The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women represents three decades of collecting by philanthropist and political activist Barbara Lee. It brings together painting, sculpture, and photography by iconic modern and contemporary artists whose work and ideas have changed the course of art history. Ranging from portraiture to performance, abstraction and representation, conceptual and craft-based work, the art in the collection presents personal and political explorations of identity; feminism; materiality; and the body as the site of pleasure, violence, repression and expression.
Barbara Lee’s extraordinary gifts deepen the ICA’s holdings of works by Louise Bourgeois, Tara Donovan, Marlene Dumas, Mona Hatoum, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, and Lorna Simpson, and adds important works by artists who are part of the ICA’s exhibition history, including Sandra Cinto, Ellen Gallagher, Eva Hesse, Jenny Holzer, Doris Salcedo, Joan Semmel, Amy Sillman, Kiki Smith, and Kara Walker. With a supplementary gift—enhancing the original gift—including significant works by Sherrie Levine, Marisol, and Alice Neel, the Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women now encompasses a total of 85 major works of 20th- and 21st-century art.