Why do men's pictures cost 10 times more than women’s?

This online exhibition takes its cue from Recalculating Art, an eye-opening new BBC4 radio exposé by Dr Helen Gorrill which reveals that for every £1 a male artist earns for his work at auction, a woman earns a mere 10 pence. It is a groundbreaking study of gender and value, in which Gorrill proves that there are few aesthetic differences between men and women’s painting, but yet considerable disparity in the market.

As part of her research, Gorrill has discovered that although prices for work by female artists are starting from a far lower base, they are currently rising 29% faster than for art by men. This selection therefore features a number of works by female artists who have recently enjoyed a large upturn at auction – including Evelyn Dunbar, Ithell Colquhoun, and Tirzah Garwood. Conversely, only a handful of works by artists such as Edith Rimmington or Kathleen Guthrie have ever passed through auction, which both hints at markets yet to be tested, while underscoring the studies of Gorrill and others.

Recalculating Art is available now on the BBC iPlayer. Further details may be found via the link below:


Works FEATURED in this Exhibition

Frances Richards (1903 - 1985)
Penitent Figure, 1984
Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Study for The Twins, 1955
Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Portrait of a Woman Knitting
Edith Rimmington (1902 - 1986)
The Museum II, 1953
Tirzah Garwood-Ravilious (1908 - 1951)
The Dog Show, 1929
Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)
A Nymph from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906
Margaret Maitland Howard (1898 - 1983)
Female Nude, Seated, Three-Quarter Rear View, c.1920
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Waternymphomania, circa 1928
Winifred Knights (1899 - 1947)
Colour Study for Foreground Figure of Woman Combing her Hair, Santissima Trinita, mid 1920’s
Kathleen Guthrie (1905 - 1981)
The Strawberry Hat
Rachel Reckitt (1908 - 1995)
Cubist Figure
Else Berg (1877 - 1942)
Young Girl at a table
Evelyn Dunbar (1906 - 1960)
Woman Selling Watermelon Slices, West Indies
Clare Leighton (1898 - 1989)
Scarecrow, BPL 548 1942
Edith Rimmington (1902 - 1986)
The Museum I, 1953
Ithell Colquhoun (1906 - 1988)
Highland Landscape, 1965
Paule Vezelay (1892 - 1984)
Three Forms on Grey
Phyllis Ginger (1907 - 2005)
Self portrait, c.1937