Women with Bright Ideas

Board Community Founders Joe Shapiro Women

Dorie Sternberg reminisces about the beginning of the Women's Board.

We became the Woman’s Board. This group, which was put together by one of the trustees named Grace Hokin who was a woman on the board and she got this group together. They were all women. They were all smart, except me, but they were all smart. And some of them knew a lot about art, and some of us didn’t know. We just were interested and we were beginning to be collectors. There were a couple of girls that were actually docents of the Art Institute at the time, which gave us an in when we wanted to start a docent program.

The president of the museum was Joe Shapiro. He was very bright, great collector, wasn’t sure what women had to do in the project. So, one of my—I took one of my responsibilities was talk—not only talking to him, I went to another man I know on the board well. And I said, “You’re making a big mistake. You’re not using these women the way they could be used. They’re bright. They have ideas. They’re not here to give you money.” And they weren’t. None of us were. We were here to help. This museum was exciting and we all wanted to be a part of it.

Women's Board, 1980. Photo: © MCA Chicago

Women’s Board, 1980. Photo: © MCA Chicago

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