Collections and Finding Aids

Miriam Schapiro Papers, circa 1891-2019; bulk 1940-2008

Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists: About

Miriam Schapiro (1923-2015) was a feminist artist, educator, and collector. She is known as one of the mothers of feminist art of the 1970s. In addition to creating artwork celebrating women artists, she was a founding member of Heresies Collective, New York Feminist Art Institute, and brought the Feminist Art Program to the California Institute of the Arts with Judy Chicago. The collection contains correspondence, artwork, teaching files, lectures, writings, documentation of artwork and exhibitions, gallery files, photographs, audio/visual recordings, and collected material. Rutgers SC/UA is continuing to collect articles and ephemera documenting Schapiro's continuing career. Image Courtesy of the Schapiro Estate. 

  • Finding Aid Available
  • 91 record center cartons, 14 newspaper boxes, 6 high density photograph boxes, 5 map drawers, and 4 manuscript boxes.
Photo of Miriam Schapiro smiling with a green background

Joan Arbeiter Papers

Joan Arbeiter is an artist, author, and curator, focusing on women in the arts. Arbeiter was educated at Douglass College and the New York Feminist Art Institute, where she took the Visual Diaries Class. Because of NYFAI, Arbeiter became involved in the Women's Art Movement by joining the Women's Caucus for Art, exhibiting and curating at Ceres Gallery, and co-writing the book Lives and Works: Talks with Women Artists which was published in 1999. The collection contains documentation of Ceres exhibits; the writing, research, interviews, and editing of Lives; and correspondence with other women artists. Image Courtesy of the archive, with permission from the artist. 

  • Container List Available Upon Request
  • 6 cubic feet (6 records center cartons)
Black and white photo of Joan Arbeiter smiling

Art Educators of New Jersey Records

The Art Educators of New Jersey (1940-2016) is a professional organization working to promote and maintain visual arts programs throughout the state of New Jersey. The records in this collection represent the work of the organization from 1940 to 2016, with the bulk of the documents dating from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Included among the records are meeting minutes, newsletters, financial records, publications, photographs and scrapbooks. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

Logo for Art Educators of New Jersey

Suzanne Benton Papers

Suzanne Benton, artist, performer, sculptor, feminist, and women's advocate was born and raised in New York City. Benton was an early member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) where she led the Women in Art Task Force, a member of both the Women's Caucus for Art, Connecticut Chapter and the National Association of Women Artists, and creator of Positive Power, a series of forums that garnered a large audience exposing the public to women artists of Connecticut.The collection consists of materials from the years 1971 to 2003. Most of the files are devoted to Positive Power, a series of forums that was created by Benton and led by her as artistic director. More information can be found in the Suzanne Benton Papers at Schlesinger Library. 

Image Courtesy of the Artist. 

Photo of Suzanne Benton, holding one of her art pieces up to her face

Judith K. Brodsky Papers

The Judith K. Brodsky Papers document her professional career as an artist and as an activist. The collection is broken into three thematic subgroups: Judith K. Brodsky, Teaching Files, and Alternative Galleries. Judith K. Brodksy files document her role as activist and advocate for women in the arts. Teaching files document her years teaching at the Mason Gross School of Art, including Art Since the 1960s. Lastly, the Alternative Galleries files contain general information collected by Brodsky on the emergence of the women's art movement of the 1970s. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

  • Finding Aid Available
  • 30.5 cubic feet (17 manuscript boxes, 25 records center carton, and 1 newspaper box)
Black and white photo of Judith Brodsky

Diane Burko Papers

This collection consists of the correspondence and personal papers of Diane Burko, a Philadelphia-based painter and photographer. The collection documents Burko's work as an artist, her tenure as a professor, and activity in local and national art organizations. Since 2006, Diane Burko's work has focused on the issue of climate change. Documentation of her more recent archival work can be found at the Nevada Museum of Art Center for Art and Environment. Image Courtesy of the Artist. 

Photo of Diane Burko from the back, wearing a yellow jacket overlooking snowy mountaintops

Center/Gallery Records

This collection contains the administrative papers of the women’s art gallery, Center/Gallery. The folders contain the newsletters, calendars, meeting minutes, bylaws, budgets, and grant seeking applications of the organization. A significant portion of the collection contains newspaper clippings, flyers, and advertisements for the various exhibits, workshops, and sales held there. A limited amount of photographs are available for specific events. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

Black and white photo of a woman looking at an artwork designed like a postcard

Contemporary Women Artist Files

The Contemporary Women Artists Files (1971-2015) contain various materials on over 2200 women artists active in the United States. The collection is similar to the Lucy Lippard Women's Art Registry, but is continuously expanding. Document types include: exhibition announcements, catalogs, correspondence, press releases, DVDs, CDs, photographs, slides, and newspaper clippings. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

Graphic for an exhibit from the Contemporary Women Artist files

Mary Bartlett Cowdry Papers

Mary Bartlett Cowdry (1910-1974) was an art historian, curator, writer, and lecturer. She graduated from the New Jersey College for Women (later Douglass College) in 1933. She worked in various museums including the Newark Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and as associate director of the Smith College Museum of Art. She specialized in American Art from the 19th century. Included in her papers are correspondence, published writings, scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, and items she collected. Of special interest is her collection of correspondence from artists, including 2 letters sent by Rosa Bonheur. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

  •  7.6 cubic feet
Photo of Mary holding a photo frame

The Linda L. Cunningham Collection

The collection consists of documents, books, pamphlets, and brochures that Linda Cunningham created or obtained while she was active with various feminist artists groups. Items also included are photographs, negatives, and clothing. A third of the collection documents the Women Artist Visibility Event II, “Now You See Us” that occurred in 1986 and Linda Cunningham served as national coordinator. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

Logo for Linda Cunningham's event

Mary H. Dana Women Artist Series

This collection documents the activities of the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series from its origins in 1971 to the present. The Exhibited Artists Files include extensive information on the artists that have participated in the series. The Operational Files contain materials related to the organization of the exhibits and the day-to-day administration of the series. Image Courtesy of the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities. 

  • Finding Aid Available
  •   22.66 cubic feet (33 letter size manuscript boxes, 1 newspaper box, 15 records center cartons)
Photo of art by Mary Dana, featuring red flowers on a beige-yellow background

Elsa Honig Fine Papers

Documents primarily her founding and editorship of the Woman's Art Journal. Includes editorial correspondence with authors, articles, photocopies of 19th century books regarding English female artists and American women artists, awards and honors documentation, and Women in Art material. Contains a catalog, letters to artists, authors, and collectors, public relations, reviews, videotapes, and photographs from the American Women Artists exhibition. Also documents her research for two books on women artists, Women in Art and Education and the Afro-American ArtistImage Courtesy of the Archives. 

  • Container List Available
  •  11 cubic feet (10 records center cartons and six photoboxes)
Cover of Women's Art Journal

Dorothy Gillespie Papers

Dorothy Gillespie was an artist, a feminist activist, and a philanthropist. Her artwork, except for a few early paintings and several happenings in the 1960s, was entirely abstract. Gillespie was influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Happenings, Pop Art, and Feminism. In the 1970s, she became involved in the Women’s Interart Center, New York Professional Women Artists, and the Feminist Art Movement. She organized exhibitions, created a collection of women’s art, compiled statistics, and took part in protests against galleries. The bright and fun style of her sculptural abstractions was a hallmark and created various public art opportunities for her. The collection documents her art production from roughly the early 1940s through 2010, her involvement in New York artists associations and galleries, her pioneer course that the New School for Social Research “Functioning in the Art World,” correspondence between her and art institutions, and her public and commercial artworks. Image Courtesy of the Gillespie Estate. 

Photo of Dorothy Gillespie posing in black and white photo

Guerrilla Girls Posters

The Guerrilla Girls Posters (1985-1994) contains 32 original posters created by the art collective. The collective was composed of women artists, queer women artists, and women artists of color who called themselves the conscience of the art world. Their posters and their protests used humor to highlight sexism and racism in the art world. Later, their posters would expand to include political issues unrelated to the art world. Our collection highlights both aspects. 

Image Courtesy of the Guerrilla Girls. 

Gif of a gorilla head with a flexing bicep, featuring guerrilla girls in red lettering

Carol Hamoy Papers

Carol Hamoy is a visual artist who primarily works in mixed media sculptures that express an understanding of both her Jewish heritage and her history as a woman. Her papers document her work from the 1970s through the 2010s as well as the various women’s art organizations she was involved in, including Ceres Gallery. Image Courtesy of the Artist. 

Photo of Carol Hamoy

Heresies Collective, Inc.

Heresies Collective was founded in 1976 by Patsy Beckert, Joan Braderman, Mary Beth Edelson, Harmony Hammond, Elizabeth Hess, Joyce Kozloff, Arlene Ladden, Lucy Lippard, Mary Miss, Marty Pottenger, Miriam Schapiro, Joan Snyder, Elke Solomon, Pat Steir, May Stevens, Susana Torre, Elizabeth Weatherford, Sally Webster, and Nina Yankowitz. The collective of feminists published 27 issues of the journal Heresies from 1977-1993. Each issue was centered on a specific theme that was explored by rotating editorial collectives. The goal of the journal was to stimulate conversation about the intersection of art, feminism, and politics. The collection contains administrative records, correspondence, fundraising files, grant applications, essays by feminist scholars, proposed issues (Russian collaboration), collected book and magazine images used in various issues, photographs of artwork, and a complete run of the journal. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

Image depicting heresies

Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey

The collection contains written and photographic documentation of  2,600 New Jersey quilts made from 1830-1980. The project documented quilts throughout New Jersey from 1986-2004. Digitized images of the quilts are available on the Quilt Index. The Quilt Index now has over 90,000 freely-accessible and searchable records of quilts (from public and private collections, including over 250 museums) and hundreds of related stories, photos, publications, and ephemera. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

  • Container List Available, some records are restricted
  • Digitized Quilts
  • 9 cubic feet
Photo of a digitized quilt pattern

Janet Hobhouse Papers

The Janet Hobhouse Papers includes personal correspondence, editorial correspondence, notes and manuscripts of published works, copies of her essays and reviews, and reviews of her books. In the collection are also a number of photographs, a scrapbook, a taped interview, and personal miscellany. In addition to Ms. Hobhouse's papers, the collection contains the papers of her mother, Frances Hobhouse, who predeceased her. Mrs. Hobhouse's papers included an important set of detailed letters written by Janet to her mother when she was a teenage girl and young woman living in England, as well as Mrs. Hobhouse's diaries, photographs, and personal miscellany. Finally, the collection includes some papers of Janet Hobhouse's husband, Nicholas Fraser, including travel diaries, the manuscript of an unpublished novel, and personal miscellany. Image Courtesy of James Hamilton. 

  • Finding Aid
  • 15 cubic feet
  • Boxes 1 and 2 are restricted until 2040
Black and white photo of Janet Hobhouse, crossing her arms

Janet Indick Papers

The Janet Indick Papers (1962-2008) document Indick’s career as a New Jersey painter and sculptor. It contains records relating to exhibitions, donation and sale of artworks, publicity and press, and artistic organizations. Indick was active in the National Association of Women Artists, and served as the director from 1997-1998. Types of materials in the collection include correspondence, exhibition catalogs, applications, donation agreements, fliers, pamphlets, postcards, newsletters and magazines.  The collection highlights Indick’s identity as a Jewish artist and as a women artist. Image Courtesy of the Artist. 

Photo of Janet Indick with short white hair and smiling with her lips closed

Alison Knowles Papers

This is a small collection donated by Linda White, which includes correspondence documenting Allison Knowles' sculpture, Book of Bean, which was installed at the Muse Gallery in Philadelphia in 1982. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

  • Container List Available
  • 1 folder
Photo of Knowles' sculpture

Ora Lerman Papers

The Ora Lerman Papers (1955-2002) document Lerman's career as an artist. Ora Lerman (1938-1998) was an accomplished artist, writer, and teacher during the emergence of the women's art movement in the early 1970s, and her career became part of that movement. The papers span the period from 1955 to 1998, with the bulk dating between 1971 and 1998. The papers reflect the life and work of the artist and professor, during her adult life in New York City and her activities in the New York City Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art. Image Courtesy of the Archives, with permission from the Artist's Estate. 

Black and white photo of Lerman

Lucy Lippard Women's Art Registry

The Lucy Lippard Women's Art Registry began as a slide registry for the Ad Hoc Women Artist's Committee. Lippard was a member of the Ad Hoc Committee which was formed, first in response to the Whitney museum's lack of women artists and second in response to the Art Worker's Coalition lack of focus on gender in the art world. The women artist slide registry also began collecting catalogs, announcements, and ephemera in order to combat the ignorance of women artists. The collection contains documents related to individual artists and feminist organizations like: West East Bag, Ad Hoc Committee of Women Artists, Women Artists Visibility Event, Martha Rosler, Adrian Piper, and countless others. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

  • Container List Available
  • 122 cubic feet (120 records center cartons and oversized materials)
Collage of Lippard's work

Sheila Marbain Papers

Sheila Marbain was a master printer who created prints for artists through Maurel Studios. She came to prominence during the Pop Art Movement, and printed for artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Marisol, William Wegman, and Helen Frankenthaler. The collection documents her art collection, various silkscreen printing techniques, her retrospective exhibit at the Zimmerli Art Museum in 1990 and a predatory email/telephone lottery scam she fell prey to in 2008. Image Courtesy of Sandy Walker. 

Photo of Sheila Marbain moving one of her posters

Rita Myers Papers

The Rita Myers Papers documents Myers' art career. Myers received her BFA from Douglass College, Rutgers University and her MA from Hunter College. Since 1975, Rita Myers has created a body of large-scale, multi-media installations that create highly theatrical, metaphorical spaces from a fusion of video, text, sound, and sculptural and natural forms. Juxtaposing elements of landscape and architecture, these formalized, symbolic environments function as contemplative sites that resonate with evocations of the ritualistic and the mystical. The collection contains preparatory drawings, correspondence, biographical files, and publications. Image Courtesy of the Artist. 

  • Container List Available
  • 14 cubic feet (12 records center cartons and oversized materials)
Headshot of Myers, smiling with short white hair wearing a blue dress shirt and a blazer

National Association of Women Artists

The National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) encourages, supports, and promotes the work of professional women artists. The organization fosters public awareness of women artists through exhibitions, historical archives, and educational and outreach programs. Established in 1889, NAWA is the oldest professional women's fine arts organization in the United States. It continues to provide a forum for women artists to share ideas and to advance parity of participation for women in the art world. The collection contains annual exhibition catalogs, membership records, correspondence, administrative files, and visual media including scrapbooks. The collection documents the association's activities after 1923, when a board of directors was founded and continues to the present. Image Courtesy of N.A.W.A and the Archives. 

  • Container List Available
  • 96 cubic feet (95 record center cartons and 2 oversized scrapbooks)
Historic photo of NAWA meeting

New Jersey Women's Slide Registry

The New Jersey Women's Slide Registry was founded in August 1973. It contains administrative files, artists' files and slides. By 1986, over 500 women artists were represented in this registry. Artists' files contain what was sent over with slides including resumes, statements, photographs, and catalogs. From 1973 to1977, the registry held four exhibits of works selected from the holdings. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

  • 2.3 cubic feet (7 manuscript boxes)
Photo of collections drawers at the New Jersey Slide Registry

New York Feminist Art Institute

The records of the New York Feminist Art Institute comprise 20 cubic feet (18 records center cartons), spanning the period 1976 to 1990. Document types include correspondence, financial materials, publications, photographic prints, slides, audiotapes, videotapes, original art work, artifacts, and compact discs. The records document the foundation and the daily operation of this alternative art school, fundraising, events, curriculum, student projects, as well as many individual women visual artists and feminist activists. Important subject headings include: art–study and teaching, feminism and art–United States, feminism and higher education, and women artists. Because the collection was donated at two separate intervals, 1992 and 1994, it was processed and divided into two groups.

 Image Courtesy of the Archives, with permission from Nancy Azara. 

Black and white photo of members of the New York Feminist Art Institute

Gloria Orenstein Collection on Women Artists

The collection is comprised of oral history interviews conducted by students of the feminist historian Gloria Orenstein between 2006 and 2012. Of special interest are additional materials provided by the interviewee Anne Gauldin, documenting the feminist performance groups The Waitresses and Sisters of Survival which were active in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Image Courtesy of the Archive.

Black and white photo of Orenstein during one of her exhibits

Deborah Remington Papers

The Deborah Remington Papers chiefly contain the visual artist’s personal and professional correspondence, as well as an extensive documentation of her artwork found in detailed lists, photographs, and institutional sales and exhibition records. Included in the collection are photographs of her trip to Japan, which greatly influenced her artistic style, her miscellaneous creative and school writings from her time at the San Francisco Institute of the Arts, and her legal struggles with Cooper Union. Image Courtesy Deborah Remington Charitable Trust for the Visual Arts. Photograph by Richard Hurlitz, 1971. 

Black and white photo of Deborah Remington

Faith Ringgold Papers

The Faith Ringgold Collection (1967-1999) reflects many aspects of its creator's experiences as a teacher, artist, consultant, and curator. It consists primarily of documentation of Ringgold's August 1998 curriculum vitae (CV) and includes a selection of publications by and about the artist plus catalogs and promotional materials from solo, performance, and group exhibitions. Documents reflecting Ringgold's lectures, work-related correspondence, participation in conferences, programs, panels, television and radio appearances, committees, and juries appear alongside records regarding awards Ringgold received and the public and private commissions she undertook. Image courtesy of artist, attributed to Grace Matthews. 

  • Finding Aid Available
  • 17 cubic feet (15 records center cartons, 1 index card box, 1 newspaper box and 4 magazine boxes)
Photo of Faith Ringgold

Rutgers University Collection of Women Artists' Visual Diaries

Nancy Azara taught the class “Consciousness-Raising, Visual Diaries, Art-Making Workshop” at the New York Feminist Art Institute between 1979 and 1990. Azara had her students speak one by one in a consciousness session while the other students drew in their sketchbooks. Azara encouraged the students to think of the sketchbooks as visual diaries, and to strive to find some kind of authentic mark making that they could see in their other work. The consciousness raising sessions were meant to be group talks about women’s issues, as well as women in art issues. Typically, one woman would share her experience on a topic, and then others could respond to her. The visual diaries in our collection vary in size and content, but all attempt to create an authentic marking making. Image Courtesy of the Archives with permission from Nancy Azara. 

Photo of part of the collection

Ann Sperry Papers

Ann Sperry was a visual artist who primarily worked in sculptural mediums. There were two forces that were dominant in her work: an effort to bend, paint, and twist metal to look as delicate as paper, and a conscious gendering of semi-abstract shapes. The collection documents her work, her teaching, and her exhibitions with materials like sketchbooks, photographs, slides, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and exhibition catalogs. Image Courtesy of Paul Sperry and the Archives. 

  • Container List Available
  • 14.5 cubic feet (14 records center cartons, one map drawer folder)
Photo of Sperry in black and white admiring some of her scupltures

Marilyn Symmes Collection on Phyllis Seltzer

Marilyn Symmes collected various types of materials documenting Phyllis Seltzer’s artwork from 1973-2011. Seltzer is a painter and a printmaker who depicts scenes of city life. Specifically, the collection emphasizes Seltzer’s various forms of unique printmaking techniques that include: heat transfer, ozalid process, and pochoir printing. Symmes developed and mastered heat transfer printing. Included in the collection are correspondence, exhibition announcements, artist statements, an interview with Symmes, publications, printmaking instructions, and various forms of visual materials. Image courtesy of the Archives. 

Photo of Symmes sitting in front of a multicolored background

The Feminist Art Project (TFAP)

The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) was created by feminists Ferris Olin, Judith Brodsky, Judy Chicago, Susan Fisher Sterling, and Arlene Raven in 2006 in conjunction with the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities. TFAP aims to celebrate the history and legacy of the Feminist Art Movement, to celebrate the work of contemporary feminist artists, and to combat the erasure of women artists from the various narratives of art history. TFAP is an online resource for scholars, feminists, and educators. The collection contains print outs from the online calendar of events, books, exhibition announcements, and other various materials sent by artists. 

Image courtesy of TFAP.

Photo of the panel at the TFAP

Women's Caucus for Art

The Women's Caucus for Art is a national organization of over 3,500 women in the visual arts professions. The WCA was founded in 1972 at the annual meeting of the College Art Association (CAA) held in San Francisco, where a group of women art historians and artists met to discuss gender-based issues in the visual arts. The collection contains administrative files of the organization, documentation of the annual conferences, local and national chapters files, correspondence, compiled statistics of women in the arts, photographs of events and artwork, and cassettes of lectures at the conferences.The collection contains records from 1972-2010. 

Image Courtesy of the Archives, with permission from the WCA. 

  • Container List Available
  • 95 cubic feet (95 manuscript boxes)
Flyer for the National Women's Caucus for Art

Women's Caucus for Art, New York City Chapter

During the late 1970s, Women's Caucus for Art chapters were founded across the country in order to better share information, offer support, and pursue smaller-scale WCA goals such as exhibitions and combining slide registries. The New York City Chapter was one such chapter, founded in 1978. The collection contains records from 1978-2001. Types include: administrative files of the organization, documentation of the annual conferences, correspondence, photographs of events and artwork, and cassettes of lectures at the conferences. Image Courtesy of the Archives. 

Photo of the New York chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art meeting