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Gender equality What it’s like to work as a female artist in Switzerland

Exclusive research by SWI and Swiss Public Television, RTS, found that art by women isn’t shown as often in Swiss art museums as art made by men. What is it really like to earn a living as a female artist in Switzerland? We brought together three generations of women to share their stories.

‘Working without the pressure of success’ and ‘not having to be in shows with men’. The ironic Guerrilla Girls’ poster, “the advantages of being a woman artist” was published thirty years ago. How much has changed since then? The results of’s research into gender equality at Swiss art museums paints a stark picture: only 26% of artists with solo shows were women.

To understand the challenges that female artists face, and to hear more about how the day-to-day reality of being a woman in the Swiss art world invited three generations of women to the ‘Paul Klee Zentrumexternal link’ art gallery in Bern, to share and compare their experiences, using the research findings as a starting point.

Nora Smithexternal link, 23, finished her art degree with a photography specialisation at the Lausanne Art School in 2018; Denise Bertschiexternal link, 36, is doing a doctorate in architecture at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, while being a teaching assistant at the Geneva Art School; and Elisabeth Eberleexternal link, 55, works at the crossroads of art and science, currently collaborating with a neuro-ophthalmologist.

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