Works From Largest Private Collection of Female-Created Art to Be Displayed in Northwell Hospitals Starting May 19

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Women Who Dared” art collection, the largest privately held collection of exclusively female-created works of art, will go on display at New York State’s largest health system – Northwell Health. The collection was meticulously assembled over 30 years by California-based collectors and philanthropists Sandra and William Nicholson. It features more than 400 pieces of visual art from female artists spanning 2,500 years and seven continents. The collection has never before been seen in public.

Starting May 19th, and as a tribute to its more than 50,000 female employees and the one million women it treats annually, Northwell will proudly display select pieces of work from the collection throughout its hospitals, including some 23 works on its Manhattan campuses: Lenox Hill Hospital, Lenox Health Greenwich Village and Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital.

he collection will be unveiled at an event held that same day at Lenox Hill Hospital to coincide with Women’s Health Month. The four paintings on display there include: John F. Kennedy (1963) by Elaine de Kooning, The Yellow Hat (1926) by Grace Spaulding John, Composizione Cubofuturista (1913) by Natalia Goncharova, and Flowers on a Yellow Field (1961) by Françoise Gilot.

“Art has been shown to heal, inspire and bring joy, and we believe it has the greatest impact in a health care setting where it can nurture patients and motivate staff,” said Mrs. Nicholson. “We are delighted to share our collection with Northwell to honor its legacy of contributions to the diverse communities it serves, and the distinguished service provided by their frontline health care and nursing professionals.”

Michael Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO, and Elaine Brennan, executive director of Strategic Partnerships for the health system, expressed Northwell’s gratitude for the Nicholsons’ generosity and highlighted the health system’s long-standing commitment to women through innovative, gender-specific wellness programs.

“Women are the bedrock of healthy families and communities, but when it comes to their own health, they have been neglected for far too long. At Northwell, we have taken progressive steps over the past few decades to minimize gender-based health disparities,” said Mr. Dowling. “Featuring beautiful art by audacious women artists aligns with our goal to achieve meaningful progress in creating a more equitable health care environment.”

The Nicholsons also attended the event where they explained their reasons for amassing such a collection and their decision to have it be displayed in the health system. Their inspiration came through their travel overseas where they discovered that female artists were dramatically underrepresented in galleries and museums. Thirty years ago, less than 2 percent of art acquired by major museums was by women. By the mid-2010s, that number had increased only slightly to 11 percent. This is consistent with the lack of visibility and underrepresentation of female artists throughout history.

The thematically diverse “Women Who Dared” collection is not only historically and culturally significant, but it is a celebration of women by women. It’s important to the couple that the legacy of the collection continues to heal, educate and inspire others.

“We are sincerely grateful for the Nicholsons’ generosity. Exhibiting this incomparable art collection throughout Northwell is a natural fit that allows our employees, patients and communities to experience art representing a broad diversity of races, ethnicities and themes that echo their own backgrounds,” said Ms. Brennan. “The grit and perseverance of these pioneering women artists is personified by the unmatched strength of our female workforce. It is our hope that the collection will inspire the communities we serve to empower the women in their lives.”

At Northwell’s Manhattan facilities, the unique art pieces are featured in a variety of public settings – from the bustling hallways and the lively maternity floor to the tranquil prayer room and the emotionally-charged surgical waiting area. While the artwork chosen for Lenox Hill Hospital and Lenox Health Greenwich Village feature themes, such as women, flowers, water and pride, the series chosen for Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital highlights female Hispanic artists.

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