About the Committee

Throughout its long and distinguished history, the determined and professional fund-raising efforts of The Women’s Committee have benefited the PMA, students, families, the Philadelphia community, and countless art-lovers.

History of the Committee

The Associate Committee of Women of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art was formed in 1883 by 27 women including Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin. Mrs. Gillespie was a notable Philadelphian who organized many philanthropic endeavors including the Women’s Pavilion at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. In 1938, the museum’s name was changed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

In 1961, the committee updated its name to The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and continues the tradition of community service as an independently chartered 501c3 corporation dedicated to supporting the mission of the museum.

Today’s committee has 45 active members and 26 sustaining members who produce events such as the annual nationally acclaimed Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show, as well as The Philadelphia Show: Antiques, Art, Design organized in partnership with the museum.

Grant Review Process

The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (TWC) annually reviews and votes on the museum approved grant applications from museum departments seeking project support. A member of TWC meets with each of the grant applicants to review and further research the application. The applications are then presented to the entire committee at the April meeting annually at which time, votes are cast to determine which projects will be funded. The amount of money awarded is based on the funds raised in the prior fiscal year. Most of the money granted each year are the result of the annual PMA Contemporary Craft Show profits. In addition, other established funds and gifts play a role in the grant funding.