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April 12, 2010
Issue No. 83

Table of Contents

Video Collection Explores the Rise of Feminist Art in the U.S.

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by Peter Blank, Anna Fishaut, and Hannah Frost

Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) presents a new digital collection: !Women Art Revolution. Created by artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson over the last two decades, this archive provides the first-person histories of the pioneering women who challenged and changed the ways in which women were considered and treated by the reigning art establishment.

screenshot of Women Art Revolution Web site

Collection Web Site

The collection Web site features fifty-eight video interviews with artists, curators, and critics, including such notables as Judy Chicago, Sheila de Bretteville, Lucy Lippard, Cornelia Butler, Martha Rosler, Faith Ringgold, and Eleanor Antin. Included are group interviews, as well as recordings of exhibition events and the Guerrilla Girls in action at the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

Forthcoming Feature-Length Documentary Film

Hershman Leeson has woven this source material with archival footage into !Women Art Revolution: A Formerly Secret History, a forthcoming feature-length documentary film that elaborates the relationship of the Feminist Art Movement to the 1960s anti-war and civil rights movements and explains how historical events, such as the all-male protest exhibition against the invasion of Cambodia, sparked the first of many feminist actions against major cultural institutions. The film details major developments in women's art of the 1970s, including the first feminist art education programs, political organizations and protests, alternative art spaces such as the A.I.R. Gallery and Franklin Furnace in New York and the Los Angeles Women's Building, publications such as Chrysalis and Heresies and landmark exhibitions, performances, and installations of public art that changed the entire direction of art.

Lynn Hershman Leeson Archive at Stanford University Libraries

Besides the streaming videos, transcript texts and information about the interviewees, this Web site also provides access to additional information about the Lynn Hershman Leeson archive at Stanford University Libraries, the !Women Art Revolution project, and feminist studies resources. A curriculum guide, graphic novel, and other resources will be added to the site as they become available.

Purchased collaboratively in 2008 by Peter Blank, Art & Architecture Library, Henry Lowood, Curator for History of Science & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections, Roberto Trujillo, Special Collections, and the SULAIR Directors' Office, the collection is housed in Special Collections. A Web site was developed and launched for public access in March 2010.