this: Read up on some badass women artists this month! Share what you learn, and join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram through the hashtag #5womenartists. Several museums are already participating in the campaign by proudly sharing Instas of artwork created by women that they have in their collections.

Can YOU name five women artists? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!

(Photo via Sean Gallup/Getty)