The Women's Committee of PAFA

The Women's Committee is committed to supporting PAFA in accordance with its mission statement through volunteerism and fundraising.

The Women's Committee shall be consistent with the values of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and shall advance its programs, which are:

  • to support the institution through fundraising
  • to raise awareness and appreciation of American art
  • to promote American artists

The Women's Committee also works to assist the Board of Trustees and the President of the Pennsylvania Academy in the implementation of the Museum and School programs.

Women's Board members on the steps of the Historic Landmark Building. Front row (L-R): Camille Peluso, Sandy Nesbitt, Lynn Lehocky (President), Janice Peck, Lauren Peck, Pamela Felice | Second Row:  Virginia Baltzell, Katie Rhodes, Marianne Dean, Carmen Navarro Peleaz, Pia Halloran, Donna Salvo, Linda Aversa-Caldwell | Back Row: Julia DeMoss, Georgiana Noll, Andrea Alexanian, Libby Sullivan Trammell, Maggie Malone Murphy
Front row (L-R): Camille Peluso, Sandy Nesbitt, Lynn Lehocky, Janice Peck, Lauren Peck, Pamela Felice
Second Row:  Virginia Baltzell, Katie Rhodes, Marianne Dean, Carmen Navarro Pelaez, Pia Halloran, Donna Salvo, Linda Aversa-Caldwell
Back Row: Julia DeMoss, Georgiana Noll, Andrea Alexanian, Libby Sullivan Trammell, Maggie Malone Murphy


Members & Officers


Dorothy Mather IxPresident
Pia HalloranCo-chair, ASE Preview Party 2024
Iris SheaCo-chair, ASE Preview Party 2024
Julia DeMossTreasurer
Donna SalvoSecretary
Johanna ChehiVice President, Membership
Lynn LehockyChair, Travel and Tours and Chair, Nominating
Georgie NollChair, Student Liaison
Janice PeckChair, Student Liaison
Katie RhodesChair, Museum Events

Active Members

Lauren Addis
Andrea Alexanian
Linda Aversa-Caldwell
Virginia Baltzell
Julie Jensen Bryan
Amanda Burden
Johanna Sturm Chehi
Ximena Coriat
Kelly Culley
Marianne N. Dean
Julia B. DeMoss
Jill Durovsik
Bobette Leidner Fisk
Roz Gibbons
Pia Halloran
Rosemary Hankowsky
Dorothy Mather Ix
Katie Ix
Keri Laign
Lynn Lehocky
Sandra G. Marshall
Ashley Stewardson McGuinness
Nicole McLaughlin
Sandra Mezzanotte
Marigrace Morris
Maggie Malone Murphy
Carolyn Nagy
Sandra L. Nesbitt
Leslie Newbold
Georgiana W. Noll
Elizabeth O'Connell
Janice Peck
Carmen Navarro Pelaez
Camille Peluso
Heidi Regent
Katie Rhodes
Lauren Peck Rosenau
Donna Marie Salvo
Iris Shea
June Marshall Smith
Janis Strimel
Annika Virdone
Julia Ward
Kathryn Quinn Wright

Associate Members

Diana H. Bittel
Kathleen M. Cannon
Diana Sinkler Claggett 
Geraldine Dietz Fox
Laura H. Gardiner
Gale S. Gillespie
Susan Eaton Guill
Penelope M. Hunt
Connie Kay
Patricia P. Kermes
Maxine Lewis
Mary MacGregor Mather
Anne E. McCollum
Laura Morris
Karyn A. Mullen
Rebecca Segall
Mimi Snyder
Robin H. Windt


History of the Women's Committee

The Women’s Committee was formed April 12, 1950, at the request of then-PAFA President John Frederick Lewis Jr. and Director Joseph T. Fraser Jr.

In its first decade, the activities of the Committee were primarily social, with the goal of improving student life and promoting PAFA. The members held dinner parties and served tea at exhibition openings. Small fundraisers raised money for educational trips and student luncheons. The Committee established a Student Aid Fund in 1956.

In the 1960s, the Women’s Committee began to focus primarily on fundraising. In 1962, the Committee hosted its first Annual Student Exhibition Preview Party, an event that is now in its fifth decade. The purpose of the party was twofold: to raise funds for student scholarships and to encourage the sale of student works.

During the past three decades, the Women’s Committee has been instrumental in raising funds for a variety of needs. In the mid 1970’s, the group assisted PAFA in raising the money needed to restore the Historic Landmark Building. In 1984, the Committee held an auction and gala to celebrate the opening of the Peale House on Chestnut Street.

From 1992 to 2011, the Women’s Committee, then named the Women’s Board, produced USArtists: American Fine Art Show. An exhibition and sale of American art from fine art galleries across the nation, the annual event was a major fundraiser that also served to introduce PAFA to a wide audience of art enthusiasts and collectors. Changing patterns of art collecting and a recession ended USArtists, but not before it had raised over $1.5 million for PAFA.

In 2005, the group established the annual Women’s Board Travel Scholarship, which instantly became one of PAFA’s most coveted awards. The Women’s Committee launched its largest fundraising effort in 2001 with a pledge of $500,000 towards PAFA’s Campus Capital Campaign. The pledge was fulfilled in 2006. Two years later, in 2008, the Women’s Committee made its largest annual gift to PAFA, $350,000.   

Currently, the Women’s Committee focuses on enlarging the fundraising and friend-raising capabilities of the Annual Student Exhibition Preview Party in the spring. The Women’s Committee also continues its longtime tradition of hosting the students’ annual holiday luncheon and the parents’ and students’ graduation luncheon.

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the United States’ first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers a world-class collection of American art, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and educational opportunities in the fine arts. The PAFA Museum aims to tell America's diverse story through art, expanding who has been included in the canon of art history through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, while classes educate artists and appreciators with a deep understanding of traditions and the ability to challenge conventions. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.