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Art Herstory

Entered in Integrated Campaign


The National Gallery of Art is the most visited art museum in the US, with a collection of over 160,000 artworks. But a major problem emerged with this number. In 2019, our new director Kaywin Feldman rolled out an extensive evaluation, revealing that only about 8% of our collection featured work by women artists.

The problem wasn’t unique to us; it was part of a larger concern– the underrepresentation of women artists in major museums around the world. Acknowledging this disparity, we took action.

This year, with careful planning around the focus of our acquisition strategy, we increased the number works we acquired annually by women artists from 12% to 32%. However, we wanted to take our commitment to inclusivity go beyond numbers. And we observed that paintings by male artists are still more top-of-mind among our visitors.

In 2023 we acquired a 240-year-old painting by French artist Anne Vallayer-Coster, a masterpiece that remained hidden for centuries until its rediscovery in 2022. The painting became a catalyst to build public awareness and enthusiasm for the overlooked contributions of a remarkable, lesser-known woman artist.




To be noticed and recognized by art lovers in and outside the fine art space, we developed a short form animation to excite audiences organically. We enlisted the help of award-winning animator Rino Stefano Tagliafierro to produce the video. As the museum gender disparity is an obstacle around the world, we wanted to reach art lovers across the global museum market. So we leaned into the French origins of the painting, integrating original music produced by a French artist and translating caption text and hashtags to French.

Budget for animation $6,000


Our goal was to generate awareness and drive engagement, and in just four days, we drove 2M+ video views, 206K+ engagements, and 3.8M+ earned media impressions. It has become the National Gallery's most-watched video on social media to date. Because of the video, the museum increased its audience size across its social channels by 233% in one week. With many, from countries around the world, expressing interest in visiting the museum and learning more about Anne Vallayer-Coster’s work. The rollout of the news was not only accompanied by the full suite of content on our owned channels (social media, website blog, and press materials), but also with a very poignant story outlining our new collecting strategy: 


Video for Art Herstory

Entrant Company / Organization Name

National Gallery of Art


Entry Credits