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San Francisco Women Artists records, 1925-1999

San Francisco Women Artists

Collection Information

Size: 15.5 linear feet

Summary: The San Francisco Women Artists records measure 15.3 linear feet and date from 1925 to 1999. The activities of the SFWA are documented through administrative records, correspondence, membership files, exhibition files, inventory records, printed material, twenty scrapbooks, photographs, eight photograph albums, and two reels of motion picture film.
Administrative records include daily journals and publicity materials, historical materials and founding documents, meeting minutes and agendas, artist council and committee meetings, and member and patron surveys. Also found within administrative records are materials on Marcelle Labaudt, SFWA Executive Secretary then Executive Director for many years, including original film footage and sound recordings for a career retrospective film project. Correspondence is with potential donors and patrons, board members, members, and artists. Membership files contain ledgers of paid memberships, lists of dropped members, membership applications and rosters, membership biographies, renewals and statistics, and membership directories.
Exhibition files contain price lists and display placards, slides and photographs, and printed materials relating to shows and exhibitions presented by various SFWA members and cooperating organizations, including the San Francisco Art Institute. Shows include "Celebration of International Women" (1991), "The Paintings of Dorothy Windslade" (1994), annual juried SFWA shows and emerging artists exhibitions (1947-circa 1994), "Art of Susan A. Whitney Exhibit and Silent Auction" (1997), and "Hands and Heart, the Art of Healing" (1997), among others.
Inventory records contain artist inventory cards noting various artwork and exhibitions. Printed material includes books, SFWA bulletins, SFWA calendars, clippings, and exhibition printed materials, such as announcements, brochures, and catalogs. Twenty scrapbooks document the SFWA through clippings, exhibition documentation, photographs, biographies, and annotations. Eight photograph albums depict exhibitions and shows, artwork and artists. Also found within photographs are slides, negatives, and loose photographs depicting works of art, gallery and receptions, and meetings.

Biographical/Historical Note

San Francisco Women Artists (SFWA) is one of California's oldest arts organizations, dating back to 1887 when it was originally founded by local woman as the Sketch Club, meeting monthly to share and critique their work and to make field trips. San Francisco Women Artists (SFWA) is one of California's oldest arts organizations, dating back to 1887 as the Sketch Club, which was organized by independent women who met to share and critique each other's work and to counter the all-male Bohemian Club. During the early 1920s, it reorganized as the San Francisco Society of Art, and included men and women. By 1925, the women of the Society branched off as a separate entity as the San Francisco Society of Women Artists. In 1946 it became the San Francisco Women Artists. This organization, with a membership of 400, is dedicated to encouraging and promoting the work of women artists. In 1983 the SFWA procured a gallery which provides exhibition space for members. Members included Marcella Labaudt, Alice B.Chittenden, M. Evelyn McCormick, Helen Hyde, Dorr Bothwell, Claire Falkenstein, Ruth Asawa, Nell Sinton, Eva Almond Withrow, Imogen Cunningham, and Emmy LouPackard.


Pam Foley, president of the San Francisco Women Artists, donated the records in 1999.