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.

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

Mrs. Elizabeth Duane Gillespie
Mrs. Elizabeth Duane Gillespie
by Thomas Eakins