State Museums represent the state sanctioned height of artistic merit and as such the data reveals how tradition and discrimination hide within the notion of artistic excellence and merit. Most artists who are selected for museum exhibitions are drawn from the commercial gallery sector. Exhibitions in museums are not open call and generally cannot be applied for, but are by invitation only and as a result show why the economy of exposure and reputation hold so strongly. Museums do pay nominal artists fees to exhibit existing works and do commission new work in the context of curated shows and solo exhibitions.

Our data collection on State Museums found 34% female artists, 59% male artists and 7% collaborations were represented in the exhibitions held in 2014. When we looked more closely, we found that of a total of 26 solo exhibitions by contemporary artists instate museums, 38% were by female artists, 58% by male artists and 4% by collaborations.

A case study of total acquisitions of Australian fine art by the National Gallery of Victoria during 2014 showed that 44% of the work collected was by female artists, 53% by male artists and 1% by collaborations with 2% unknown.
the countess report
STATE MUSEUMS – Exhibited Artists / Director / Chair / Board Members 2014
the countess report
NGV Acquisitions 2014
Other Major Museums and Galleries 2014
University Museums and Galleries 2014
the countess report