ARC Gallery records

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

Unprocessed. Records of the ARC Gallery, one of the first women artists’ cooperatives in the Midwest.

Biographical Historical Note

ARC Gallery, along with the Artemisia Gallery, was one of the first women artists’ cooperatives in the Midwest, opening in September 1973. The original members were recent graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and other institutions in the Chicago area where they found few female mentors and exhibition opportunities and recognized that they needed to create safe space outside of traditional institutions in order to make their art seen. In addition to promoting their own artwork, they also featured solo and group exhibitions by many artists from across the county and more importantly, were the sites for discussion of feminist art, theory and issues for over thirty years. In 1979, ARC founded RAWspace, an area of the gallery devoted specifically to installation work by visiting artists at a time where there were limited venues for this type of art.

Additional Notes

Related collection: Midwest Women’s Center Records, Chicago History Museum.