Carrie Rebora Barratt, Ph.D., the CEO and President of the New York Botanical Garden and former Deputy Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was one of the two keynote speakers at the 2019 CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference at Hunter College. The theme of the conference was “Leading With Values and Culture”. Ms. Barratt’s keynote speech spoke upon the “Female Forces of Nature in Culture.” With her polish and poise, she informed us that women’s involvement in the Botanical Gardens was nothing new nor surprising. Elizabeth Gertrude Britton and Peggy Rockefeller were heavily involved in cultivating the importance of the garden. It is time to reach outside the box and do what pleases you.
Ms. Barratt reflected on the effects and changes society had on women through paintings from collections such as the Museum of New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Topics such as the importance of institutions of art and culture, as well as the people who financed it, were touched upon during the middle of the presentation. The audience was able to witness the profound knowledge and understanding that Ms. Barratt brings to the stage.
A dappling of exciting topics in art history sheds light on female subjects in paintings. We may now recognize the meaning of the plums and peaches or the flora in women’s’ portraits in eighteenth-century art from Maine, thanks to Ms. Barrett’s insightful presentation. She discussed the many women such as Ladybird Johnson that influenced and molded the Botanical Gardens.
On a more business-related matter, the audience learned that the number of women heading establishments like museums and gardens is growing and opportunities are there for the taking.
Dr. Barratt proved that a solid education could prepare a graduate for many roles. With excellent education, like one that may be obtained here, at CUNY, one can go on to incorporate their passions, interests, or even unfamiliar territory into new opportunities, new career paths. The possibilities are limitless, and their futures are bright. More information about topics covered in Carrie Rebora Barratt’s presentation is available by visiting the New York Botanical Gardens and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.