Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt and Steven Alan Bennett

A collection of figurative realist paintings of women by women

Steven Alan Bennett and Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt established The Bennett Collection of Women Realists® in 2009. The two collectors limit their collection to figurative realist paintings of women by women artists. The Collection includes work by some of the most exciting women painters currently working: Julie Bell, Margaret Bowland, Aleah Chapin, Aneka Ingold, Andrea Kowch, Alyssa Monks, Katie O’Hagan and dozens of others on the cutting edge of figurative realism. In addition, the Collection includes historic women painters from across the generations, including Gertrude Abercrombie, Artemisia Gentileschi, Elaine de Kooning, Elisabetta Sirani, and many others.

Recent Acquisitions

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Susan Contreras

Los Trabajadores

Oil on Canvas, 51.5” x 61.5”

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Jeanne Mammen

Meditation, ca 1930

Watercolor on Paper, 16” x 12”

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Agnes Martin

Portrait of Daphne Vaughn, ca 1947- 1949

Encaustic on Canvas, 20" x 16"

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Megan Read

Roots, 2020

Oil on ACM, 5" x 5"

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Ann Graves Tanksley

The Smothering Mother, 1971

Oil on Canvas, 29" x 36.5"

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Lesley Thiel

She Will Rise, 2020

Oil on Panel, 20” x 20"

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Lesley Thiel

The Sinking of the Gaia, 2020

Oil on Panel, 20” x 24"

The largest prize offered solely to women figurative realist painters.

The Bennett Prize® , created in 2018, biannually awards $50,000 to a woman artist to create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings, which travels the country. The Prize propels the careers of women painters who have not yet realized full professional recognition, empowering new artists and those who have painted for many years. The Prize expands opportunities for the public, who may not be familiar with figurative realist painting, to learn more about the creative vision of talented women painters in this increasingly popular genre.

Upcoming Events

The Bennett Prize 2.0 Exhibition, Rising Voices

Muskegon Museum of Art

Muskegon, MI USA

May 27 - Sep 12, 2021

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The Bennett Prize 2.0 Winner Announced at Rising Voices Opening Night

Muskegon Museum of Art

Muskegon, MI USA

May 27, 2021

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The Bennett Prize Traveling Exhibition

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 937 Gallery

Pittsburgh, PA USA

June 01 - Aug 08, 2021

All Traveling Exhibitions


Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art

Wausau, WI USA

July 01 - Aug 28, 2021

Exhibition Link