Why Are There No Artists or Art People on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women List?

Beyonce, who was prominently featured on Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

It’s been a big day for women—or more specifically, lists about them.

While we polled 62 of our favorite art world ladies on their secrets to a successful career (see 62 Women Share Their Secrets to Art World Success: Part One and Part Two), Forbes released their annual list of the most powerful women in the world.

But unlike their 30 under 30 list, which featured a handful of hot young artists like Kour Pour, Jamian Juliano-Villani, and Jacolby Satterwhite (see Which Artists Made Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 List?), we couldn’t help but notice there was a dearth of female artists, museum executives, collectors, and other culturally-inclined professionals. What gives?

To be fair, this is a list of the most powerful women in the entire world, topped by the likes of Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, and Melinda Gates. Even the First Lady couldn’t compete—Michelle Obama is listed as #10. So it’s understandable that even those who seem like superstars in the art sphere might have trouble getting to the top of this particular power list.

However, entertainers such as Taylor Swift, Sofia Vergara, and Beyoncé are prominently placed on this year’s list. Surely artists such as Marina Abramović, Kara Walker, Cindy Sherman, or Yoko Ono are equally culturally relevant. Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani was #91 last year, while Agnes Gund has never made the cut herself.

Perhaps next year, instead of having a category dedicated to celebrity, the publication could change it to arts and entertainment, or expand the fashion and retail section to include leaders in art and design as well. Until then, there’s always our very own compilation of the 100 most powerful women in the art world (see The 100 Most Powerful Women in Art: Part One, Two, and Three).

Yoko Ono interacts with her piece Apple. Photo: via Reuters.

Yoko Ono interacts with her piece Apple.
Photo: via Reuters.


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