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Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists: Collections

The Miriam Schapiro Archives on Women Artists contains manuscript collections related to women artists and art organizations. Developed in connection with the Institute for Women and Art, these collections are open by appointment.


Art Educators of New Jersey

Suzanne Benton Papers

Judith K. Brodsky Papers

Diane Burko Papers

Center/Gallery Records

Contemporary Women Artists Files

Mary Bartlett Cowdrey 

Mary H. Dana Women Artist Series 1971-[ongoing]

Elsa Honig Fine Papers

Frances R. Grant Papers

Guerrilla Girls Posters

Heresies Collective Inc.

Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey Records(see digitized slides of this Project)

Janet Hobhouse

Janet Indick

Allison Knowles

Ora Lerman Papers

Lucy R. Lippard Women's Art Registry

National Association of Women Artists Records

New Jersey Women's Slide Registry

The New York City Chapter, Women's Caucus For Art

New York Feminist Art Institute

Gloria Orenstein Collection on Women Artists

Erena Rae Papers

Deborah Remington Papers

Faith Ringgold Papers 

Rutgers University Archives Vertical Files

Louise Kossuth Ruttkay

Miriam Schapiro Papers

Ann Sperry

The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) 

Women's Caucus For Art


Records, 1940-1994

ca. 12 cubic feet

Advance notice required to consult this collection

Finding aid available


Organized in 1940 as the New Jersey Art Education Association, a statewide organization concerned with the visual arts at all educational levels; changed its name to Art Educators of New Jersey in 1971; in earlier years included both general educators and art educators interested in fostering the development of art education in the state, but later narrowed its membership to persons teaching visual arts, directing programs of art education or engaged in closely related pursuits; has included both women and men as members throughout its existence.

Minutes (including agendas and other supporting documentation) of the executive board and steering council, conference kits and programs, publications, membership lists and other records.


1971-2003 (Bulk: 1999-2001)

1.5 cubic feet (3 letter size manuscript boxes and 1 newspaper box)

No access restriction

Finding aid available

Most of the files in this collection are devoted to Positive Power, a series of forums that was created by Benton and led by her as artistic director.  Positive Power consisted of four forums (2000 to 2001), and 12 artists sharing their work and promoting Connecticut women in the arts. These events included performances, videos, and exhibits of the artists’ work.  A moderator also led a discussion panel with the 4 of the artists during the forums.   The forums were held at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Yale Art Gallery, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, and the Discovery Museum.  Additionally, feminist art historian Arlene Raven gave a special lecture at the Yale Art Gallery forum.

The files in the collection include e-mail correspondence among the artists, volunteers at the events, and staff at the venues.  In addition, much of the material relates to the Women’s Caucus of Art, Connecticut Chapter (WCA-CT), the not-for-profit association that supported and sponsored these forums.  This collection also contains files from Benton’s career outside Positive Power.  These are the files devoted to Benton’s WCA-CT, NOW, and Veteran Feminists of America (VFA) membership and activity over the years.  Benton was a co-founder of the VFA organization, which was formed in the early1990s.  In addition to her involvement in women artist organizations, Benton also collected journals, newspapers, and clipped articles relating to women in the arts. 



1973-2010 (bulk 1977-1987)

ca. 31.5 cubic feet (17 manuscript boxes, 26 records center carton, and 1 newspaper box for oversize materials)

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Finding aid available


The collection documents the professional career of artist, printmaker, activist, and academic Judith Brodsky from 1977 to 1987. Brodsky received her M.F.A from Harvard; was President of the Women's Caucus for Art; created the Coalition of Women's Arts Organizations; was chair of the Art Department at Rutgers University, Newark Campus; was visual arts faculty at the Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick; founder of the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions.

Contains the documentation of Models of Persistence; "Think Tank" correspondence of 1980 between Brodsky, Harriet Lyons, and Miriam Schapiro; information regarding the Minna Citron Exhibit and Bernarda Bryson Shahn Exhibit; publicity material on women's art exhibits.


1958-2008 (Bulk: 1973-1999)

4.5 cubic feet (13.5 manuscript boxes and 1 records center carton)

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Finding aid available


Active in painting, drawing and photography; known primarily as a landscape artist; earned M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Fine Arts in 1969; taught at Community College of Philadelphia; founding member and president of Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts (FOCUS); board member of both the Women's Caucus for Art and the College Art Association; since the 1970s, she has participated in over seventy group exhibitions and over two dozen solo exhibitions throughout the United States; was awarded the Reader's Digest Artists at Giverny residency grant and residency from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Document types include professional correspondence (including that with Miriam Schapiro), notes, drafts and revisions of panel contributions and lectures, ephemera, photographs, slides, negatives, newspaper clippings, articles, catalogues, and exhibition announcements. A limited number of examples of Burko’s artwork are interspersed throughout the collection in the form of photographs, inkjet prints, and slides. Contains files on other women artists from 1975-2007 including articles, newsletters, programs, catalogues, and gallery guides.



No access restrictions

Finding aid available


Center/Gallery was a non-profit organization of women in the arts created in response to the need of women artists to have contact with others who shared their concerns. It offered many women a supportive community of personal interactions and pooled resources.

The records contain membership forms, a brief timeline and history of the organization, an exhibition chronology and photos, including some from their first exhibit in October, 1977. Also included are newspaper articles, flyers and advertisements for various programming, information on the annual membership exhibition, articles of incorporation, bylaws and grant proposals.



1971- [Ongoing]

No access restrictions

Finding aid available​ 


The Contemporary Women Artists Files (CWAF), established in 1994, holds unsolicited mailing received from artists and art venues received by individuals involved with the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library. The CWAF presently contains information on over 1500 women artists and continues to grow. Many of these artists had sent materials for consideration, but were not selected for exhibition in the Dana Women Artist Series, and so their documents were held as a record of their careers in the Contemporary Women Artists Files.


Papers, 1910-1971 (bulk 1941-1971)

ca. 7.6 cubic feet

No access restrictions


Art historian, curator and author, of Passaic, N.J.; was graduated from the New Jersey College for Women (later Douglass College), Rutgers University, in 1933; worked as an assistant in the exhibits department at the Newark Museum, 1935-1936, as registrar at the Brooklyn Museum, 1940-1942, as curator of maps and prints at the New York Historical Society, early 1943, as an employee (including curator of paintings) at the Old Print Shop/Harry Shaw Newman Gallery (New York City), 1943-1949, as assistant director of the Smith College Museum of Art, 1949-1955, as a field archivist (for the New York area) with the Archives of American Art, 1955-1961, and as curator of prints and drawings at the New Jersey Historical Society, 1961-1962?; specialized in 19th-century painting; co-authored a book on the painter William Sidney Mount.

Includes orrespondence from throughout Cowdrey's career; published writings, articles, reviews and clippings; inventory of books and art works that Cowdrey acquired; papers concerning gifts that she made to Rutgers University; and papers which document her early life. Included in Cowdrey's correspondence are letters concerning persons to be included inNotable American Women, 1607-1950 (1975). Among the artists represented in the autograph collection are Rosa Bonheur (2 letters: 1869? and 1874?), Ann Hall (1 letter: 1835) and Jane Stuart (1 letter: undated).


1971- [Ongoing]

33 cubic feet

No access restrictions

Finding aid available​


This collection documents the activities of the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series from its origins in 1971 to the present. The Exhibited Artists Files include extensive information on the artists that have participated in the series. The Operational Files contain materials related to the organization of the exhibits and the day-to-day administration of the series.


10 records center boxes

6 photograph boxes

Container list is available


Documents primarily her founding and editorship of the Woman's Art Journal. Includes editorial correspondence with authors, articles, photocopies of 19th century books regarding English female artists and American women artists, awards and honors documentation, and Women in Art material. Contains a catalog, letters to artists, authors, and collectors, public relations, reviews, videotapes, and photographs from the American Women Artists exhibition. Also documents her research for two books on women artists, Women in Art and Education and the Afro-American Artist.


1897-1986 (bulk 1917-1986)

78 cubic feet (66 cartons, 20 boxes of assorted sizes, and 1 oversize folder)

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Finding aid available


Human rights activist, cultural ambassador, curator and journalist; born Frances Ruth Grant in 1896 in Abiquiu, New Mexico Territory; beginning in 1921, and continuing through 1937, held various responsibilities at three cultural organizations in New York City sponsored by the artist and philosopher Nicholas Roerich, including the Roerich Museum, which she served as vice-president and trustee; founded, in 1931, and served, for more than 50 years (always as its president), the Pan-American Women's Association (originally the Pan-American Women's Society of the Roerich Museum); died in 1993.

Collection consisting of Frances Grant's personal papers, 1897(1917)-1986, and records of art-related organizations with which she was affiliated: the Roerich Museum (records and related papers, 1920-1985, but primarily 1921-1937), the Pan-American Women's Association (records, 1931-1985). Correspondents represented include women such as Peruvian artist Julia Codesido and Georgia O'Keeffe, Grant's neighbor in Abiquiu. Contains artwork by PAWA artists, including paintings by Codesido, Cuban artist Mirta Cerra, and Chilean artist Mireya Lafuente.



5 Oversized Folders, 32 posters

Container List Available

The Guerrilla Girls Poster Collection contains 32 original posters created by the art collective in the late 1980s. The collective was composed of women artists, queer women artists, and women artists of color who called themselves the conscience of the art world. Their posters and their protests used humor to highlight sexism and racism in the art world. Later, their posters would expand to include political issues unrelated to the art world. Our collection highlights both aspects.


Records, 1976-1995

24 cubic feet (23 record center cartons, 2 manuscript boxes)

Advance notice required to consult this collection

Container list available


Organized and incorporated in 1976 with headquarters in New York City; composed of a fluctuating core membership (the Collective, all of whom were also board members) consisting of up to two dozen feminists from a variety of disciplines (such as painters, sculptors, writers, anthropologists, performance artists, critics, art historians and filmmakers) whose primary purpose was to foster the publication of a journal (with each number devoted to a single theme relating to art and politics from a feminist perspective) for which the assembled contributors, editors and production staff of each issue were essentially a different group of women, all or most of whom were not members of the Collective; in its twenty-seven journal issues, treated subjects such as feminism and ecology, Third World women, women and music, food as a feminist issue, the art of education and lesbian art and artists; received funding from contributions, profits from benefit events (e.g., art shows selling donated works), granting agencies (e.g., the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts) and journal sales and subscriptions; except for a more ambitious production schedule in its earlier years, created on average one journal issue annually (and held an event after the publication of each to stimulate topical discussions and receive feedback); disbanded for financial reasons in 1995.

Articles of incorporation, by-laws, minutes of meetings, fundraising and publicity files, administrative files, journal production and sales files and a complete set of the journal Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics.



All or part of the collection is restricted to specific audiences. Quilt owners' names and contact information restricted, unless quilt held by an institution.

No finding aid


Written and photographic documentation of over 2,600 individual quilts and related administrative records of the statewide project which gathered the data. The quilt documentation portion of the records incorporates information on 258 quilts from a separate Hunterdon County quilt search, 1997-1999, which used the same documentation standard as the broader effort. The formats held are microform, photographic material, and textual materials. Collection may include: artwork documentation, business & professional records, correspondence, ephemera, organizational records, and representations and/or models of original artworks. The administrative records, largely kept by president Barbara Schaffer, consist of documentation relating to creating the organization, arranging for each "Quilt Discovery Day" or other recordation session, creating and promoting the project's book (New Jersey Quilts, 1777 to 1950), creating and promoting the project-related traveling exhibit and participating in local, state and national events pertaining to American quilts (e.g., project representatives lecturing individually or speaking at symposia). Also included are informational files concerning other state quilt projects, which sometimes include publications.

The slides of this Project have been digitized and are now available online at


Papers, [ca. 1885]-1991 (bulk 1958-1991)

ca. 15 cubic feet

Restricted in part

Finding aid available


Janet Hobhouse was a New York-born novelist and art critic. She worked in New York and London for various magazines, including Studio InternationalArt in America, Art News, Arts Magazine, Connoisseur, and occasionally the New York Times. She became Contributing Editor of Art News in 1975, and from 1987 to 1988 was art critic forNewsweek. Janet Hobhouse also wrote two non-fiction works, Everybody Who Was Anybody: A Biography of Gertrude Stein (1975) and The Bride Stripped Bare: The Artist and the Female Nude in the 20th Century (1988); and a novel, Nelly Without Hugo, about the Abstract Expressionists. These papers also contain the papers of her mother, Frances Hobhouse, a sculptor.



ca. 4 cubic feet

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Finding aid available


Records contain annual catalogues from the National Association for Women Artists dating from 1974, catalogues from the Catherine Lorillard Wolf Art Club dating from 1991, and other various catalogues which contain illustrations and pictures of work by Janet Indick. Also included are slides of artworks sold to corporations and private clients, reviews of exhibits, invitation cards and letter of invitations to exhibits, articles about Indick's synagogue commissions and photos of the sculptures collected by the Jewish institutions. Correspondence include information regarding charter memberships, art and exhibit acceptances, recommendations for grants, fellowships, and commissions signed by well-known artists, curators and clients, thank you letters, and letters authenticating Janet Indick's art work and prices.



1 folder


This is a small collection donated by Linda White, which includes correspondence documenting Allison Knowles' sculpture, Book of Bean, which was installed at the Muse Gallery in Philadelphia in 1982.



25 cubic feet

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Finding aid available


Comprised of the personal files of painter Ora Lerman (1938-1998), documenting both her professional and personal history from the experiences of her parents in the early twentieth century until her death in the late twentieth century. Lerman earned an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute; studied sumi-ye in Japan; trained as a formalist in Abstract Expressionism but developed a realistic technique; exhibited her work in New York City during the emergence of the women's art movement in the early 1970s. Had a secondary profession as an instructor in art and art history; also wrote artistic critique and history. Most of the collection is in paper format, comprised of correspondence, notes, journals, datebooks, postcards, pamphlets, and ephemera. Other formats are photographs, negatives, slides, and audiocassettes, oversized sketches by Lerman, publicity posters of some of Lerman's exhibitions, and photographic images of her students' work in her college courses.  The bulk of the series is composed of correspondence relating to grants, art projects, and organizational administration. Includes correspondence with Judy Levy; information regarding Isabel Bishop, Georgia O'Keeffe, and the Women's Caucus for Art.


110 cubic feet

Advance notice required to consult this collection

Partial container list available


Reference collection, composed largely of materials donated by art critic Lucy Lippard (formerly of New York City); originally housed at the New York Feminist Art Institute; received by the repository in 1992 along with the records of the Institute; expanded after 1992 by further donations received directly from Lippard. The Women's Art Registry, started in 1971, compromises several boxes with folders for individual artists, women artists' groups, and material documenting the activities of the Registry; created to make women's art work available while bypassing the gallery system; was originally called the Ad Hoc Women's Art Registry.

Collected materials in various formats which document the artwork and careers of women artists active in the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, internationally. The bulk of the collection consists of announcements and invitations relating to solo and group art shows; among the other formats present are résumés, slide transparencies and other photographs, exhibit catalogs, press releases and other promotional literature, press clippings, newsletters and calendars of events.


ca. 1900-2006

33 cubic feet

No access restrictions

Container list available


The National Association of Women Artists (N.A.W.A.) encourages, supports, and promotes the work of professional women artists. The organization fosters public awareness of women artists through exhibitions, historical archives, and educational and outreach programs. As the oldest professional women's fine arts organization in the United States (established in 1889), N.A.W.A. continues to provide a forum for women artists to share ideas and to advance parity of participation for women in the art world. Contains annual show catalogs and membership records. Some of these shows include Graphics Exhibit, Watercolor Shows, international shows and continental shows.


2.3 cubic feet (7 manuscript boxes)

No finding aid


The New Jersey Women's Slide Registry was founded in August, 1973. It contains administrative files, artists' files and slides. By 1986, over 500 women artists were represented in this registry. Artists' files contain what was sent over with slides including resumes, statements, photographs, and catalogs. From 1973 to1977, the registry held four exhibits of works selected from the holdings.


Records, 1974-2001 (Bulk 1978-1998)

2 cubic feet

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Finding aid available


Records document the rise and decline of the New York City Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) is a national organization of professionals in the visual arts.  It was founded in 1972 as part of the College Art Association (CAA) and became a separate organization in 1975.  Its aim was to establish a climate of equality and inclusively for all visual art professionals.

Materials include legal documentation regarding organizational status, sponsored exhibition materials, fundraising documentation and professional correspondence between the WCA/NYC and artists. The bulk of material relates to various conferences and exhibitions sponsored by and related to the WCA/NYC, including exhibition catalogs, price lists, note cards, press releases, artist statements, etc.  Media includes slides composed of the 1980s WCA/NYC Artist Slide Registry and photographs taken at WCA/NYC shows of chapter members, artists and art works as well as their negatives and proofs. There are 32 audio cassettes that document the talks given at the WCA 22nd Annual National Conference as well as 1993 interviews with Jenny Tango, Linda Cunningham, Clarissa Sligh and Joan Arbeiter.


Inventory to the Records, 1976- [Ongoing]

20 cubic feet (18 record boxes)

Access required advanced notice of 7 business days

Finding aid available


The New York Feminist Art Institute was a pioneering art school for women founded in New York City in 1979. The records 20 cubic feet (18 records center cartons), spanning the period from its initial planning in 1976 to its demise in 1990. Document types include correspondence, financial materials, publications, photographic prints, slides, audiotapes, videotapes, original art work, artifacts, and compact discs. The records document the foundation and the daily operation of this alternative art school, fundraising, events, curriculum, student projects, as well as many individual women visual artists and feminist activists.


1978-2008 update

.6 cubic feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Finding aid available


Professor of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at University of Southern California (1981-present); formerly an assistant professor of English at Douglass College or Rutgers University (1975-1981); researched women's studies in contemporary art, literature and culture, ecofeminism in the arts, surrealism, and shamism and Jewish women artists. The collection consists of materials generated by the students of two of Orenstein’s USC courses, Women in Literature and Art and Ecofeminism; comprising DVDs of interviews with women artists residing in the Los Angeles area; includes specific materials relating to the work of one artist, Anne Gaudlin; includes a bound copy of her 1978 Goddard College master's thesis, “Quest Through the Matrix: Edinburgh Arts Europe '76, Feminist Education, Feminist Art;” a DVD video retrospective of her performance groups, The Waitresses, and, later, End of the RainbowSisters of Survival 1981-1985; promotional materials and clippings related to her work and exhibitions; and a publisher’s draft of The WaitressesUnpeeled: Performance Art and Life, by Jerri Allyn and Anne Gauldin.


Approx. 20 cubic feet



Erena Rae was born in Minnesota and earned a BFA from the University of Kansas. For thirty years, she had a successful career as a graphic designer and commercial illustrator. She returned to drawing, printmaking, and mixed-media work, often focusing on feminist or social issues.

Contains books relating to print-making and book-making, prints by both Erena Rae and her friends and colleagues, sketch books, hanging files, personal and professional papers, woo-blocks, a portfolio, and electronic files.


ca. 1900 (1939)-2010

12 cubic feet (11 records center cartons and 1 newspaper box)

Finding Aid Available

The collection documents the professional artistic and academic life of Deborah Remington from 1939-2010. Remington was born in Haddonfield, NJ and received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1955, where she had studied under Clyfford Still. Affiliated with the Beat scene, in 1954 she was one of the six painters and poets to found the legendary Six Gallery, where Allen Ginsberg first read “Howl.” Remington began teaching at The Cooper Union in 1971, where she would stay for the next 25 years. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries such as Galerie Darthea Speyer and Dilexi Gallery. Her work is featured in numerous collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This collection contains a concise bibliography, artwork documentation in the form of paperwork and photographs, announcements from The Six Gallery, and personal correspondence with Jay Defeo, Donald Kuspit, and other notable art figures.  Also included in the collection are Remington’s creative writings and documentation of her legal struggle with Cooper Union in the 1990s.



17 cubic feet (15 records center cartons, 1 index card box, 1 newspaper box and 4 magazine boxes)

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Finding aid available


Ringgold had an early interest in art and jazz; earned a Bachelor of Science degree in fine art and education; earned master's degree in art from City College of New York; taught in New York public schools; used European techniques to paint African American themes; started her Feminist Series in 1972 on her second trip to Europe; created "story quilts" and performance pieces; taught in the University of California from 1984 until her retirement in 2002.

Contains papers concerning her court case over the People's Flag Show in which the American flag was used in artwork as a form of protest. Ringgold's August 1998 Curriculum Vitae (CV) is documented by items relating to solo and group exhibits, performances, illustrated (slide) lectures, conferences, programs, panels, television and radio appearances, her experiences as a teacher and an artist in residence, publications, consultancies, committees, juries, curatorial duties, awards, and public and private commissions. Items representing the CV October 1998 include catalogs and publications by Ringgold.


Ca. 1950- [Ongoing]

No access restrictions

Container list available


The Rutgers University Archives Vertical Files documents art educators at Rutgers, particularly in Douglass College. It also contains information on various exhibitions and programming.

This formats held in this collection are photographic material and textual materials. The collection may include artwork documentation, business and professional records, clippings files, correspondence, and ephemera. Also included is information on sculptor, whose  (check) is in front of the Archibald S. Alexander Library.



Letters sent, 1875-1897

.33 cubic feet (79 items in 1 box)

No access restrictions

No finding aid

Catalog card available


Photocopies of original letters in the American Hungarian Foundation, New Brunswick, N.J.

Letters sent to Eliza Elvira Kenyon. Some of the letters pertain to Kenyon's niece (Nelly) who stayed in the Kossuth household while studying art.

Accompanied by photocopies of typed excerpts from the letters.



ca. 120 cubic feet


Beginning September 1, 2017, the Miriam Schapiro Papers will be closed to researchers due to processing.


Miriam Schapiro is a pioneering member of the feminist art movement; received a B.A. in 1945 and an M.F.A. in 1949 from the State University of Iowa, Iowa City; in New York, became associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement; established the Feminist Art Program at the California Institue of the Arts in Valencia along with Judy Chicago; organized Womanhouse, a women-only art installation and performance in 1972; explored themes through "femmage", fabric collage; founding member of Heresies journarl and the New York Feminist Art Institute. Consists of materials accumulated by Schapiro throughout her career as an artist; includes published and unpublished materials written by or about Schapiro, catalogs, announcements, photographs and visual materials, and exhibition catalogs and promotional materials for various women artists.



14 boxes



Sperry is known for her welded and painted steel sculpture, private commissions, and permanent installations. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and has work displayed throughout the United States and internationally.

Contains sculpture photos, jewelry, video files, welding information, exhibition checklists, reviews, statements, techniques, sculpture and jewelry ideas, prints, resumes, catalogs, magazines, sketch pads, publicity materials, and periodicals. Several sculptures by Ann Sperry were donated to the Rutgers University Libraries by her estate.


2005-2012, with future donations

13 cubic feet (20 manuscript boxes, 1 newspaper box, 1 map folder)

No access restrictions

Finding aid available


The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) was created by feminists Ferris Olin, Judith Brodsky, Judy Chicago, Susan Fisher Sterling, and Arlene Raven in 2006 in conjunction with the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities. TFAP aims to celebrate the history and legacy of the Feminist Art Movement, to celebrate the work of contemporary feminist artists, and to combat the erasure of women artists from the various narratives of art history. TFAP is an online resource for scholars, feminists, and educators: The collection contains print outs from the online calendar of events, books, exhibition announcements, and other various materials sent by artists.