Women gallery owners

The Rise of the Gallerista

Anne Schwarz smaller
Berlin gallerista Anne Schwarz has made a conscious choice to represent women artists.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The rise in young, influential female gallery owners is changing the face of Berlin’s arts scene and giving increased exposure to women artists.

  • Facts


    • In 2013, only 38 percent of gallery owners in Germany were female.
    • At this year’s Berlin Gallery Weekend, 28 percent of participating galleries were female-owned.
    • In 2007, the figure was 15 percent.
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Name your three favorite artists. Finished? OK, now how many of them are male?

There’s a good chance they all are. That’s not surprising: The art world can be a macho place, and perhaps nowhere more so than in the wheeler-dealer atmosphere of galleries. Only 38 percent of gallerists in Germany are female, and just 25 percent of represented artists in German galleries are women, according to a 2013 study by the Institute for Strategy Development.

But the days of male domination may be numbered, with Berlin’s booming art scene and more than 400 galleries at the forefront of a female fightback. At this year’s Gallery Weekend, the city’s most important art event, 13 of the 47 participating galleries (28 percent) were female-owned.

In 2007, the figure was just five out of 26, or 15 percent.

Today, visitors to Berlin’s galleries are almost as likely to come across the names of leading galleristas as they are their male counterparts. Think Tanya Leighton, Heike Tosun (Soy Capitan Gallery), Sabine Schmidt (PSM Gallery) and Isabella Bortolozzi who have all opened galleries in the past decade.

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