The Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series (DWAS), founded by Joan Snyder and established at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library in 1971, is the oldest continuous running exhibition space in the United States dedicated to making visible the work of emerging and established contemporary women artists. Formerly known as the Women Artists Series, in 1987 the Series was renamed in memory of Mary H. Dana, (Douglass College [DC], Class of 1942), by her friend, Professor Emeritus Nelle Smithers. The Series was initiated upon the suggestion of alumna artist Joan Snyder (DC, 1962), to Library Director Daisy Brightenback Shenholm (DC, 1944), who responded enthusiastically, and appointed the Series' first coordinator, Lynn F. Miller. During the Series' first twenty-five years, close to 200 artists, both acclaimed and emerging, have exhibited in the Douglass Library lobby gallery space and under the direction of other former coordinators Evelyn Apgar (DC, 1969), Beryl Smith (DC, 1982), Bonnie Goldstein, Karen McGruder, Elsa Bruguier, and Marianne Ficarra (DC, 1988). Dr. Ferris Olin (DC, 1970), Founding Head of the Margery Somers Foster Center/Rutgers University Libraries, served as the Series' curator until 1994. In 2004, with Ferris Olin, Joseph Consoli and Sara Harrington were appointed co-curators of the Series. In 2006, the Mary H. Dana Women Artist Series became a program of the Institute for Women in Art (IWA) in partnership with Rutgers University Libraries. From 2006 until 2012, the Series was co-curated by IWA founding co-directors Ferris Olin and Distinguished Professor Emerita Judith K. Brodsky, Founding Director of the Brodsky Center/Mason Gross School of the Arts. In 2015 the IWA was renamed the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities.
For current Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series events, visit the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities (CWAH) and also Dana Women Artists Series publications, and past Dana Women Artists Series event videos.
The Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists
The Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists contains files related to women artists and art organizations.
These collections are housed in Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives and
are open by appointment to scholars, curators, researchers and students who seek documentation about women's
art practices. In addition to the operational and artists files for the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series,
there are also files in the Contemporary Women Artists Files (CWAF) of emerging and established contemporary
women artists. Women artists are invited to submit their resume, an artist statement and supporting
documentation to be housed in the CWAF by sending their materials to:
Dr. Fernanda Perrone
Special Collections/University Archives-Rutgers University Libraries
c/o Alexander Library
169 College Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Guide to the Archives