The "Blackberry Girls" go on show at National Portrait Gallery

by Guy J Kewney | posted on 04 April 2008

How badly does the Gallery dislike science and technology?  Why does it take RIM's money, and then turn its back on the source?

This is a coup for Charmaine Eggberry, head of RIM in Europe: her sponsored volume of portrait photos (by Bryan Adams) has made it to the National Portrait Gallery. It includes a picture of herself. But is Eggberry an artist?

Naturally, the mainstream media is far more excited by the picture of Annie Lennox [right] than the one of Eggberry herself [below, left] - and anyway, Lennox addressed the Press at the launch, so fair enough that Arts critics focused on the singer... but it leaves you asking - "What about women in tech?"

Why did RIM sponsor the exhibition? Because of its "Women In Technology" awards, which were revealed last November and will be again this year and because Eggberry thinks that modern women need inspiration to find new roles.

Her own quote (part of the NPG's press release) specifically mentions the roles of women in science and technology and business:

'The Modern Muses display celebrates the achievements of inspiring role models in diverse fields including the arts, literature, business and science.'
But the NPG's text (same document!) speaks of how
The second section of the exhibition, Celebrating Modern Muses explores how creative and intellectual women pursued their vocations in the predominantly male worlds of art and literature.
What happened to Eggberry's "business and science"? Come to that, what happened to politics? One of RIM's "muses" is Dr Scilla Ellworthy [left]. In 2001 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the third time. And you can see why Bryan Adams was able to take such a remarkable picture.

The "Modern Muses" part of the exhibition follows the "Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings" show and leads into the third part, "A Revolution in Female Manners" as the official release describes

Ironic, perhaps, that Eggberry's objectives are so slighted by the very institution that she thought she'd co-opted in her cause.

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