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Finding Aid: The Southern California Women Artists Archives: Description and Inventory

Project and Course Description


The Southern California WOMEN ARTISTS Archives (SCWAA)


Historic Context:

Since the late sixties the greater Los Angeles area has been the focal point of pioneering projects in the Second Wave of the Women’s Art Movement.   The very first national exhibition of women’s art took place at LACMA  in 1976, titled “WOMEN ARTISTS: 1550-1950.”  Concurrently, pioneers in women’s art were founding The Woman’s Building in Los Angeles, The S. CA. Women’s Caucus for Art, Chrysalis Magazine, and eventually ArtTable, an organization for women in the arts who are curators, gallery owners, museum and gallery directors, critics, and art historians. The pioneers of these and many other projects in women’s art history reside in Los Angeles or in other parts of Southern California.

Archival project:

Under the direction of Professor Gloria Orenstein, a joint faculty member in the Gender Studies Program and the Department of Comparative Literature, undergraduate students enrolled in her ARLT 100 course (Women and Art) interviewed women artists from Southern California and wrote term-papers based on the interviews.  The course sessions were taught between 2006 and 2012. The interviews, term papers, and any other materials collected by the students were deposited in the Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library at USC. Files are availble for consultation Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. We do not provide reproduction services and do not have scanning facilities for our archival collections. The collections must be viewed on site. To make an appointment, call (213) 740-1956. You can bring a laptop or a small digital camera.

Neither the interviews nor the papers can be used for commercial purposes, nor can they be published or used in any other way without obtaining permission from the artists and the students.

List of artist folders:

Kim Abeles

Margaret Alarcon

Jerri Allyn

Deborah Aschheim

Dori Atlantis and Karen Frimkess Wolff

Judith Baca

Beth Bachenheimer

Mariona Barkus

Julia Cheryl Bookout

Eve Brandsteun

Nancy Buchanan

Merrilyn Duzy

Jean Edelstein (2 folders)

Merion Estes

Irene Fertik

Bruria Finkel

Dwora Fried

Rosalie Friis-Ross

Anne Gauldin (2 folders)

Cheri Gaulke

Desy Safran Gerard

Gilah Yelin Hirsch

Susan Holcomb

Anna Homler

Ann Isolde (2 folders)

Sharon Kagan

Kesa Kivel

Karen Koblitz

Lili Lakich

Margaret Lazzari

Caryl Christian Levy

Sue Maberry

Nancy Macko

Mary Maughelli

Kim McCarty

Kathryn Miller

Ginette Mizraki (2 folders)

Sherry Moore

Sandra Mueller

Gloria Orenstein

Sheila Pinkel

Rachel Rosenthal

Gwen Samuels

Joyce Cutler Shaw           

Barbara Smith

Leslie Labowitz Starus

May Sun

Linda Vallejo

June Wayne

Ruth Weisberg (2 folders)

Group Nine, with individual folders for Lynn Bassler, Merrilyn Duzy, Myra Gantman, Dona Geib, Midge Lynn, Barbara Nathanson, Anita Segalman, Norma Jean Squires. No individual folder for Patti Akesson.

Head, Architecture and Fine Arts Library