PAFA Receives Unprecedented Gift of Art by Women from Philadelphia Art Collector and Artist Linda Lee Alter

Dec 15, 2010, 14:55 ET from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is proud to announce a gift of the collection of art by women from Philadelphia art collector and artist Linda Lee Alter. The collection contains approximately 400 works of art spanning the 1910s to the present in all media and by a wide range of artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Alice Neel, Nancy Spero, Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, and Louise Nevelson.

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Realizing that art by women artists was underrepresented in most art museums, Linda Lee Alter started collecting in the 1980s, creating a significant collection of art by women with a distinct character and diversity. Alter states, "My hope was to find a museum emphasizing inclusion and diversity; one working toward greater representation of art by women and artists of color in its permanent collection, and where my collection would be enthusiastically welcomed because it embodied the institution's vision."

Robert Cozzolino, PAFA's curator of Modern Art, says, "Over the years, we have been impressed with the depth and reach of Lee's collection, and her commitment to adding the voices of women to the story of American art. The gift greatly enhances our holdings of work by women and allows us to more fully examine the place of women artists in the canon of American art."

"We are truly grateful for this very important gift," adds David R. Brigham, PAFA's President and CEO. "At PAFA this work will be integrated into how we present and teach art history, highlighted in special exhibitions, brought to bear on the studio and liberal arts curriculum, included in public programming, and will be digitized and published in its entirety."

Linda Lee Alter, whose collection includes ceramics, photography, painting, sculpture, assemblage, as well as works on paper, believes that her goal has been accomplished: "The Academy has warmly welcomed my collection. It is the home for the art by women I'd always hoped to find."

Works from the Linda Lee Alter gift will be on view at PAFA by late spring, and a comprehensive catalog of the collection is planned in the near future.

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America's first school of fine arts and museum.  For more information, please visit

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SOURCE The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts