February 14, 2008

From Site to Vision

Not too long ago the women who have been working long and hard on a history of the Los Angeles Woman’s Building put it on the Web. What a gift to all of us to have this e-book! Lucy Lippard wrote the Foreward, Terry Wolverton, one of the editors, wrote the Introduction. Then there are essays by Sondra Hale, the other editor, Laura Meyer, Betty Ann Brown, Michelle Moravec, Jennie Klein, Sheila de Bretteville and Bia Lowe, and on and on. Cecilia Dougherty wrote a useful piece on early video art, and Terry Wolverton edited an interview with Arlene Raven, who succumbed to cancer in August of 2006. The essay by Michelle Moravec and Sondra Hale begins to explore the efforts to involve women of color in the Woman’s Building. This book is also a resource for the images that they’ve imported from the digital image archive at Otis Art Institute. This is linked from the Woman’s Building site. There’s a lot of interest now from us aging feminists in telling many of these stories and this is one important collection.
Of course, on the other coast, there is Rutger’s Women Artists Archive National Directory (WAAND), which is busily documenting U.S. archival collections of primary source materials by and about women visual artists active in the U.S. since 1945. There is also a show opening at the Bronx Museum of the Arts next month, “Making It Together: Women’s Collaborative Art and Community.”
What a year 2007-08 has been for women in the arts, with WACK! on the west coast and “Global Feminisms” on the East Coast. I shouldn’t leave out “Claiming Space: Some American Feminist Organizers” that Mary Garrard and Norma Broude curated. I didn’t get to see it, though.

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