AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions is a non-profit Association Loi 1901, co-founded in 2014 and directed by Camille Morineau, curator and art historian, specialising in women artists
“The primary ambition of AWARE is to rewrite the history of art on an equal footing. Placing women on the same level as their male counterparts and making their works known is long oveerdue.”
Since its creation in 2014, AWARE has worked to make women* artists of the 19th and 20th century visible by producing and posting free bilingual (French/English) content about their work on its website.
The biographies published online largely originate from the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices (Universal dictionary of female creators), published in 2013 thanks to a partnership with the Éditions des Femmes – Antoinette Fouque. This website’s database brings together women artists born between 1790 and 1972 working in visual arts, with no limitations on medium or country. The partnerships developed with museums, universities and art historians, as well as with sponsors and cultural events in France and abroad have contributed to the development of AWARE’s online database, updated weekly with new artist profiles and research articles.
Particular attention is paid to the accessibility of quality information. Thematic courses on major art history subjects, animated series for children, and podcasts all offer entertaining ways to discover or better understand the lives and work of women artists.
In order to widely disseminate research on women artists, AWARE organises symposia, round tables and seminars in France and abroad in collaboration with universities and museums. It also participates in various fairs and biennials around the world in order to increase the visibility and presence of women artists (Art Paris Art Fair, The Armory Show in New York, etc.).
In order to pay tribute both to women whose artistic careers have not been fully celebrated and to promote artistic creation, each year the AWARE Prizes for Women Artists are presented in partnership with France’s Ministry of Culture to one mid-career artist and one artist with an over 40 year-long career.
AWARE also gives a voice to women artists not only by supporting their production through open calls for projects, but also through book-length interviews, as is the case for the AWARE Outstanding Merit Prize winners.
AWARE edits its own publications: events organised by the association, such as symposia and seminars, have been edited into books. The transcriptions are accessible on its website and printed on demand.
Bibliographic resources on women artists and feminist art are also available. Certain of these resources are available for consultation by appointment at AWARE’s Documentation Centre in Paris – which brings together more than 3000 references – as well as online.
*Woman is understood as a person who, regardless of their gender assigned at birth, identifies as such.
To accompany it in its missions, AWARE has set up and coordinates two types of networks throughout the world:
– TEAM: Teaching, e-learning, Agency, Mentoring is an international academic network, coordinated by Maura Reilly, whose goal is to collect and publish resources on women artists produced by academics.
It allows AWARE to enrich its website, with priority given to geographical areas which are still under-represented, and to support the training of a new generation of art historians sensitive to gender issues and the place of women artists.
– AMIS: AWARE Museum Initiative and Support is the first initiative that brings together museums from around the world to collect and share research on women artists produced for exhibitions and acquisitions.