For whatever reasons, women were important players in this field long before they were in many others. Cross Peggy Guggenheim, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Grace Borgenicht, Betty Parsons, Holly Solomon, Ilena Sonnabend, Paula Cooper, Mary Boone, Gracie Mansion, Annina Nosei, Pat Hearn, Andrea Rosen, Dominique De Menil, Lisa Spellman, Barbara Gladstone and the like out of 20th century art history and you get a very grey picture.In light of these powerful roles, it's surprising women artists were so ignored.
As you can see from the list below, The Mattress Factory, Quantum Theatre, Dance Alloy and Attack Theater would not exist without the women who founded them.
List from The Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Barbara Baker: president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium since 1990
Karla Boos: artistic director of Quantum Theatre, which she founded in 1990
Tracy Brigden: artistic director of City Theatre Company since 2001
Betsy Burleigh: music director for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh since 2006
Rene Conrad: executive director of the New Hazlett Theater since January.
Michelle de la Reza: founded Attack Theatre with Peter Kope in 1994. They serve as artistic directors.
Jackie Dempsey: founded Squonk Opera in 1992 with Steve O'Hearn. She and O'Hearn serve as artistic directors.
Ellen Fleurov: executive director of Silver Eye Center for Photography since 2009
Dawn Keezer: director of the Pittsburgh Film Office since 1994
Barbara Luderowski: founding director and board president of The Mattress Factory, North Side, which she founded in 1977. Since 2008, she and Michael Olijnyk have served as directors.
Barbara K. Mistick: outgoing president and director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; a position she's held since 2005.
Ann Metzger: Henry J. Buhl Jr. co-director with Ronald J. Baillie of the Carnegie Science Center since 2009.
Judith O'Toole: director and CEO of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art since 1993.
Greer Reed-Jones and Susan Sparks: artistic director and executive director, respectively, of Dance Alloy, since 2009.
Janera Solomon: executive director of the Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre since 2008
Jane Werner: executive director of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh since 1999.
Lynn Zelevansky: Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art since 2009.