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Da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso – they're some of the world's most famous artists, but I wonder if you noticed that all of those names belonged to men.
Annika: Well, I have a question for you, Amelia. I wonder if you could name five women artists. Most people across Australia might have a bit of trouble with that.
Amelia: I think I would.
Annika: And it really came about …
Annika is an artist educator here at the National Gallery of Australia, which is on a mission to teach us some new names.
Annika: Some of those really famous names that you might be familiar with – you know, Picasso, Jackson Pollock – these men's names dominate the history books, but those history books were also written by men.
It's not that women haven't been making great art for hundreds, even thousands and thousands, of years. They have! But for women in many societies throughout history, being recognised as an artist has been a lot trickier.
Annika: In the past, women were more confined to the home, doing domestic labour, raising children.
The type of art they often did create wasn't taken as seriously. And while women were the subject of many paintings, female painters often weren't welcome at the great art academies of Europe, partly because they weren't allowed to see nude male models – a common way to learn to paint people.
Annika: A lot of art schools didn't welcome women in the past. When they did, they might be put into different classes or restricted in the materials and the subjects that they ... that they were allowed to work with.
For a long time, it wasn't socially acceptable for women to go to bars, cafés and theatres alone, which were popular scenes to paint, and their work was often overlooked or excluded from popular galleries.
Amelia: And does that mean that we've been potentially missing out on a female Van Gogh or, you know, these incredible artists that we might have had?
Annika: Yeah, absolutely.
Over the years, female artists have fought to change people's attitudes, but there's still a long way to go, as the National Gallery found out when it looked at its own collection.
Annika: Of the 100,000 works of art that we care for in the Australian art collection, only 25 per cent, or one-quarter, were by women artists. That really shocked us and, I mean, I think, if you ask yourselves, 'Is that fair?'
The gallery decided it wasn't and created this exhibition called 'Know My Name', featuring the work of women artists from 1900 to now, from paintings by Grace Crowley to these life-size sculptures by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers and Fiona Hall's birds' nests made from shredded US dollars.
Annika: We need to change our perspective and to have a look back at all of the wonderful women artists who might have been overlooked. We need to spend time to appreciate their art and to know their names.
The gallery's also working towards a more equal permanent collection, starting with its biggest female art commission yet – this big guy, Skywhalepapa by Patricia Piccinini. The Skywhales will tour around Australia and show girls that when it comes to art, the sky's the limit.
Annika: This is exciting because this is something that, you know, young people can contribute to, to carve out a better future and a more inclusive future for all of us.