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Saturday, March 27, 2010

11:52 AM Posted by Cindy Nemser 2 comments
Visibility or invisibility at the Brooklyn Museum

A.I.R. Gallery, The Feminist Art Project &
The Institute for Women and Art, Rutgers present:

Invisibility to Visibility:
Are Museums Opening Up to Women Artists?

At The Brooklyn Museum on Saturday, March 27, 2pm
Press Release

A.I.R. Gallery, The Feminist Art Project and The Institute for Women and Art are pleased to announce the panel discussion, Invisibility to Visibility: Are Museums Opening up to Women Artists?, part of a two-panel series, The Issues of the Moment: What is the Future for Women Artists? For the third year, this series considers the most current critical issues and concerns for women artists, and celebrates Women in the Arts during National Women’s History Month.

Introduction by Elizabeth A. Sackler
Panelists: Chrissie Iles, Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; David Revere McFadden, Curator, The Museum of Art and Design; Alexandra Schwartz, Coordinator of the Modern Women’s Project at the Museum of Modern Art; Jorge Daniel Veneciano, Director of the Sheldon Museum of Art.
Moderated by Ferris Olin, Co-Director, Institute for Women and Art at Rutgers, and Kat Griefen, Director, A.I.R. Gallery.
The panel will be held in the Cantor Auditorium of The Brooklyn Museum and hosted by The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway. Free with Museum Admission.

For more information on this panel, including a full press release, please click HERE

This panel series is made possible by The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with A.I.R. Gallery, The Feminist Art Project, and The Institute for Women and Art at Rutgers.

For further information contact A.I.R. Gallery Director, Kat Griefen at 212-255-6651 or .

I think it is terrific that a panel consisting of powerful people are discussing the visibility or lack thereof women artists at this time However, I have a sinking feeling that when the numbers of women on exhibit at the major institutions are added up, the results will still not be impressive.

I believe that one of the reasons women artists do not move ahead is because they have allowed themselves to be written out of art history in the past and sadly enough they continue to allow it to happen today. With s prettily packaged bone tossed to them by a member of a fabulously wealthy family, they have been essentially marginalized both here and in Washington D.C, (the Sackler Center for Feminist Art and the Women’ Museum in our capital). These venues should be a significant jumping off place for gifted women artists to enter into integrated new exhibitions. But more important they should provide an incentive for major museums like MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim and the Brooklyn Museum as well to rethink their permanent collections always on view. I recently visited MOMA and saw very few works by women artists on view. The contemporary wing of the Met isn’t any better. The same situation exists at the Guggenheim or the Frick. reconstructed have an important place The current crop of female artists have been lulled back to a ghetto and still do not understand that in 2010 separate is not equal. As Patricia Mainardi wrote back in Women and Art in 1971

There have been a few events and exhibitions at the Sackler Center for Feminist Art but a scarce amount of them have included the people who made the women artists' movement happen right here in Brooklyn and in the other boroughs. Where are the women who were ready to confront the establishment and demand more gallery and museum shows and made it impossible for a dealer to say, "I'm not taking on any women this year. In 1971, women representing different organizations confronted the director of the Brooklyn Museum, Duncan Cameron in his office and demanded a show of women's work. Faith Ringgold of WASABL was there with her daughter the writer Michele Wallace, Kay Thompson of Where We At an all African American group came. Diane Levin of the Ad Hoc Women’s Committee, Patricia Mainardi and Janet Sawyer, of Red Stockings, Muriel Castanis of Women Artists in Revolution (WAR) came as well, as did June Blum the curator of the museum at Stony Brook. I was there as a writer and member of Women and the Arts, and Woman and Art Journal (that was before the Feminist Art Journal) ready to write the episode up. Irene Peslikes was there and so was Alice Neel, God bless her. Cameron refused to have an all woman's show at the museum proper and not in the Community Gallery, unless the women paid for it and then sold it to museums elsewhere. For free he only offered the Museum’s auditorium as a place inside the sacred bastion where women could gather. Little did he know what he had wrought? Women poured into the place in huge numbers and finally let their anger spill forth.


  1. Dear Mrs. Nemser,

    I introduce myself, my name is Ana Román and I'm the editor in chief of the spanish magazine Arquitectura COAM (belonging to the Association of Architects in Madrid is the oldest and one of the most important magazines in this area, here in Spain). I write you because we would like to include in our next number 'An Interview with Eva Hesse', Artforum, vol. 7, no. 9, May 1970, pp.59-63. Would it be possible? Are you agree with it?

    Best wishes,

    Ana Román
    Editor in chief
    Arquitectura COAM
    Piamonte, 23-4ª planta
    28004 Madrid

  2. Dear Ana Roman

    I have send you emails about the Eva Hesse interview but I have gotten no reply. If you wish to reprint my interview with her that's fine. My fee for allowing the interview to be published is $500.00. Please get back to me.

    Cindy Nemser