Miriam Schapiro Canadian, 1923-2015

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“As a leading figure in the feminist art movement, [Shapiro] has encouraged and challenged the aspirations of countless women artists for a bright future. Her impact is seen in the feminist art history courses taught throughout colleges and universities and in the number of women artists now represented in many art history texts.”

Carol Salus

Brazenly using craft and pattern was part of Miriam Schapiro’s effort to elevate traditional women’s work to fine art status. Schapiro, a central figure in the feminist art movement, is also known for directing the landmark Womanhouse (1972) installation together with Judy Chicago in Los Angeles as an outgrowth of the Feminist Art Program they cofounded at the California Institute of the Arts. One of the founders of the Pattern and Decoration Movement, Schapiro began making what she called femmages around this time, combining acrylic paints and feminine fabrics to honor women whose artistry had historically been considered inferior.

 

Schapiro’s artworks are held in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others (via Artsy).

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