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Art World Surveys

In the late 1980s, Howardena Pindell began researching the demographics of artists represented in New York museums and commercial galleries. She presented her findings in a 1987 paper, Statistics, Testimony, and Supporting Documentation, and in a follow-up paper, Commentary and Update of Gallery and Museum Statistics, 1986–1997. These seminal documents are republished here. The Methodology section provides a brief summary of Pindell’s documentation and our suggested updates to her data collection methods.

Pindell’s illuminating research anticipated today’s urgent conversations about equity and inclusion, and the questions she raised in her 1980s and 1990s studies are just as relevant today as they were then. Her work has inspired the MCA team to interrogate our own practices with the rigor and thoughtfulness practiced by Pindell and to encourage others to do so as well.


= People of color

= White

New York Museums