The Women Art Dealers Digital Archive (WADDA) has been launched online with the aim to “examine and elevate women art dealers’ contributions to today’s art world and the larger art-history canon.”
Co-founded and co-directed by Véronique Chagnon-Burke and Caterina Toschi, WADDA aims to provide a “centralised resource and digital-lab space where traditional research may be conducted.”
This focus on women is due to a perceived under representation of the impact and influence of female art dealers. According to WADDA “The history of women dealers often reads myopically, with educations, motivations, and rich professional and social lives circumscribed to the shadow of male authority.”
Phase one of the project is to “collect, digitize, and make accessible the abundant but disparate data sets which elucidate women art dealers’ footprint” on the art market.
As well as collecting photographs, documents and other “gallery ephemera”, WADDA will create a geographical and chronological narrative of ideas “now considered foundational to critical appreciation of modern and contemporary art”.
“There are a lot of gaps, we know very little about women art dealers outside France, Germany, and the US,” says Chagnon-Burke,
“Art history still tends to focus only on the artists and their work and less on how the artists achieved recognition. Bringing more visibility to women art dealers is also a powerful way to contribute to the history of women as entrepreneurs, women as business leaders.”
For more information on WADDA click here