During March of 2016, in honor of Women’s History Month, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), in Washington D. C., launched a social media campaign asking, “Can you name five women artists?” A seemingly simple question with a not-so-simple answer—even for those who consider themselves well-versed in the arts—#5WomenArtists provided a challenge, and sparked conversation about gender parity in the arts.

This March, Historic Arkansas Museum is participating and continuing the NMWA’s campaign to increase gender parity in the arts in by using #5WomenArtists to share important contributions by women in our collections and exhibitions.

If you ask someone to name five artists, they will likely give you names of prominent male artists, but how many people can list five women artists? This social media campaign directly addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art in the United States and abroad, assuring great women artists a place of honor now and into the future. Here we have featured the work of five female Arkansas artists: Jamie Goza Fox, Essie Ann Treat Ward, Elsie Mae Ford, Natalie Smith Henry, and Neppie Lee Conner. These women made significant contributions to Arkansas’s art community, and their works represent Arkansas’s enduring creative legacy. Throughout the rest of the galleries, you will find other works by Arkansas women from the late 19th century onward.