2008 Honorees

Schapiro

Miriam Schapiro

b. 1923  
Print/ Painter  

Miriam Schapiro is s pioneer in feminist art who reevaluates roles assigned to women and art and society. 

Becoming a professional artist in 1955, she originally painted in the Abstract Expressionist style. As she developed her art and expanded her vision, she developed her own personal style which she called femmage.  Using commonplace elements as lace, fabric scraps, buttons, rickrack, sequins, and tea towels she transformed them into sophisticated compositions. 

Schapiro embraces crafts traditionally associated with women, and uses them as a foundation for her art in an attempt to give further credence to the role that women have played in the history of art. Schapiro is one of the first artists in history to make art addressing the feminine experience 

In the early 1970’s, a new chapter in the field of woman and art was beginning to be written.  Miriam Schapiro was one of the women creating this new chapter.  Along with Judy Chicago she used her amazing energy and talent to encourage feminist conscious-raising art.  In 1972, this new art was manifested in a woman-only installation and performance art, which transformed a 17-room Hollywood Mansion into the first installation demonstrating an openly female point of view in art.  Titled the Womanhouse, it was filled with bold female and sexual images that up until that time had been considered taboo.  

Her vibrant art, spans more than 40 years during which she had been the recipient of many prestigious awards.  Her paintings hang in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world, including the Hirschhorn in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, N.Y.

Schapiro’s work represent a continuation of an ongoing series of collaborations began many years ago. These imaginary collaborations combine her own ideas with concepts and images derived partially from paintings made by celebrated women of the past."