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Our Founder

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Dr. Jane Fortune, is an advocate for art preservation, social advancement and civic engagement. Known in Florence, by her nickname ‘Indiana Jane‘ for her efforts to recuperate hidden art treasures, Jane Fortune is Founder and Chair of the Advancing Women Artists Foundation. Her counsel has guided prestigious institutions and programs in Italy and the United States and her contributions have unlocked new opportunities in artistic, scientific and humanitarian endeavors. Jane’s passionate leadership has engaged new support for many worthwhile causes—the first of which is ‘advancing‘ art by historic women.

Jane Fortune with her Emmy Award (2013)

For Florence

Jane Fortune’s love for Florence has changed lives. See how, here. In addition to her work with AWA, Jane Fortune is cultural editor of the English-language newspaper The Florentine. She is the author of To Florence, Con Amore and Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence, which inspired an Emmy-award winning documentary of the same title in 2013. She has co-authored several books including Art by Women in Florence and When the World Aswered: Florence, Women Artists and the 1966 Flood. In Florence, she also on the Board of Trustees of the Medici Archive Project (MAP), one of the world’s leading Digital Humanities research organizations for research on history, art, and material culture in the period of the Renaissance through the Enlightenment. Under the auspices of MAP she has endowed a pilot program dedicated to researching women artists in the age of the Medici. It is the world’s first archival research program dedicated to women artists. Her Florentine awards include the prestigious ‘Fiorino d’Oro’ (2016) and the Tuscan-American Award (2013).
JAne Fortune at the Uffizi

JAne Fortune at the Uffizi

In the US

Our founder’s work in the United States spans many areas of interest. A philanthropist, lecturer, and art collector, Dr. Fortune serves on several US museum boards, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, and the Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington. She received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Indiana University in 2010. The vice chair of the Indianapolis City Ballet and a member of the Board of Governors at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Dr. Fortune is also on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the National Advisory Board of Indiana University Art Museum, the Dean’s Advisory Board of Herron School of Art and Design, and is a founding member of the Women’s Philanthropy Council at Indiana University. She received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Indiana University in 2010 and received the Living Legends Award from the Indiana Historical Society in 2014.
AWA founder Jane Fortune

AWA founder Jane Fortune