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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 15.5 linear feet, date from 1925 to 1999, and include administrative records, correspondence, membership files, exhibition files, inventory records, printed material, twenty scrapbooks, photographs, eight photograph albums, and two motion picture film reels.

Biographical/Historical Note

San Francisco Women Artists (SFWA) is one of California's oldest arts organizations, dating its founding to 1887 as the Sketch Club. At that time, members met monthly to share and critique one another's work and to travel together on sketching trips. After the great earthquake in 1906 destroyed the club's headquarters, the group floundered and reorganized and merged with other organizations that also included men. By 1925, however, a core group of women broke away and formed the San Francisco Society of Women Artists. The SFWA's founding mission was "... the study and furtherance of all interests common to the arts both graphic and plastic ... and to support causes neglected by other art organizations in the Bay Area." Early members include Alice B. Chittenden, Helen Hyde, Matilda Lotz, Clara Taggart McChesney, M. Evelyn McCormick, Dora Williams, and Eva Almond Withrow. Other members included Marcelle Labaudt, Dorr Bothwell, Claire Falkenstein, Ruth Asawa, Nell Sinton, Imogen Cunningham, Eleanor Dickenson, Jo Hansen, Emmy Lou Packard, Eleanore Rappe, Ruth Armer, Barbara Spring, Beth Van Hoesen and Dorothy Winslade.


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

Language Note

Collection is in English


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.