What is Feminist Art?

Then: 1977 Exhibition


In the 1970s, the term feminism was still new to the art world. Curators Ruth Iskin, Lucy Lippard, and Arlene Raven organized a survey for women artists to voice their opinion. They mailed a pink postcard to their network of artists with the following prompt:

If you consider yourself a feminist, would you respond by using one 8 ½” x 11” page to share your ideas on what feminist art is or could be.”

More than 200 artists responded. In 1977, the Woman’s Building staged the exhibition What is Feminist Art in a public gallery directed by Iskin. All submitted works were preserved as part of the Center for Feminist Art Historical Studies, a group aligned with the Woman’s Building. The documents were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1991, as part of the Woman’s Building records and are available online at aaa.si.edu.