Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, collector, philanthropist, and cofounder of the museum, is today’s Quotable Nerdy Chick. Her life’s work has been to expose and advance female artists’ contributions to the world.
Wilhelmina Cole Holladay Quotes:
• In my view…art is about beauty. Art reflects our shared humanity, the traits, talents, and qualities that make us human. Art transcends politics, gender, color, religion, age, and nationality. Art is the great unifier.
• When substantial accomplishments and excellence are known, the right to be taken seriously surely will follow. Women should know their heritage which has been so long ignored.
• When I see a work of art, it awes me. I want to share it. Art is one thing everybody can join together to applaud.
• If we can heighten the awareness of great achievement by women artists so they will be included in major museums, and heighten the awareness of the inequities so they’ll be corrected, that’s a step in the right direction.
• …we’re terribly indebted to the feminists. I think some of their activities in promoting were rather unpleasant and harsh, but maybe that’s what you have to do when you’re breaking ground.
• My greatest challenge was to acquire the ability to speak in public. It has helped me so much. See, this helps you and in order to face any challenge, to be successful, you have to be able to sell. The only way you sell is to truly be comfortable in speaking.
Some quotes are taken from an oral history interview with Wilhelmina Holladay, 2005 Aug. 17-2005 Sept. 23, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Portrait credit: Michele Mattei, Wilhelmina Holladay, 2010; Archival ink on cotton rag paper, 30 x 40 in.