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ArtsWest Initiative

Women Who Transformed Art in the West

Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Minnesota Street Project
1275 Minnesota Street (@ 24th Street)
San Francisco

Note: A recap of the event with complete video is now available on our website.

An ArtsWest Program Featuring the Guerrilla Girls

Photographs from the Event

ArtsWest: Women Who Transformed Art in the West
Photographs by Rosa Urrutia
Images, from left: “Series 1, No. 8” by Georgia O'Keeffe; “Anonymous, Modesto, 2012” by Katy Grannan; Frida Kahlo.

Images, from left: “Series 1, No. 8” by Georgia O'Keeffe; “Anonymous, Modesto, 2012” by Katy Grannan; Frida Kahlo.

Sponsored by Stanford University and Minnesota Street Project, this public symposium will celebrate the rise of notable western women artists during the last century and the prospects for achieving gender parity in the western art scene today. The event is part of the Bill Lane Center for the American West’s ongoing ArtsWest Initiative.

It will feature:

  • Arnold J. Kemp (Dean of Graduate Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago) - keynote
    “Conduct your blooming (artists' projects) in the noise and whip of the whirlwind.”
  • Claudia Schmuckli (Contemporary Curator, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) - moderator
  • Guerrilla Girl (Käthe Kollwitz)
  • Claudia Altman-Siegel (Director, Altman Siegel Gallery)
  • Renny Pritikin (Chief Curator, Contemporary Jewish Museum)
  • Hung Liu (Artist & Professor Emerita of Art, Mills College)


Hung Liu’s Migrant Mother- Mealtime (2016) with Guerrilla Girls image taken by Manuel Braun (Paris).

This program will examine the rise of accomplished western women artists during the 20th century who shaped the concept of modern art: e.g., Georgia O’Keeffe, Dorothea Lange, Ruth Asawa, Jay DeFeo, and Kara Walker. Building on this rich legacy, it will explore how the intergenerational roles of women have changed and influenced contemporary female artists active in today’s Western American-based art scene. This symposium will scrutinize the march for gender parity in the art world and the movement to increase the underrepresentation of women artists in critical reception, commercial appeal, and institutional support, examining what steps are being taken to address this disparity and exploring institutional strategies for advancing the prospects for women artists in the American West.

Influential Women Artists of the American West in the 20th Century

This list of remarkable 20th Century woman artists was compiled in honor of this event. It contains the names of the leading female artists of the age who lived, worked, and spent their careers in the American West, and demonstrates the rich legacy that contemporary women artists working in the West today can stand upon.

Laura Aguilar— photographer
Ruth Asawa— sculptor
Judy Baca— muralist
Bernice Bing— painter
Anne Brigman— photographer
Joan Brown— painter
Deborah Butterfield— sculptor 
Emily Carr— painter
Judy Chicago— painter/sculpture
Imogen Cunningham— photographer
Jay Defeo— painter
Claire Falkenstein— sculptor, painter, printmaker
Viola Frey— ceramics
Ann Hamilton— installation artist
Edith Hamlin— portrait painter/muralist
Mary Heilmann— painter
Judithe Hernández— muralist
Frida Kahlo— painter
Margaret Kilgallen— painter
Barbara Kruger— conceptual, collagist
Dorothea Lange— photographer
Lynn Hershman Leeson— filmmaker
Annie Leibovitz— photographer
Hung Liu— painter
Agnes Martin— painter
Maria Montoya Martinez— ceramics, pottery
Georgia O’Keeffe— painter
Catherine Opie— photographer
Betye Saar— assemblage
Lorna Simpson— photographer, video
Juane Quick-to-See Smith— painter, printmaker
Madge Tennent— painter
Kara Walker— multimedia artist
Carrie Mae Weems— photographer

Read more:
Influential Women Artists of the American West in the 20th Century, prepared by Mac Taylor (Jan. 2018)



Note on Access and Parking
There is ample free street parking and the 22nd Street Caltrain station is just two blocks away from this location.


For more information:

Marc A. Levin, Stanford University

Julie Casemore, Minnesota Street Project

Event Sponsor: 
Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West & Minnesota Street Project


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