Eleanor and Leonard Flomenhaft founded the Flomenhaft Gallery five years ago. Though their gallery is known for its sponsorship of women artists today, it was not always designed that way, says Eleanor, a feminist who has had a long career enabling women artists. Today, ten of the thirteen artists her gallery represents are women, and diversity is a leitmotif.
Eleanor cites the 1960s and 70s feminist revolution as a turning point for women’s art. “Women became unashamed to put their lives spiritually and emotionally to their ideas. Content became very much part of their work—they wanted to express themselves,” she recalls.
Yet, Eleanor maintains that the gallery’s mission is not a feminist one. “Women artists will learn how to stand on their own and discover their own soul (in their art),” she says. “Instead, the gallery’s roster is ethnically diverse, featuring Native American, African American, Indian and Asian artists. We feature ethnic artists because their stories speak to us and they are part of an American tapestry.”