When Frances Morris became the first female director appointed at Tate Modern since the gallery opened in 2000 she said, “It has taken me a long time to work my way up the institutional hierarchy, which I suppose typifies the situation for many women. It’s still a boys’ club, no question in my mind.” This inspired a former Frieze employee, Joanna Payne, to start Marguerite – a network that wants to change art industry stereotypes through events and talks.
What Morris highlighted as she was appointed director at Tate Modern is widely known; the art industry is full of women in entry and mid level positions but as you look up the proverbial ladder to the top, that ratio quickly shifts. Marguerite aims to change this through its network.
Named after the most famous female beneficiary of 20th century art, Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim, it’s a space for women – and men – to reimagine the prevailing ‘boys’ club’ that exists today. Taking on new members for their first Winter Program, Marguerite upcoming events include a conversation between Morris and FT Arts Editor, Jan Dalley, an evening with photographer Nick Knight, and studio visits with Annie Morris and Idris Khan.
Tuesday evening saw Marguerite launch with a conversation and performance from artist and choreographer, Holley Blakey at Alex Eagle’s boutique retail space, The Store. With a room predominantly full of women, the energy in the room was a taste of what’s to come. Through Marguerite events, Payne plans to create an international space for women, which supports them as they progress in their careers, whether in London, New York, Paris or Tokyo.