Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Miriam Schapiro

Miriam Schapiro

Miriam Schapiro--painter, sculptor, printmaker and “femmagist”--was born in Toronto, Canada in 1923. She received her BA in 1945, her MA in 1946 and her MFA in 1949, all from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates and has been the subject of numerous doctoral and master's degree dissertations. She is known as a leader in both the Feminist Art movement and the Pattern and Decoration movement.

Ms. Schapiro has received many honors and awards, including The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Grant, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Skowhegan Medal for Collage and the Rockefeller Foundation Grant for Artist’s Residency at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. She has also been honored by the National Association of Schools of Art and the National Women’s Caucus for Art. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Art Association and also received the Harrison-Hooks Artist Lifetime Achievement Award from the Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland Florida, as well as the Elan Award from the Women’s Studio Center in New York. The Miriam Schapiro Archives for Women Artists at Rutgers University opened in January 2006.

Ms. Schapiro’s work appears in numerous museum collections in the United States, Europe, Australia and Israel, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC; The Brooklyn Museum, NYC; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; The Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Orlando Museum, Orlando FL; The Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, CA; Louisiana Museum, Denmark; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia; and The Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.
Definition of "Femmage:"
1. It is work by a woman. 2. The activities of saving and collecting are important ingredients. 3. Scraps are essential to the process and are recycled in the work. 4. The theme has a woman-life context. 5. The work has elements of covert imagery. 6. The theme of the work addresses itself to an audience of intimates. 7. It celebrates a private or public event. 8. A diarist's point of view is reflected in the work. 9. There is drawing and/or handwriting sewn in the work. 10. It contains silhouetted images which are fixed on material. 11. Recognizable images appear in narrative sequence. 12. Abstract forms create a pattern. 13. The work contains photographs or other printed matter. 14. The work has a functional as well as an aesthetic life.

View Miriam Schapiro's CV (PDF)

FanfareShrine for Two Paint TubesOxGates of ParadiseThe Twinning of Adam and Eve in the Garden of EdenMiriamTwo Among Many

East Hampton, NY

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