Anonymous Was A Woman is an unrestricted grant of $25,000 that enables women artists, over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers, to continue to grow and pursue their work. The Award is given in recognition of an artist's accomplishments, artistic growth, originality and potential. It is not need-based. The Award is by nomination only.
The name of the grant program, Anonymous Was A Woman, refers to a line in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. As the name implies, nominators and those associated with the program are unnamed. The award was begun in 1996 in response to the decision of the National Endowment of the Arts to cease support of individual artists.
Each year, an outstanding group of distinguished women – art historians, curators, writers and previous winners from across the country – serve as nominators. To date, over 600 have participated.