The Women’s Committee of The Philadelphia Museum of Art was founded in 1883 by Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin. Mrs. Gillespie was a notable Philadelphian in her own right who organized many philanthropic endeavors including the Women’s Pavilion at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. The present Women’s Committee continues that tradition of community service as an independently chartered volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the Museum.
Today’s Women’s Committee has 45 active members who produce events such as the annual nationally acclaimed Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, the biennial Philadelphia Museum of Art Photography Portfolio Competition, as well as opening night galas for special exhibitions at the Museum. Over the years the Committee has also managed projects and events such as Small Indulgences, ArtWorks, a cookbook, and HolidayCard.