10 Resources from Special Collections and University Archives' Women Artists Collections to Explore for Women's History Month

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

In honor of Women's History Month, explore these collections from the Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists in Special Collections and University Archives.

Photo of Miriam Schapiro

1. 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.

Black and white photo of Joan Arbeiter

2. 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. 


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

3. 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. 

Black and white photo of Judith Brodsky

4. 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)

Photo of Ms. Burko's back as she looks over mountains in a yellow coat

5. 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. 


6. 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. 



Photo of art by Mary Dana, featuring red flowers on a beige-yellow background

7. 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)


Painting of Dorothy Gillespie

8. 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. 

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

9. 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. 

Headshot of a woman with white hair, at about shoulder length with thin wire glasses. She is smiling

10. 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

For the Media

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848-932-5940 matthew.badessa@rutgers.edu