Digital Library of the Week: Women’s History Month

This week, let’s take a look at women in the visual arts. A great place to start is the National Museum of Women in the Arts, located in Washington, D.C. The museum’s library and research center has created CLARA, an online database detailing the lives and work of 18,000 women visual artists. Women from all time periods and nationalities are included. The museum also has a terrific blog, Broad Stokes, that will keep you up to date on all the latest news and happenings related to women artists.

The UArts Libraries has many books published by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. You can see a listing by searching for the Museum in the catalog as an author.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is also dedicated to supporting and showcasing women artists. A recent exhibition was our own Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery’s Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968!  The Center also has an online database of women artists’ works, Feminist Art Base. Each entry provides a biography, artist’s work images, and related websites.

Janine Antoni's sculpture Lick & Lather (1993)
Janine Antoni's sculpture Lick & Lather (1993)

Two other sites document specific women artists’ and activism. The first is WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution which documents artmaking and women’s civil rights actions between 1965-1980. A 2007 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, WACK! maintains a collection of audio tours and podcasts of this historic collection. Check out the exhibition catalog in the UArts Libraries‘ collection too; it’s in the Greenfield Open Stacks, call number 704.042 W115m.

Finally, we can’t let Women’s History Month go by without mentioning The Guerrilla Girls. In 1985, a group of women artists created the group that is still going strong today. Each woman in the group assumes the name of a dead woman artist and wears a gorilla mask in public so that the focus is on the issues they are tackling, rather than the woman herself.

A Guerrilla Girls' poster
A Guerrilla Girls' poster

The Guerrilla Girls use performance, posters, and writing to raise awareness of women in the arts – read their FAQ page for more details on this dynamic group. You can also follow them on Facebook for the latest on how they are “reinventing the f-word – feminism.”

Also check out Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls (Greenfield Open Stacks, call number 709.04 G936c) and Guerrilla Girls : Troubler le Repos = Disturbing the Peace (Greenfield Open Stacks, call number 709.22 G936g) in the UArts Libraries.

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