Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Timeline: United States

Jeanette Rankin Elected to House of Representatives

Nov 07, 1916

Jeanette Rankin (R-Montana) becomes the first female member of Congress. Following her term in office, Rankin becomes the founding vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union and is re-elected to Congress in 1940 on an anti-war platform.

Matzene. Jeanette Rankin, 18801973, n.d. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

National Women's Party Pickets the White House

Jul 14, 1917

The National Women's Party, formed in 1916, pickets in front of the White House to raise awareness about the suffrage movement. Police arrest protesters and some, including Lucy Burns, to go on hunger strikes while in jail. This level of militancy yields sympathy from some quarters but disdain from others.

Harris & Ewing. Penn(sylvania) on the Picket Line, 1917. Records of the National Women's Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Nineteenth Amendment Ratified

Aug 18, 1920

The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passes, prohibiting state and federal governments from denying a citizen the right to vote because of that citizen's sex.

Unknown artist. Ready for the GOP Convention, c. 1920. National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Gwendolyn Brooks Wins Pulitzer Prize

Mar 31, 1950

Writer Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry Annie Allen.

Unknown photographer. Gwendolyn Brooks, 1945–50. Associated Press

Harvard Law School Admits Women

Sep 18, 1950

Harvard Law School admits women for the first time. Thirteen female students are admitted and begin classes on this day.

de Beauvoir's The Second Sex Published in U.S.

Jan 01, 1953

The Second Sex, first published in France in 1949, coins the term “women's liberation.”

Unknown artist. French Existentialist Writer and Feminist Simone de Beauvoir, 1947. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Brown v. Board of Education  

May 17, 1954

The Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka overturns the 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld the notion of “separate but equal” in schools. The Supreme Court rules that separate schools for African Americans are intrinsically unequal and the case begins the desegregation of schools in the U.S. and the Civil Rights Movement.

Roosevelt's Ladies of Courage Published   

May 18, 1954

Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok's book Ladies of Courage records women's achievements in U.S. politics.


Marian Anderson Sings Verdi

Jan 07, 1955

Marian Anderson is the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. She receives great acclaim for her role as the sorceress Ulrica in Verdi's The Masked Ball.

William Johnson. Marian Anderson, c. 1945. Smithsonian American Art Museum

Daughters of Bilitis Founded

Aug 31, 1955

Daughters of Bilitis is established as the first lesbian social club. It later became an organization advocating lesbian rights.

Rosa Parks Spurs Bus Boycott

Dec 01, 1955

Rosa Parks denies her bus seat to a white man. Her arrest begins the Montgomery bus boycott.

Unknown photographer. Rosa Parks, 1956. United Press Association

Barbie Doll First Produced 

Mar 09, 1959

Barbie is created by Ruth Handler and manufactured by Mattel. Handler subsequently designs a prosthetic breast that resembles a natural one.

Birth Control Pills Approved

May 11, 1960

The Food and Drug Administration approves birth control pills for contraceptive use.

John F. Kennedy Elected President 

Nov 10, 1960

Friedan's The Feminine Mystique Published

Apr 06, 1963

Betty Friedan publishes her groundbreaking and best-selling book The Feminine Mystique. The book gives  voice to the discontent and confinement women experience in their societal roles as housewives, and helps to spark the development of the Women's Liberation Movement.


Equal Pay Act

Jun 10, 1963

Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, prohibiting sexual discrimination in determining wages.

Birmingham Church Bombing

Sep 15, 1963

Four African American girls are killed in the bombing of a Baptist church, initiating the Civil Rights Movement.

Unknown photographer. Coffin of a Child Victim of the Birmingham, Alabama, Church Bombing, 1963. Associated Press


Kennedy's Report American Women

Oct 11, 1963

Lyndon B. Johnson Sworn In as President

Nov 22, 1963

John F. Kennedy Assassinated

Nov 22, 1963

Civil Rights Act

Jul 02, 1964

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited employment discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or nationality.

Margaret Chase Smith's Nomination

Jul 13, 1964 – Jul 16 1964 04:00:00 GMT

During the Republican National Convention, Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine is the first woman to earn a U.S. Presidential nomination.

Arthur E. Scott.  Margaret Chase Smith Arriving for the Republican National Convention at the in , 1964.  Senate Historical Office. Image courtesy of the Margaret Chase Smith Library Collection,

M.L.K. Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Dec 10, 1964

Malcolm X Assassinated

Feb 21, 1965

Women Artists of America Exhibition

Apr 02, 1965 – May 16 1965 04:00:00 GMT

The exhibition Women Artists of America, 1707–1964, curated by William H. Gerdts, opens at the Newark Museum, New Jersey.

Voting Rights Act

Aug 06, 1965

Section II of the Voting Rights Act eliminates literacy tests as a requirement for voter registration. The act also outlines provisions to prevent discrimination in certain areas of the country where Congress felt it might occur. These provisions include the appointment of a federal examiner to review voter registration applications.

Black Panthers Established

Sep 30, 1966

The Black Panther Party, founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, contribute to the Black Nationalist movement. Their 1966 platform “What We Want, What We Believe” calls for freedom for the Black community as well as full employment, decent housing, and education. In addition, the Panthers demand fair legal trials for African Americans and condemn police brutality towards Black people.

NOW Founded

Oct 29, 1966

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded with Betty Friedan as president. Other members included Kay Clarenbach, Aileen Hernandez, Richard Graham, and Caroline Davis.

NOW Logo. Courtesy of NOW

Executive Order 11375

Oct 13, 1967

President Lyndon B. Johnson's Executive Order outlawed employment discrimination based on sex by federal government agencies and by government contractors.

Radical Women's Group Formed

Oct 31, 1967

The radical women's group in New York, which would later become New York Radical Women, forms as an influential feminist political organization that pioneers “consciousness raising” methods to promote the women's movement.

Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated

Apr 04, 1968

S.C.U.M. Manifesto

Jun 07, 1968

Valerie Solanas self-publishes S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto under several titles in various publications. During 1968, it is also published by Olympia Press, New York, with a preface by Maurice Girodias, and a commentary by Paul Krassner, "Wonder Waif Meets Super Neuter."

Richard Nixon Elected President

Sep 05, 1968

Miss America Protest

Sep 07, 1968

New York Radical Women protest the Miss America contest in Atlantic City by picketing, yelling “Women's Liberation!,” and throwing bras and garter belts into a trashcan. Although nothing is actually burned, the event brings the feminist movement media attention and begins the “bra-burner” stereotype.

Shirley Chisholm Elected to House

Nov 05, 1968

Shirley Chisholm, educator, author, and Democrat from New York, is the first African American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1972 she would become the first African American to enter a presidential bid.


Thomas J. O'Halloran. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm Announcing her Candidacy for Presidential Nomination, 1972. U.S. News & World Report Photograph Collection

Rosenfeld v. Southern Pacific Company

Nov 22, 1968

In Rosenfeld v. Southern Pacific Company the federal court rules that women cannot be prohibited from working overtime or participating in labor that requires lifting excessive weight. The decision reinforces the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's 1968 issuance of revised guidelines on sex discrimination, which include that  sex-segregated “help-wanted” ads are illegal.

WEAL Formed

Dec 01, 1968

The Women's Equity Action League (WEAL) is established as an alternative to the National Organization for Women (NOW) for those who support women's equality in employment and education but do not want to address the issue of abortion.

Redstockings Formed

Jan 31, 1969

The radical feminist group, Redstockings, which includes Ellen Willis, Shulamith Firestone, Kathie Sarachild, Patricia Mainardi, and Barbara Leon, employs consciousness raising tactics to address issues of sexism and abortion. They assert their principles in “The Bitch Manifesto” while their other writings coin the famous slogans “The Personal is Political,” “The Politics of Housework,” and “The Pro-Woman Line.”

National Women's Hall of Fame Founded

Feb 20, 1969

The National Women's Hall of Fame is founded in Seneca Falls, New York. The museum's location commemorates Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, two renowned leaders of the suffragette movement in the U.S. who organized the first Women's Right Convention at Seneca Falls in 1848.

National Women's Hall of Fame Logo. Courtesy of National Women's Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, NY

First No-Fault Divorce Law

May 04, 1969

California is the first state to adopt the no-fault divorce law, which enables either party to terminate a marriage without cause.

Stonewall Riots Begin

Jun 27, 1969

After the police raid of the New York club, the Stonewall Inn, the gay and lesbian community protests against the unwarranted arrest of transgendered or homosexual patrons. The riots, which last several days, are considered the genesis of the gay rights movement.

Neil Armstrong Walks on the Moon

Jul 20, 1969

Woodstock Concert

Aug 15, 1969 – Aug 17 1969 04:00:00 GMT

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place for three days in Bethel, New York, drawing over 450,000 people.

Seneca Falls Convention

Jan 01, 1970 – Jan 01 1970 00:00:00 GMT

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organize the first women's rights convention in the United States. In her Declaration of Sentiments, a document modeled after the Declaration of Independence, Stanton argues that all men and women are created equal and chronicles the history of  "injuries" inflicted on woman by man.

Unknown artist. Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (18151902), Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Fourteenth Amendment Ratified

Jan 01, 1970

The Fourteenth Amendment passes, extending to all citizens the protections of the Constitution against unjust state laws. Originally intended to protect the rights of former slaves amidst Reconstruction era hostilities, the amendment becomes a significant factor in the development of the Suffrage movement, as well.

Millet's Sexual Politics Published

Jan 01, 1970

Kate Millet's classic feminist text Sexual Politics is published in the U.S. The book sells 22,000 copies in its first month.

Esther Hobart Morris Becomes Justice of the Peace

Jan 01, 1970

Esther Morris becomes the first female government official in the United States when she is appointed Justice of the Peace in South Pass, Wyoming.

Unknown photographer. Mrs. Esther Morris, the 1st Woman Judge in Wyoming Terr., n.d. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Married Women's Property Act Passes in New York

Jan 01, 1970

The state of New York passes the first comprehensive Married Women's Property Act, enabling women to possess property in their own names. Mississippi had passed a similar law in 1839 that conferred very limited property rights upon women, largely in connection with slaves. An 1860 New York law further expanded women's rights of property ownership.

Lucy Stone Keeps Her Name

Jan 01, 1970

Lucy Stone becomes the first woman on record to keep her maiden name after marrying, giving rise to the label "Lucy Stoners," applied to a wave of women who follow in Stone's footsteps.  Stone graduated from Oberlin College in 1847 and became the first woman in the state of Massachusetts to hold a college degree. She also founded the Woman's Journal in Boston in 1870.

Unknown artist. Lucy Stone, Half-length Portrait of a Woman, Seated, Facing Front, c. 1840–60. Visual materials from the Blackwell Family Papers, Daguerrotype Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

X-12 Exhibition

Jan 27, 1970 – Feb 12 1970 05:00:00 GMT

X-12, The Pioneer Feminist Art Exhibition, organized by twelve women artists, opens at Museum, 729 Broadway in New York City. Artists are: Iris Crump, Lois DiCosola, Maryann Gillies, Silvianna Goldsmith, Helene Gross, Doloris Holmes, Arline Lederman, Inverna Lockpez, Carolyn Mazzello, Vernita Nemec, Doris O'Kane, and Alida Walsh.

Artists' photograph taken with timer. X-12 Artists on Rooftop, 1969. Courtesy of Lois DiCosola

off our backs Founded

Feb 01, 1970

The feminist newsjournal off our backs publishes its first issue.

Kent State University Shootings

May 04, 1970

The National Guard opens fire on Vietnam War protesters at Kent State University in Ohio. The shootings cause a national outrage on university campuses across the United States, many of which are forced to close due to student strikes.

John Paul Filo. Kent State Massacre, 1970. Valley Daily News. Photograph © John Paul Filo


May 31, 1970

Faith Ringgold and her daughter Michele form the group Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL) and write their manifesto in June of 1970. At this time they also protest the Biennale-in-Exile exhibition at the School of Visual Arts. Organized by Robert Morris and Carl Andre to protest the Venice Biennale, Biennale-in-Exile was conceived of with predominantly white male artists. WSABL agitates for a more inclusive exhibition and as a result women, Black, and Puerto Rican artists are ultimately included.

First Female Generals

Jun 11, 1970

Elizabeth Hoisington and Anna Mae McCabe Hays are promoted on the same day to become the first female Generals in the U.S. Army. Hoisington served with the Women's Army Corps and Hays with the Army Nurse Corps.

ERA Passes the U.S. House

Aug 10, 1970

The Equal Rights Amendment passes the U.S. House of Representative by a vote of 350 to 15. The proposed amendment provides for equal rights under the constitution regardless of sex. Although the ERA later passes the U.S. Senate by a vote of 84 to 8 in 1972, the Amendment is never adopted because in 1982, it is ratified by only 35 of the 38 states needed to pass an amendment.

50th Anniversary of 19th Amendment

Aug 26, 1970

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of women's suffrage tens of thousands of women walk down Fifth Avenue in New York while numerous other groups congregate throughout the U.S. The march is a response to Betty Friedan and NOW's call for a "Women's Strike for Equality."

Sisterhood Is Powerful Published

Sep 12, 1970

Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement, edited by Robin Morgan, is published. The influential anthology includes a selection of feminist historical documents as well as essays by Kate Millet, Naomi Weisstein, Frances Beale, and Eleanor Holmes Norton, among others.

Ad Hoc Women Artists' Committee

Sep 30, 1970

In New York, the Ad Hoc Women Artists' Committee develops out of the Art Workers Coalition (AWC) and Women Artists in Revolution (WAR) groups. The Committee protests the limited number of women in the Whitney Museum's Annual Exhibition and its permanent collections; they also begin the Women's Artist Registry.

The Feminist Press is Founded

Oct 01, 1970

The Feminist Press publishes works by American and international women writers from all time periods. It has published more than 250 prominent texts by and about women and publishes the journal Women's Studies Quarterly.

Greer's The Female Eunuch Published

Oct 01, 1970

Germaine Greer's immensely influential feminist text The Female Eunuch critiques the nuclear family and the oppressive stereotypes of feminine sexuality that girls are taught to conform to. For Greer, these constraints curtail women's sexuality and political power.

Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex Published

Oct 29, 1970

Feminist activist Shulamith Firestone publishes The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. Firestone takes a radical Marxist-feminist position, arguing for the creation of a new society in which women are not confined to the biological role of mother.

Bella Abzug Elected to House

Nov 03, 1970

Bella Abzug, a lawyer specializing in civil rights, wins her Congressional seat representing Manhattan on a feminist and anti-war platform. Abzug, who during the 1960s organized Women Strike for Peace to protest the Vietnam War, becomes a strong voice in the House of Representatives where she is one of twelve women.

Unknown artist. This woman's place is in the house -- the House of Representatives!: Bella Abzug for Congress, n.d. Yanker poster collection

Our Bodies Ourselves Published

Dec 01, 1970

The Boston Women's Health Book Collective publishes Our Bodies Ourselves: A Book By and For Women. The book encourages women to become educated about their health and provides accurate information about body image, sexuality, and reproduction. The eighth edition is published in 2005.

Nochlin's "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" Published

Jan 01, 1971

Linda Nochlin's renowned essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" is first published in ARTnews magazine.

Alice Neel. Linda Nochlin and Daisy, 1973. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Estate of Alice Neel

Women and Art Begins Publication

Jan 01, 1971

Women and Art Quarterly begins publication in New York with its Winter issue 1971.

Phillips v. Martin Marietta

Jan 25, 1971

In Phillips v. Martin Marietta the Supreme Court rules that it is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire women who have young children.

National Women's Political Caucus Founded

Mar 21, 1971

The National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) is established by Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Bella Abzug. The organization seeks to encourage women's political involvement and to attain equality for all women.

Where We At: Black Women Artists Exhibition

Apr 06, 1971 – May 10 1971 04:00:00 GMT

The exhibition, Where We At: Black Women Artists, organized by artists Kay Brown, Jerrolyn Crooks, Pat Davis, Mai Mai Leabua, Dinga McCannon, and Faith Ringgold, is held at the Acts of Art Galleries in New York. Later Brown, McCannon, and Ringgold form the Where We At artists collective.

Cover of exhibition catalogue Where We At: Black Women Artists, 1971. Where We At Black Women Artists

26 Contemporary Women Artists Exhibition

Apr 18, 1971 – Jun 13 1971 04:00:00 GMT

The exhibition 26 Contemporary Women Artists, curated by Lucy Lippard, is shown at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Cover of exhibition catalogue 26 Contemporary Women Artists, 1971. The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

Everywoman Magazine

Jun 07, 1971

Everywoman magazine publishes a special issue discussing “Judy Chicago and the California Girls.” The controversial issue includes articles on “inner space” imagery by Judy Chicago, Miriam Shapiro, and Faith Wilding.

LACWA Protest

Jun 15, 1971

Los Angeles Council of Women Artists (LACWA) protest and speak out to press, including the Los Angeles Free Press on June 15, 1971, about the omission of women artists from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's exhibition Art and Technology. LACWA, which organized in the spring of 1971, is a west coast counterpart to New York's Women Artists in Revolution (WAR).

Woman in Sexist Society Published

Jun 24, 1971

Vivian Gornick and Barbara K. Moran publish the anthology Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness. It includes essays by Catherine Stimpson and Linda Nochlin.

Rutgers Women Artists Series Begins

Sep 01, 1971

Joan Snyder begins the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series of exhibitions at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library at Rutgers University. It is the longest-running, continuing exhibition program committed to showcasing women artists in America.

Feminist Art Program & Women's Design Program Begin

Sep 22, 1971

Judy Chicago moves the Feminist Art Program (formerly at California State University at Fresno) to CalArts in Valencia, California. The program is co-taught with artist Miriam Shapiro. During this same semester Sheila Levrant de Bretteville begins the Women's Design Program with graduate assistant Suzanne Lacy.

Woman as Sex Object

Oct 01, 1971

Thomas B. Hess and Linda Nochlin edit Woman as Sex Object: Studies in Erotic Art, 1730–1970, the first scholarly collection of essays to examine the concept of woman as sex object in visual imagery from the 18th century to the modern era.

Cover of Woman as Sex Object: Studies in Erotic Art, 1730–1970, 1971. © Linda Nochlin

Ms. Magazine Founded

Jan 01, 1972

Ms. Magazine, which initially appeared as an insert in New York Magazine in December 1971, is founded by Gloria Steinem in January 1972, and its first independent issue published in July. The magazine becomes an important mouthpiece of the feminist movement.

Cover of Ms. Magazine, 1972. © Ms. Magazine

The West Coast Women Artists' Conference

Jan 21, 1972

The West Coast Women Artists' Conference convenes at Womanhouse in L.A., bringing many Californian women artists together. The conference facilitates the development of the West-End Bag (WEB), established in 1971, into a national and international network of women artists. By 1973 WEB's members include artists from twenty states and eight foreign countries.

Women's Caucus for Art Founded

Jan 28, 1972

The Women's Caucus for Art is founded at the College Art Association's meeting in San Francisco with Ann Sutherland Harris as president. The Caucus, still in existence today, is one of the most prominent political organizations for art historians and artists.

Womanhouse Exhibition

Jan 30, 1972 – Feb 28 1972 05:00:00 GMT

The Womanhouse installation is created by twenty-one students of the Feminist Art Program at CalArts with the supervision of Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro. It temporarily transforms a vacant Hollywood home into a feminist artwork, commenting on the life of the suburban housewife.

Cover of the Exhibition Catalogue Womanhouse (showing Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro). Design by Sheila de Bretteville. (Valencia: Feminist Art Program, California Institute of the Arts, 1972). Photograph by Donald Woodman. Courtesy of Through the Flower archive

ASCO Protests Los Angeles Museum

Mar 14, 1972

The Chicano artists organization ASCO, founded by Patssi Valdez, Willie Heron, Gronk, and Harry Gamboa Jr., and meaning "nausea" in Spanish, protests the omission of Latino/a artists from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's collection by tagging the museum's facade and entrances. The piece is referred to as Spraypaint LACMA, as well as Project Pie in De/Face.

ERA Passes the Senate

Mar 22, 1972

Passed by the House of Representatives in 1970, the Equal Rights Amendment passes the U.S. Senate with a vote of 84 to 8. The ERA then goes to the states for ratification—22 states approve it in 1972. The amendment is never adopted because by 1982 it has not been not ratified by the minimum 38 states needed to pass an amendment.

Invisible/Visible: 21 Artists Exhibition

Mar 26, 1972 – Apr 23 1972 05:00:00 GMT

The exhibition Invisible/Visible: 21 Artists opens at the Long Beach Museum of Art. The show, curated by Dextra Frankel in collaboration with Judy Chicago, features twenty-one California women artists.

Feminist Art Journal Founded

Apr 01, 1972

The Feminist Art Journal is founded by Cindy Nemser, Patricia Mainardi, and Irene Moss. It runs through Summer 1977.

Conference of Women in the Arts

Apr 20, 1972 – Apr 22 1972 05:00:00 GMT

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. holds the Conference of Women in the Visual Arts. The museum is prompted to host the event in response to protests that no women had been included in its 1971 Biennial exhibition.

Alma Thomas Exhibits at Whitney

Apr 25, 1972 – May 28 1972 04:00:00 GMT

Alma Thomas is the first African American female artist to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Ida Jervis. Alma Thomas in Her Studio, c. 1968. Alma Thomas Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Feminist Studies Journal Founded

Jun 01, 1972

The scholarly and activist journal Feminist Studies begins publication, edited by Ann Calderwood. It provides a forum for feminists and scholars, bringing together members of Columbia University's women's liberation group, women's studies students from Sarah Lawrence College, and New York City women's rights activists.

Women Make Movies Established

Jun 23, 1972

Women Make Movies is founded in New York to address the scarcity of women in the film industry and the stereotypical representations of women promoted by the media. The non-profit organization is committed to cultural and racial diversity, and especially to advancing the work of women of color. Women Make Movies assists in the promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videos created by or focusing on women.

Jean Westwood Elected

Jul 14, 1972

Jean Westwood is elected the leader of the United States Democratic National Committee, becoming the first woman to chair a major political party.

A.I.R. Gallery Opens

Sep 01, 1972

A.I.R. Gallery in New York is established by Dotty Attie, Mary Grigoriadis, Susan Williams, and Barbara Zucker. It is the first artist-run, cooperative, non-profit gallery exhibiting women artists in America.

Unknown photographer. A.I.R. Gallery, 1974 Members, 1974. Courtesy of A.I.R. Gallery

First Women's History Graduate Program

Sep 05, 1972

Sarah Lawrence College begins a graduate program in Women's History, the first such Master's degree program to be offered by a major college.

Maude Premiers

Sep 12, 1972 – Apr 29 1978 05:00:00 GMT

The television show Maude, a spin-off of All in the Family, premiers, starring Beatrice Arthur as Maude Findlay, a leftist feminist who supports abortion and civil rights.

Women in the Arts Founded

Jan 04, 1973

Women in the Arts is founded by Cynthia Navaretta and Ce Roser to protest art galleries that fail to exhibit works by women artists. The group develops out of meetings in 1971 and 1972 that bring together artists Buffie Johnson, Alice Neel, Fay Lansner, Elaine de Kooning, and Pat Passlof.

Women Chose Women Exhibition

Jan 12, 1973 – Feb 18 1973 05:00:00 GMT

The exhibition Women Chose Women, organized by the group Women in the Arts (WIA), is shown at the New York Cultural Center. Works are selected by a committee composed of painters and WIA members Pat Passlof, Ce Roser, and Sylvia Sleigh, as well as curators Linda Nochlin, Elizabeth C. Baker, and Laura Adler. The 109 artists represented include Audrey Flack, Hannah Wilke, Alice Neel, May Stevens, and Faith Ringgold.

Alice Neel. The Pregnant Woman, 1971. University Art Museum, University of California at Santa Barbara

Roe v. Wade

Jan 22, 1973

The Roe v. Wade decision legalizes abortion, overturning state and federal laws that regulated or prohibited a woman's right to an abortion. The landmark decision, established by a vote of 7 to 2, begins a longstanding, polarizing political debate between “pro-choice” and “pro-life” factions.

Womanspace Journal Published

Feb 01, 1973

The Womanspace journal begins publication with a February/March issue. Articles include Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro's essay Female Imagery, in which they discuss central core imagery. Only three issues of the journal are published due to lack of financial support.

Helen Reddy Wins Grammy

Mar 03, 1973

Helen Reddy wins a Grammy Award for her hit I Am Woman. It is the first specifically feminist song to become a gold record.

Doug Kirkland. Helen Reddy, 1978. © Helen Reddy

Johnston's Lesbian Nation Published

Mar 30, 1973

Lesbian Nation, a compilation of Jill Johnston's essays published in the Village Voice, argues for a radical, lesbian feminism separate from the gay rights movement. It becomes a key text for the emerging lesbian movement in the early seventies.

Hess and Baker's Art and Sexual Politics Published

Jun 01, 1973

Thomas B. Hess and Elizabeth C. Baker publish Art and Sexual Politics: Women's Liberation, Women Artists, and Art History. In it, Linda Nochlin's essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” is reprinted with replies by Elaine de Kooning, Louise Nevelson, Eleanor Antin, Marjorie Strider, and Lynda Benglis.

Congress Declares Women's Equality Day

Aug 26, 1973

At the recommendation of Democratic Representative Bella Abzug, Congress declares August 26th Women's Equality Day.

Feminist Studio Workshop Opens

Sep 01, 1973

The Feminist Studio Workshop is founded by Judy Chicago, Sheila de Bretteville, and Arlene Raven. It opens in the Woman's Building in Los Angeles and provides alternative arts education for women artists.

Artemisia and ARC Galleries Open

Sep 01, 1973

Two women-run cooperative exhibition spaces open in Chicago: Artemisia Gallery, named for Artemisia Gentileschi, and the ARC Gallery.

Billie Jean King Defeats Bobby Riggs

Sep 20, 1973

Wimbledon women's champion Billie Jean King defeats Wimbledon men's champion Bobby Riggs in a match dubbed “Battle of the Sexes” held at the Houston Astrodome. The televised victory is an important milestone in women's sports.

SOHO20 Gallery Founded

Oct 06, 1973

The plan for the all-women cooperative gallery SOHO20 is initiated by Mary Ann Gillies, Joan Glueckman, Sylvia Sleigh, and Marilyn Raymond. The name derives from the 20 members, although Sleigh and Raymond leave the group before opening.

Sylvia Sleigh. SOHO20 Gallery, 1974. Left panel of diptych. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Orchard, St. Louis, Missouri. Courtesy of Sylvia Sleigh

Womanspace Opens

Nov 28, 1973

Womanspace, the first female West coast cooperative gallery, opens.

Unknown photographer. Judy Chicago speaking at Womanspace Gallery, 1973. Courtesy of the Woman's Building Digital Image Archive

Woman's Building Established

Nov 28, 1973

Named after the Woman's Building at the1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Los Angeles Woman's Building is established by Judy Chicago, Arlene Raven, and Sheila de Bretteville. It houses the Feminist Studio Workshop, Womanspace, Gallery 707, the Sisterhood Bookstore, and feminist political groups.

Photographer unknown. Front of the Grandview Building at the Beginning of Construction, September, 1973. Courtesy of the Woman's Building Digital Image Archive.

Women/Artist/Filmmakers, Inc. Formed

Dec 31, 1973

Women/Artist/Filmmakers, Inc. organizes formally in 1974 as a film production workshop where each professional artist makes and distributes films independently. The group, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council for the Arts from 1974 to 1981, becomes the first woman-only organization to receive funding to make films as art. Women/Artist/Filmmakers, Inc. exhibits internationally at museums, galleries, colleges, libraries, and film centers and remains active today. Members are: Susan Brockman, Doris Chase, Martha Edelheit, Silvianna Goldsmith, Nancy Kendall, Maria Lassnig, Carolee Schneemann, Rosalind Schneider, Olga Spiegel, and Alida Walsh.

Carolee Schneemann. Women/Artist/Filmmakers, Inc. brochure, 1975. Courtesy of Women/Artist/Filmmakers, Inc.

Lesbian Herstory Archives Founded

Mar 31, 1974

The Lesbian Herstory Archives is founded in the spring of 1974 in New York City by Joan Nestle and Deborah Edel. The mission of the Archives is to gather and preserve records of lesbian lives and activities so that future generations will have access to the material. The Archives later moved to the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Saskia Scheffer. Lesbian Herstory Archives as Grand Marshalls of New York Pride March, 1990. © Saskia Scheffer

Quest Begins Publication

Apr 01, 1974

Quest: A Feminist Quarterly begins publication with its Spring 1974 issue.

In Her Own Image Exhibition and FOCUS

Apr 05, 1974 – May 10 1974 04:00:00 GMT

Art Historian Cindy Nemser curates In Her Own Image: A Group Exhibition at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, a community art center in Philadelphia. The show is part of the Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts (FOCUS) project. FOCUS is a celebration of women artists in exhibitions throughout Philadelphia. It is initiated by artist Diane Burko and organized by a committee of women artists, curators, and art historians.

Hera Gallery Opens

May 30, 1974

Hera Women's Cooperative Art Center and Gallery opens in Wakefield, RI. The inaugural exhibition presents the work of the ten founding members.

Womanspace Closes

Jun 30, 1974

The Womanspace gallery, located in the Woman's Building in Los Angeles, closes.

Gimbutas's Gods and Goddesses Published

Dec 01, 1974

Archeologist Marija Gimbutas publishes The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe, 7000–3500 B.C.: Myths, Legends, and Cult Images, in which she discusses the religious significance of ancient goddesses in European, Western Asian, and Mediterranean cultures. The book is republished in 1982 as The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, 6500–3500 B.C.: Myths and Cult Images.

SIGNS Begins Publication

Dec 01, 1974

SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society begins publication with its Autumn/ Winter 1975 issue. It is edited by Catherine Stimpson, Joan Burstyn, and Donna Stanton.

Nemser's Art Talk Published

Mar 18, 1975

Cindy Nemser publishes Art Talk: Conversations with Twelve Women Artists. The book, republished in 1995 as Art Talk: Conversations with Fifteen Women Artists, consists of interviews conducted by Nemser in the seventies with artists Eva Hesse, Barbara Hepworth, Lee Krasner, Marisol, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, Betye Saar, and Isabel Bishop, among others.

Vietnam War Ends

Apr 30, 1975

President Ford declares the end of the war and the end of U.S. aid to Saigon. South Vietnam ultimately surrenders to North Vietnam.

U.N.'s International Women's Year

Jun 19, 1975 – Jul 12 1975 04:00:00 GMT

The United Nations World Conference on International Women's Year convenes in Mexico City, with 125 nations represented. As a result, the U.N. calls 1975 the International Year of the Woman and creates a ten-year plan of action. The 12 platforms of the plan include issues of poverty, education, health, violence, human rights, and mass media.

Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" Published

Sep 01, 1975

In her famous essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Laura Mulvey pioneers the study of the male gaze in her analysis of film noir, such as To Have and Have Not (1944). The essay is first published in the British journal Screen.

Women Admitted into Military Academies

Oct 07, 1975

President Gerald Ford approves a public law granting women entrance into Army, Navy, and Air Force academies for the first time.

Brownmiller's Against Our Will Published

Oct 15, 1975

Journalist and historian Susan Brownmiller publishes Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. The book addresses social, political, and historical attitudes toward rape as well as the longstanding legal inequalities between men and women. Brownmiller is the first to use the term "date rape."

Woman's Building Relocates

Nov 28, 1975

The Woman's Building (formerly at 743 S. Grandview) reopens at 1727 North Spring Street in Los Angeles. In addition to a gallery, the space includes the Feminist Studio Workshop directed by Arlene Raven, the Sisterhood Bookstore, and offers educational programs and community events.

Decade for Women Designated

Dec 15, 1975

The U.N. proclaims 1976–1985 the “Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace.”

IRW Founded

Jan 01, 1976

The Institute for Research on Women (IRW) is founded at Douglass College, Rutgers University. The mission is to promote dialogue between academics on different campuses by holding conferences, lectures, and colloquia. The IRW becomes a prominent leader in research on feminism and gender.

WARM Gallery Opens

Apr 10, 1976

WARM (Women's Art Registry of Minnesota) Gallery opens in Minneapolis on April 10, 1976. The organization began in 1973 with informal meetings.

Barbara Walters Is First Network Anchorwoman

Apr 22, 1976

Barbara Walters accepts a five-million-dollar five-year contract as anchorwoman for the evening news with the ABC network. She is the first woman newscaster on U.S. network television.

White House Staff Photographer. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in an Interview with Barbara Walters, 1978. Carter Library, National Archives and Record Administration


May 31, 1976

Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) is founded in Los Angeles, CA. Its first well-documented action is a protest of the Rolling Stones's "Black and Blue" album cover art in June 1976.  The Boston chapter is organized in 1977.

Art Journal's Women in Art Issue

Jun 01, 1976

In summer of 1976 Art Journal dedicates an entire issue to women in art. It includes Mary Garrard's article "'Of Men, Women, and Art': Some Historical Reflections," Lucy Lippard's essay "Projecting a Feminist Criticism," and Susan Fillin Yeh's article "Mary Cassatt's Images of Women," among others.

Womanart Journal Published

Jun 01, 1976

The journal Womanart, edited by Ellen Lubell, begins publication in summer 1976 in New York.

Barbara Jordan's Keynote Address

Jul 12, 1976

At the Democratic National Convention, Barbara Jordan, the first woman elected to congress from the deep south, becomes the first woman and first African American to deliver the keynote address, making her “Who Then Will Speak for the Common Good?” speech in New York, New York.

Thomas O'Halloran. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, 1976. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection

Black Art Journal Begins Publication

Sep 01, 1976

The quarterly journal Black Art begins publication in fall 1976, edited by Val Spaulding. Articles include “African Influences on Black American Art” by Floyd Coleman, “Black American Music: The Beginning” by Bette Cox, and “ Afro-Brazilian Art: A Liberating Spirit” by Abdias do Nascimento.

First Issue of Lilith

Sep 01, 1976

The Jewish and feminist journal Lilith is founded by several Jewish women journalists and editors. The first issue is published Fall 1976.

Jimmy Carter Elected President

Nov 02, 1976

Democrat Jimmy Carter defeats Gerald Ford by a narrow margin.

Lippard's From the Center Published

Nov 08, 1976

Lucy Lippard publishes From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art. The book is composed of articles Lippard wrote for Artforum, Art in America, and Ms. magazines, as well as essays on women artists and a chapter on the debated question “What is Female Imagery?”

Women Artists: 1550–1950 Exhibition

Dec 21, 1976 – Mar 13 1977 05:00:00 GMT

The exhibition Women Artists: 1550–1950, curated by Linda Nochlin and Ann Sutherland Harris, opens at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition includes works by Rosalba Carriera, Artemisia Gentileschi, Angelica Kauffmann, Rachel Ruysch, and Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun. It travels to the University Art Museum; University of Texas at Austin; the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; and the Brooklyn Museum.

Cover of Women Artists, 1550–1950, by Ann Sutherland Harris and Linda Nochlin. Design by Rosalie Carlson. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1976. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., distributed by Random House, Inc.

Heresies Journal Begins Publication

Jan 01, 1977

Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics begins publication with its January issue. The collective includes Patsy Beckert, Joan Braderman, Mary Beth Edelson, Harmony Hammond, Elizabeth Hess, Joyce Kozloff, Arlene Ladden, Lucy Lippard, Mary Miss, Marty Pottenger, Miriam Shapiro, Joan Snyder, Elke Solomon, Pat Steir, May Stevens, Michelle Stuart, Susana Torre, Elizabeth Weatherford, Sally Webster, and Nina Yankowitz.

Cover of Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics, 1977. Courtesy of Joyce Kozloff

What Is Feminist Art? Exhibition

Feb 03, 1977 – Mar 03 1977 05:00:00 GMT

What Is Feminist Art? exhibition opens at the Woman's Building in Los Angeles.

Arlene Raven's Lesbian Art Project

Feb 26, 1977

Arlene Raven begins to develop the Lesbian Art Project to encourage work by lesbian artists. On February 26, Raven offers the first of two Lesbian Art Worksharings at the Woman's Building; a third occurs at her home the following summer. These events are expanded into the Lesbian Art Project, which includes art historical research, artistic projects, exhibits, social events, and, by October, an educational program at the Woman's Building.

Chrysalis Journal Begins Publication

Mar 01, 1977

Chrysalis: A Magazine of Women's Culture begins publication. It is founded at the Woman's Building in L.A. by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Kirsten Grimstad, Ruth Iskin, Arlene Raven, and Susan Rennie. Contributors include Lucy Lippard, Linda Nochlin, and Adrienne Rich.

Coalition of Women's Arts Organizations Founded

Apr 30, 1977

The Coalition of Women's Arts Organizations (CWAO) is formed by a group of East Coast women in the arts, including Judith Brodsky, who serves as its first president. The Coalition is a national lobby organization dedicated to the achievement of equality for all women in the arts.

Maher v. Roe

Jun 20, 1977

In Maher v. Roe the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Connecticut Welfare Department, stating that state Medicaid benefits do not have to pay for abortions unless they are considered “medically necessary.”

MUSE Opens

Sep 30, 1977

MUSE opens as a women's community center and cooperative gallery in Philadelphia, PA.

Contemporary Women Exhibition

Oct 01, 1977 – Oct 27 1977 04:00:00 GMT

Joan Semmel curates the exhibition Contemporary Women: Consciousness and Content at Brooklyn Museum Art School, featuring thirty-one female artists whose work suggests the development of a strong female point of view.

Poster for Contemporary Women: Consciousness and Content, 1977. Brooklyn Museum Art School

Sister Chapel Exhibition

Jan 15, 1978

The Sister Chapel, a cooperative work conceived by Ilise Greenstein, is exhibited at P.S. 1 in Long Island City. The work presents a female account of the creation myth. June Blum, Martha Eidelheit, Ilise Greenstein, Shirley Gorelick, Betty Holiday, Diane Kurz, Cynthia Mailman, Alice Neel, Sylvia Sleigh, May Stevens, and Sharon Wybrants create panels for the installation. The exhibition later travels to the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

A Lesbian Show Exhibition

Jan 21, 1978 – Feb 11 1978 05:00:00 GMT

The exhibition A Lesbian Show, curated by Harmony Hammond, opens at 112 Greene Street in New York.

Honig Fine's Women and Art Published

Jun 01, 1978

Elsa Honig Fine publishes Women and Art: A History of Women Painters and Sculptors from the Renaissance to the 20th Century.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Oct 31, 1978

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amends Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Take Back the Night Rallies

Nov 18, 1978

One of the first Take Back the Night rallies organized to protest pornography and violence against women takes place in San Francisco. Artists Leslie Labowitz and Suzanne Lacy turn the demonstration into a street performance with a float displaying a Madonna and the image of a three-headed lamb carcass stuffed with pornographic materials.

President Carter Awards 5 Women Artists

Jan 30, 1979

President Jimmy Carter gives honorary awards to renowned artists Isabel Bishop, Selma Burke, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe at the Women's Caucus for Art convention in Washington, D.C.

Carole A. Rosen. Louise Nevelson Receiving Women's Caucus for Art Award from President Carter and Rosalynn Carter, 1979. Louise Nevelson Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Bill Baird Abortion Clinic Bombed

Feb 15, 1979

The Bill Baird Abortion Clinic in Hempstead, Long Island, thought to be the first abortion clinic in America, is demolished by a bomb.

Chicago's The Dinner Party: A Symbol of Our Heritage Published

Mar 06, 1979

Judy Chicago publishes The Dinner Party: A Symbol of Our Heritage. The book sells 20,000 hardcover copies in the first two weeks of its release. The following year Embroidering Our Heritage: The Dinner Party Needlework is published.

Cover of The Dinner Party: A Symbol of Our Heritage, 1979. Courtesy of Judy Chicago

The Dinner Party Premiers

Mar 16, 1979 – Jun 17 1979 04:00:00 GMT

The exhibition The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago premiers at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Feminist Art Institute Founded

Mar 30, 1979

The New York Feminist Art Institute, organized by Miriam Shapiro, offers classes in painting, drawing, printmaking, architecture, and video. The program is structured to begin with a collaborative project like Womanhouse (see January 1972 entry) and then to allow for independent work.

WARM Journal Founded

Apr 10, 1979

The WARM Journal is established by Women's Art Registry of Minnesota members Emily Erickson, Susan McDonald, and Alice Towley.

National Lesbian and Gay Rights March

Oct 14, 1979

More than 100,000 people participate in the first national march for gay and lesbian rights in Washington, D.C.

Unknown photographer. National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 1979. Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Library of Congress

Greer's The Obstacle Race Published

Oct 28, 1979

Germaine Greer's The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work is published. Greer addresses the social, educational, and psychological obstacles that women artists face. Linda Nochlin reviews the book for The New York Times.

Mother Teresa Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Dec 10, 1979

In 1979 Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Unknown photographer. Mother Teresa, 1979. © The Nobel Foundation

The Dinner Party Comes to Brooklyn

Oct 18, 1980 – Jan 18 1981 05:00:00 GMT

As part of its national tour, The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago is exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum.

Entrance to Brooklyn Museum's 1980 installation of The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago.

Ronald Reagan Elected President

Nov 04, 1980

Ronald Reagan defeats Democrat Jimmy Carter. George H. Bush is elected Vice President.

John Lennon Assassinated

Dec 08, 1980

John Lennon is assassinated by Mark Chapman at the entrance to the Dakota building in New York.

Parker and Pollock's Old Mistresses Published

Jan 02, 1981

British feminist art historian Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock publish Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology. The book is critical of feminist artists' use of sexual imagery and stereotypically “feminine” crafts such as embroidery. Parker and Pollock argue that this imagery echoes patriarchal ideology, which has traditionally held women's creative production in a separate category from men's.

hooks's Ain't I a Woman Published

May 01, 1981

bell hooks publishes Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism. This canonical text explores sexism toward black women slaves, black male sexism, and the racism black women encounter in the feminist movement. Arguing for an inclusive feminism, the book influences the feminist movement of the 1980s.

Moraga and Anzaldúa's This Bridge Called My Back

Jun 01, 1981

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa is published.

Feminist Studio Workshop Closes

Jun 01, 1981

The Feminist Studio Workshop closes at the Woman's Building in Los Angeles.

First Case of AIDS Reported

Jun 05, 1981

The first case of AIDS is reported by the Centers for Disease Control in its journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Sandra Day O'Connor to Supreme Court

Sep 25, 1981

Sandra Day O'Connor is the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.

Unknown photographer. Sandra Day O'Connor, c. 1981. U.S. Supreme Court

Friedan's The Second Stage Published

Oct 01, 1981

Betty Friedan publishes The Second Stage. In this text Friedan cautions the women's movement against becoming absorbed with male-bashing, divided by factionalism, or preoccupied with identity issues. Friedan argues that the women's movement should work together with men to achieve political, economic, and social equality.

Call to the Nation's Conscience

Oct 12, 1981

Former First Ladies Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson and N.O.W. President Ellie Smeal speak to a lively crowd of 3000 at the “Call to the Nation's Conscience” Equal Rights Amendment rally. The rally takes place on the last day of N.O.W.'s National Conference on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

ERA is Defeated

Jun 30, 1982

The Equal Rights Amendment, which previously passed the Senate in 1972, is defeated 10 years later. Even though in January of 1982 Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford issued a statement lobbying for its ratification, the ERA, which would have provided women the same rights as men, is only ratified by 35 of the 38 states needed to pass an amendment.

Smith's Home Girls Published

Jan 01, 1983

Edited by Barbara Smith, Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology is a key text on black lesbian feminist thought.


Roth's The Amazing Decade Published

Jan 10, 1983

The Amazing Decade: Women and Performance Art in America, 1970-1980, edited by Moira Roth, is published.


Elizabeth Dole Secretary of Transportation

Feb 07, 1983

Elizabeth Dole becomes the first woman to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Among her many achievements, Dole goes on to become the second woman to serve as president of the American Red Cross in 1991; she seeks the Republican presidential nomination in 1999; and becomes a U.S. Senator in 2002.

Unknown photographer. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor administers the oath of office to Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Hanford Dole. President Ronald Reagan looks on as Secretary Dole's mother, Mrs. Mary Hanford, holds the Bible, 1983. United States Department of Transportation

Women & Performance Journal Launched

Jun 23, 1983

A group of graduate students at New York University launches Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, a print forum for discussions of gender and representation.

Columbia College Goes Coed

Aug 29, 1983

Columbia College, the last U.S. all-male Ivy League college, and a part of Columbia University, admits women to its freshman class for the first time in its 229-year history.

At Home Exhibition

Sep 04, 1983 – Nov 06 1983 05:00:00 GMT

At Home, curated by Arlene Raven, is presented at the Long Beach Museum of Art.

First African American Miss America

Sep 17, 1983

Vanessa Williams becomes the first African American Miss America. Midway through her reign, on July 23, 1984, Williams relinquishes her crown due to controversy over nude photographs of her that appeared in Penthouse magazine.

Why and How Women Will Elect the Next President Published

Jan 26, 1984

Eleanor Smeal, president of NOW from 1977 to 1982 and again from 1985 to 1987, co-authors Why and How Women Will Elect the Next President with Kathy Bonk and Toni Carabillo. The book explains the gender gap—the discrepancy in the voting patterns of men vs. women—a phenomenon that Smeal first identified in the 1980 presidential election voting results.

Lorde's Sister Outsider Published

Apr 01, 1984

Audre Lorde addresses issues of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and what it means to be an outsider in her book Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches.


An International Survey Exhibition

May 17, 1984 – Aug 19 1984 04:00:00 GMT

The Museum of Modern Art in New York reopens after a four-year renovation with An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, an exhibition featuring works by 151 men and only 14 women. Members of the New York City chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art, the Heresies Collective, and the New York Feminist Art Institute protest this underrepresentation of women artists.

First Woman Vice-Presidential Nominee

Jul 19, 1984

Geraldine Ferraro, running mate to Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, is the first woman to be nominated for Vice President by either the Democratic or Republican Party. She accepts her nomination on this day.

Unknown photographer. Geraldine Ferraro, 1985. National Archives and Records Administration

Ronald Reagan Re-elected President

Nov 06, 1984

Republican Ronald Reagan is re-elected President of the United State in a landslide victory over Walter Mondale.

Guerrilla Girls Founded

Mar 31, 1985

Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous artists' collective who make public appearances in gorilla masks, begin their campaign against racism and sexism in the art world. The group is founded in response to the underrepresentation of women and women of color in the Museum of Modern Art's International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture. The first Guerrilla Girls poster goes up on the streets of Soho in New York in April–May of 1985.

Guerrilla Girls. Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?, 1989. Copyright © 1989, 1995 Guerrilla Girls

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

Jan 28, 1986

The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after launch, killing all of its crew. They are civilian Christa McAuliffe, the first member of NASA's Teacher in Space program; Gregory Jarvis, also a civilian; Commander Dick Scobee; pilot Michael J. Smith; and mission specialists Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, and Judith Resnik.


The STS 51-L Crew, 1985. Official NASA photograph. NASA, Johnson Space Center

The March for Women's Lives

Mar 09, 1986

National Organization for Women (NOW) coordinates the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D. C., for the purpose of keeping abortion and birth control legal. With some 125,000 participants, it is the largest march for women's rights in the U.S. to this date. Seven other marches for women's rights also take place in 1986, in Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Harrisburg, PA; Trenton, NJ; Boston, MA; Seattle, WA; and Portland, OR.

Women Artists in History of Art

May 01, 1986

The third edition of H.W. Janson's History of Art, a standard college art history textbook, includes women artists for the first time—adding 19 to the nearly 2,300 artists.

Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Jun 11, 1986

With their 5-4 verdict in the case of Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that several provisions of the 1982 Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act are unconstitutional because they obstruct a woman's right to an abortion.

Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson

Jun 19, 1986

The Supreme Court of the United States renders a verdict in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, finding that sexual harassment in the workplace creates a hostile working environment and is a form of unlawful discrimination.

Chafetz and Dworkin's Female Revolt Published

Jun 28, 1986

Janet Saltzman Chafetz and Anthony Gary Dworkin write Female Revolt: Women's Movements in World and Historical Perspective.


EMILY's List Established

Nov 01, 1986

EMILY's (Early Money Is Like Yeast) List was established in 1985 to help elect pro-choice Democratic women to office in the 1986 election. By November 1986, EMILY's List raises over $350,000 for two Senate candidates.

Women's History Month Established

Mar 16, 1987

At the request of the National Women's History Project, Congress expands the previously established National Women's History Week to a month—the month of March.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts Opens

Apr 07, 1987

In Washington, D.C., the National Museum of Women in the Arts opens to the public.

Mark Gulezian. National Museum of Women in the Arts building, n.d. Courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Feminist Majority Foundation Founded

Jul 08, 1987

Eleanor Smeal founds the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which dedicates itself to women's equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. Smeal is also its president.

Unknown photographer. Eleanor Smeal, 1997. Courtesy of Feminist Majority Foundation

"The Feminist Critique of Art History" Published

Sep 01, 1987

"The Feminist Critique of Art History," an essay by Thalia Gouma-Peterson and Patricia Matthews, appears in The Art Bulletin. It outlines the history of feminist art and art history, explores their interrelationship, and discusses various feminist art-critical and art-historical methodologies.

National March for Lesbian and Gay Rights

Oct 11, 1987

The National March for Lesbian and Gay Rights is held in Washington, D.C., with 600,000 participants. Concurrently, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, commemorating those who have died of AIDS, is first exhibited on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Feminist Art Criticism: An Anthology Published

Jan 01, 1988

Feminist Art Criticism: An Anthology, edited by Arlene Raven, Cassandra Langer, and Joanna Frueh, is published.

Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak?" Published

Feb 01, 1988

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak publishes “Can the Subaltern Speak?” in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, edited by Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg, (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988).

Autobiography Exhibition

Apr 25, 1988 – May 27 1988 04:00:00 GMT

Autobiography: In Her Own Image, a major exhibition featuring twenty women artists of color, curated by Howardena Pindell, is presented at the Intar Gallery, New York.

Pollock's Vision and Difference Published

Aug 01, 1988

Griselda Pollock examines the sexual politics of modern art in her book Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism, and Histories of Art.

Nochlin's Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays Published

Oct 01, 1988

Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays by Linda Nochlin is published, which includes seven landmark essays on women artists and women in art history.

Cover of Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays, 1988. © Linda Nochlin

George H. W. Bush Elected President

Nov 08, 1988

Republican George H. W. Bush wins the U.S. Presidential election.

Making Their Mark Exhibition

Feb 22, 1989 – Apr 02 1989 05:00:00 GMT

The exhibition Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream 1970–85 curated by Randy Rosen and Catherine Brawer, is presented at the Cincinnati Art Museum and then travels to New Orleans, Denver, and Philadelphia.

Guerrilla Girls' Women in Art Study

Apr 01, 1989

The Guerrilla Girls release a study revealing that of all the artists represented by 33 of the top New York City art galleries, only 16% are women. This figure is compared to the 49.2% of bus drivers who are women, 48% of sales people, 43% of managers, and 17% of truck drivers.

March for Abortion Rights

Apr 09, 1989

In Washington, D.C., an estimated 300,000 people march in support of abortion rights in anticipation of the commencement of a Supreme Court case that could reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing the right to abortion.

Gadon's The Once and Future Goddess Published

Nov 01, 1989

Art historian Elinor Gadon publishes The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol for Our Time. The book examines goddess imagery in art from ancient to contemporary times.

Nochlin's The Politics of Vision Published

Nov 01, 1989

The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society by Linda Nochlin is published.

Cover of The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society, 1989. © Linda Nochlin.

Butler's Gender Trouble Published

Jan 03, 1990

Judith Butler publishes Gender Trouble, a critique of heteronormativity and the function of gender in the modern world.

Antonia Novello Becomes Surgeon General

Mar 09, 1990

Dr. Antonia Novello is sworn in as the U.S. Surgeon General, becoming the first woman (and first Hispanic) to hold this office.

Unknown photographer. Swearing-in of U.S. Surgeon General Antonia C. Novello, 1990. National Library of Medicine

Chadwick's Women, Art, and Society Published

Apr 09, 1990

Whitney Chadwick's Women, Art, and Society is published. It is a critical survey of women's art from the Middle Ages to the present and re-examines how specific works have been perceived in Western art history.

The Decade Show Exhibition

May 12, 1990 – Aug 19 1990 04:00:00 GMT

The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s, curated by Julia P. Herzberg, Laura Trippi, Gary Sangster, and Sharon Patton, is exhibited at three New York museums concurrently: the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Jenny Holzer at Venice Biennale

May 28, 1990

Artist Jenny Holzer is the first woman to be the sole participant in the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She wins the Leone d'Oro award for best pavilion.

Chicago Withdraws Offer of The Dinner Party

Oct 03, 1990

Judy Chicago withdraws her offer to donate The Dinner Party to the University of the District of Columbia after conservative members of Congress accuse the work of being pornographic, and a bill introduced by Representative Stan Parris to withhold federal funding for the university should it accept Chicago's gift. Ultimately, the bill is defeated, but the controversy it generates influences Chicago's decision to withdraw the offer.

Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto" Published

Mar 01, 1991

Donna Haraway's “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” is published in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York: Routledge, 1991).

Wolf's The Beauty Myth Published

May 22, 1991

Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women is published in the U.S. It explores the pervasive societal pressure on women to conform to an unrealistic standard of beauty.

Woman's Building Closes

Jun 30, 1991

The Woman's Building in Los Angeles closes its doors after almost 20 years of operation. It was designed as a place for women to make art in a non-competitive environment. The Woman's Building Board of Directors, however, is presently archiving and writing the history of the organization, which will be accessible in e-book format in 2007.

Faludi's Backlash Published

Oct 01, 1991

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, Susan Faludi's study of antifeminism in the media, is published and becomes a bestseller.

Anita Hill Testimony

Oct 11, 1991

University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita F. Hill testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee that conservative Federal Appeals Court Judge and Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her when she was employed as his personal assistant. Three days of unprecedented televised Senate Judiciary Committee hearings follow the charges. Senators Arlen Specter, Alan Simpson and Orrin Hatch accuse Hill of falsifying the events, and her credibility is questioned because her allegations did not come until nine years after the alleged acts took place. On October 23, 1991, Clarence Thomas is sworn in as the 106th U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Steinem's Revolution from Within Published

Jan 21, 1992

Gloria Steinem's book, Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, is published and makes the bestseller list.

Carl Glassman. Gloria Steinem, 1998. Courtesy of soapboxinc. website

Women's Action Coalition (WAC) Formed

Jan 28, 1992

Motivated largely by frustration over the recent confirmation of Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court Justice, a group of New York City women form the Women's Action Coalition (WAC), a direct-action organization devoted to the support of women's rights. Although the group officially disbands in 1994, they continue to gather informally for various actions.

Mary Beth Edelson. WAC Protest, NYC, September 2003. Courtesy of the artist

Take Our Daughters to Work Day Established

Apr 23, 1992

The first Take Our Daughters to Work Day takes place. The event is founded by the Ms. Foundation for Women to create an opportunity for girls to share and communicate their expectations for the future. It is held on the fourth Thursday of every April. The program eventually expands to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in 2003.

Veteran Feminists of America Formed

May 13, 1992

The first meeting of the Veteran Feminists of America (previously named Veterans of Feminist Wars) is held in New York. Originally planned as a reunion for N.O.W. members, the group, based in Florida, is devoted to preserving feminist ideals. Its founding members include Jacqui Ceballos, Roxcy Bolton, Gene Boyer, Dorothy Senerchia, and Nikki Beare.

Lesbian Avengers Founded

May 31, 1992

The Lesbian Avengers is founded in New York City by a group of lesbian activists from ACT-UP. The group is action-oriented, focused on identifying and promoting lesbian issues.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Jun 29, 1992

The Supreme Court reaches a verdict in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a key case in the history of abortion rights. The Court upholds a woman's right to have an abortion, as provided in Roe v. Wade, but lowers the standard for analyzing restrictions of that right. It invalidates the spousal notification regulation, while upholding the other regulations, which are parental consent, anti-abortion counseling, and a waiting period.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Jul 26, 1992

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) takes effect. Its purpose is to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, in public services, in public accommodations, and in telecommunications. The Act was signed two years prior, on July 26, 1990.

Bill Clinton Elected President

Nov 03, 1992

Democrat William Jefferson Clinton is elected President of the United States.

Bill Clinton, 1992. Official White House photograph. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Carol Moseley Braun Becomes Senator

Nov 03, 1992

Carol Moseley Braun, a Democrat from Illinois, becomes the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

Unknown photographer. Carol Moseley Braun, 1993. Courtesy of the U.S. Senate Historical Office

Janet Reno Becomes Attorney General

Mar 12, 1993

Janet Reno is sworn in as U.S. Attorney General. She is the first woman to hold the office.

Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, 1993. Official White House photograph. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Aug 05, 1993

Signed into law by President Clinton on February 5, 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) becomes effective on August 5th. The Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health issue.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Becomes Supreme Court Justice

Aug 10, 1993

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a self-proclaimed feminist, becomes the second female member of the United States Supreme Court. Ginsburg later becomes the first female tenured professor at Columbia School of Law and serves as the first director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, among other notable achievements.

Richard Strauss. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1993. Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Friedan's Fountain of Age Published

Sep 27, 1993

Betty Friedan's The Fountain of Age examines the issue of aging in a culture that worships youth.

Unknown Photographer. Betty Friedan, 1995. Courtesy of National Organization for Women

Toni Morrison Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Dec 10, 1993

Toni Morrison receives the Nobel Prize for Literature at the award ceremony in Oslo, Norway. She is the first African American woman to win.

Unknown photographer. Toni Morrison, 1993. © The Nobel Foundation

Bad Girls Exhibition

Jan 14, 1994 – Apr 10 1994 04:00:00 GMT

The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York presents the exhibition Bad Girls, a survey of contemporary feminist art curated by Marcia Tucker. The Wight Gallery at the University of California, Los Angeles, mounts a concurrent exhibition, Bad Girls West, curated by Marcia Tanner, from January 25–March 20, 1994.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Dies

May 19, 1994

Former First Lady and American icon Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies of cancer.

Mark Shaw. First Official White House Photograph of Mrs. John F. Kennedy, 1961. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act

May 26, 1994

President Clinton signs the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) into law. FACE protects reproductive health service facilities, their staff and patients from violent threats, assault, vandalism, and blockade.

Violence Against Women Act

Sep 28, 1994

The House of Representatives passes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), enhancing states' ability to respond to domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.

Broude and Garrard's The Power of Feminist Art Published

Nov 14, 1994

The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact, edited by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, is an important analysis of the feminist art movement in the U.S. in the 1970s and its subsequent influence.

Cover of The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact, 1996. © Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Division of Labor Exhibition

Feb 17, 1995 – Jun 11 1995 04:00:00 GMT

The Bronx Museum of the Arts sponsors Division of Labor: Women's Work in Contemporary Art, 1970–1995, an exhibition of works by feminist artists and others working with domestic themes and materials, curated by Lydia Yee. The show travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Inside the Visible Exhibition

Jan 31, 1996 – May 12 1996 04:00:00 GMT

The exhibition Inside the Visible opens at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Curated by M. Catherine de Zegher, the exhibition surveys work made by thirty-seven women artists during three periods: the 1930s and 1940s, 1960s and 1970s, and the 1990s. It includes works by Mona Hatoum, Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, and Louise Bourgeois.

Cover of exhibition catalogue Inside the Visible, 1996. MIT Press

Sexual Politics Exhibition

Apr 24, 1996 – Aug 18 1996 04:00:00 GMT

UCLA's Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center presents the exhibition Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in Feminist Art History, curated by Amelia Jones.

The Vagina Monologues Premiers

Oct 03, 1996

The Vagina Monologues is first performed at HERE Arts Center in Soho, New York. Written and originally performed by Eve Ensler, the play is a one-woman show based on a series of interviews Ensler conducted with a diverse group of women who talked freely about womanhood, sex, and their vaginas.

Madeleine Albright Becomes Secretary of State

Jan 23, 1997

Czechoslovakian-born American diplomat Madeleine Korbel Albright is sworn in as the first female U.S. Secretary of State. With this appointment, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in the United States government.

Unknown photographer. Madeleine Albright at Kennedy Space Center, 1998. NASA

First WNBA Season Begins

Jun 21, 1997

The first season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) begins.

WNBA logo. Courtesy WNBA

Princess Diana Dies

Aug 31, 1997

Diana, Princess of Wales, is killed in a Paris auto accident.

Women in Cabinet at All-Time High

Dec 10, 1997

With the swearing in of Janice R. Lachance as Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management on this day, the total number of women appointed to President Clinton's Cabinet reaches 13, the highest number in any presidential cabinet in United States history.

Cottingham's Not for Sale Previews

Feb 12, 1998 – Mar 14 1998 05:00:00 GMT

Not for Sale: Feminism and Art in the U.S.A. during the 1970's, Laura Cottingham's video chronicling the history of the American feminist art movement, previews at Apex Art, New York.

Mirror Images Exhibition

Apr 09, 1998 – Jun 28 1998 04:00:00 GMT

Mirror Images: Women, Surrealism, and Self-Representation, curated by Whitney Chadwick, Katy Kline, and Helaine Posner, is organized by and presented at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and later travels to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It is the first exhibition to include the self-portraits or self-representations of three generations of women surrealist and surrealist-influenced artists.

The F-Word Symposium

Sep 29, 1998 – Oct 03 1998 04:00:00 GMT

The symposium The F-word: Contemporary Feminisms and the Legacy of the Los Angeles Feminist Art Movement is organized by the Feminist Art Workshops (FAWS) and is held at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) for the purpose of addressing feminist art legacies and strategies for the future.

Clinton Impeachment Trial Begins

Jan 07, 1999

The Senate impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton begins. He is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. The Senate votes to acquit him on February 12, 1999.

Rosa Martinez Curates Site Santa Fe

Jul 10, 1999

Site Santa Fe, a biennial art exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is curated by a woman, Rosa Martinez, for the first time.

Melissa Dubbin. Rosa Martinez, Site Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A., 1999.  (rosamartinez.com website)

Barbara Kruger Retrospective

Oct 17, 1999 – Feb 13 2000 05:00:00 GMT

The Geffen Contemporary at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, hosts a Barbara Kruger retrospective, the first comprehensive overview of the artist's work. The exhibition is curated by Ann Goldstein and travels to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex Civil Unions

Apr 26, 2000

The Governor of Vermont signs a bill into law that gives same-sex couples the right to form civil unions, making Vermont the first state to legally grant same-sex couples virtually all of the same rights and privileges as married heterosexual couples.

Hammond's Lesbian Art in America Published

Sep 02, 2000

Harmony Hammond's Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History is published.

Cover of Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History, 2000. © Harmony Hammond

FDA Approves Abortion Drug

Sep 28, 2000

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of mifepristone (RU-486) for the termination of early pregnancy, defined as 49 days or less.

The Women's Museum Opens

Sep 29, 2000

The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future opens in Dallas, Texas.

Baumgardner and Richards's Manifesta Published

Oct 02, 2000

Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards co-author Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, which discusses the third wave of feminism.

Cover of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, 2000. Design by Michaela Sullivan. Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Bush Declared Winner of Presidential Election

Dec 13, 2000

Democratic candidate Al Gore concedes the 2000 Presidential election to Republican candidate George W. Bush, son of former president George H. W. Bush. The actual election results did not yield a clear winner, and culminated in a legal battle regarding voting irregularities in the state of Florida, where Bush had a very small but decisive margin of the Electoral vote. The Supreme Court intervened and ruled against a recount in Florida, thus making Bush the winner.

Rice Becomes U.S. National Security Advisor

Jan 22, 2001

Condoleezza Rice becomes the first woman to serve as U.S. National Security Advisor. She serves in that capacity until November 2004 when President Bush nominates her to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State. On January 26, 2005, she becomes the second woman and the second African American to be sworn in as Secretary of State.

Staff photographer. Condoleezza Rice, 2005. United States Department of State

Mexico City Policy Reinstated

Jan 22, 2001

The Bush administration reinstates the Mexico City Policy, also called the “Global Gag Rule,” that was first adopted in 1984 by the Reagan administration and later rescinded during the Clinton administration. The Policy requires non-government organizations to agree, as a condition of their receipt of U.S. federal funding, that they will neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.

Human Embryos Created

Jul 11, 2001

The New York Times reports that the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, has created embryos from donated eggs and sperm for the specific purpose of harvesting stem cells for scientific research.

September 11th Attacks

Sep 11, 2001

Four U.S. commerical passenger planes are hijacked by nineteen men affiliated with al-Qaeda. The planes crash into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and in an open field in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Invades Afghanistan

Oct 07, 2001

The United States, aided by Great Britain and supported by the NATO alliance, launches an attack on al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Halle Berry Wins Best Actress Oscar

Mar 24, 2002

Halle Berry becomes the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for best actress in a leading role.

Personal and Political Exhibition

Aug 10, 2002 – Oct 20 2002 04:00:00 GMT

Personal and Political: The Women's Art Movement, 1969–1975, curated by Simon Taylor and Natalie Ng, is displayed at Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York.

Catalogue Cover of Personal and Political: The Women's Art Movement, 1969–1975, 2002. © Guild Hall Museum.

Gloria Exhibition

Sep 13, 2002 – Oct 20 2002 04:00:00 GMT

White Columns in New York presents Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art in the 1970s, curated by Catherine Morris and Ingrid Schaffner.

The Dinner Party Exhibited at Brooklyn Museum

Sep 20, 2002 – Feb 09 2003 05:00:00 GMT

Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party is exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, where it is seen by some 80,000 viewers.

Entrance to Brooklyn Museum's 2002 Installation of The Dinner Party

Regarding Gloria Exhibition

Oct 25, 2002 – Dec 01 2002 05:00:00 GMT

As a follow-up to the Gloria exhibition, White Columns in New York presents Regarding Gloria, which features the work of ten emerging artists who explore feminist concerns. The exhibition is curated by Catherine Morris and Lauren Ross.

Nancy Pelosi Elected Democratic Minority Leader

Nov 14, 2002

Minority whip since 2001, Californian Nancy Pelosi is the first woman elected as Democratic Minority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. After the Democrats gain control of Congress in the 2006 elections, Pelosi is sworn in as Speaker of the House on January 4, 2007, and is also the first woman ever to hold this post.

Jocelyn Augustino. Speaker Pelosi at a Press Conference on November 8th, the Day After the Midterm Elections, 2006. Courtesy of the Office of the Speaker

The Iraq War Begins

Mar 20, 2003

The United States wages war on Iraq with Great Britain as its principal ally.

Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action

Jun 23, 2003

The Supreme Court rules on the University of Michigan's affirmative action case, voting to uphold the right of affirmative action in higher education.

Lee Bontecou Exhibition

Oct 05, 2003 – Jan 11 2004 05:00:00 GMT

Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective is co-organized by the UCLA Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and is exhibited at the Hammer Museum. It then travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and then to The Museum of Modern Art, New York. It is the most comprehensive exhibition of Bontecou's work.

Lee Bontecou. Untitled, 1961. The Museum of Modern Art, Kay Sage Tanguy Fund

Bush Signs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

Nov 05, 2003

President Bush signs the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act into law.

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Apr 01, 2004

President Bush signs the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, also known as Laci and Conner's Law, which provides that under federal law, any person who causes death or injury to a child in the womb shall be charged with an offense separate from, and in addition to, any charges relating to the mother.

Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in Massachusetts

May 17, 2004

Massachusetts becomes the first state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage, issuing marriage licenses on this day after ruling in favor of same-sex marriages on February 4, 2004.

George W. Bush Re-elected

Nov 02, 2004

Republican George W. Bush is re-elected President of the United States.

Dumas Breaks Record at Auction

Feb 09, 2005

A painting by Marlene Dumas breaks the record for the highest price of a work by a living female artist at auction. The 1987 oil painting The Teacher  is sold for $3.34 million at Christie's in London.

First Female Curators of Venice Biennale

Jun 12, 2005 – Nov 06 2005 05:00:00 GMT

Maria de Corral and Rosa Martinez curate the 51st Venice Biennale, marking the first time in the exhibition's 110-year history that a woman, in this case two, was selected as curator.

Giorgio Zucchiatti. María de Corral and Rosa Martínez, Directors, 51. International Art Exhibition, 2005. Courtesy Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia

The Feminist Art Project Founded

Sep 01, 2005

The Feminist Art Project is formed as a national initiative celebrating the Feminist Art Movement and the aesthetic and intellectual impact of women on the visual arts, art history, and art practice, past and present. Its mandates are to provide information on its website of all related events throughout the country and to facilitate regional networking and
regional program development.

How American Women Artists Invented Postmodernism Exhibition

Dec 15, 2005 – Jan 27 2006 05:00:00 GMT

How American Women Artists Invented Postmodernism: 1970–1975, curated by Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin, is presented at Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

South Dakota Senate Approves Anti-Abortion Bill

Feb 22, 2006

South Dakota lawmakers approve the nation's most far-reaching ban on abortion, setting the stage for new legal challenges that some fear could eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. The measure, which passes in the state Senate 23 to 12, makes it a felony for doctors to perform any abortion, except to save the life of a pregnant woman.

The “F” Word Exhibition

May 27, 2006 – Sep 03 2006 04:00:00 GMT

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, presents The “F” Word, an exhibition by twelve contemporary intergenerational female artists who examine and challenge connotations of the words “feminism,” “feminine,”  “female,” and other labels often placed on art made by women. The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Thomas.

Wild Girls Exhibition

Jun 24, 2006 – Aug 26 2006 04:00:00 GMT

Exit Art in New York City presents the exhibition Wild Girls, curated by Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman. The show features international contemporary women artists who build on the innovations of the women that have come before them. The show adds to the global feminist dialogue, offering unique cultural perspectives from Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Puerto Rico, India, Japan, Turkey, and the United States.

The Institute for Women and Art Founded

Jul 01, 2006

The Institute for Women and Art is established at Rutgers University to bring together faculty, curators, researchers, and artists to promote the study of women and art. Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin serve as the Institute's directors.

Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art, 19751985 Exhibition

Oct 27, 2006 – Jan 20 2008 05:00:00 GMT

Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art, 19751985, curated by Anne Swartz for the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY, tracks the late 1970s Pattern and Decoration movement and includes artwork by prominent feminists Cynthia Carlson, Joyce Kozloff, and Miriam Schapiro.

Cover of exhibition catalogue Pattern and Decoration: An Ideal Vision in American Art, 19751985, 2007. Hudson River Museum

Minnesota Women Win Elections

Nov 07, 2006

In 2006 Amy Klobuchar becomes the first woman from Minnesota to be elected to the U.S. Senate; Lori Swanson becomes the first woman elected as Minnesota State Attorney General; and Patricia Torres-Ray is the first Latina elected to Minnesota State Senate.

Sarah Palin Becomes Governor of Alaska

Dec 04, 2006

Sarah Palin is sworn in as governor of Alaska, becoming the state's first female and youngest-ever governor, and bringing the total number of female governors in the U.S. to nine.

Number of Women Senators at All-Time High

Jan 04, 2007

With the new senators sworn in on this date, the number of women serving in the U.S. Senate reaches an all-time high of 16.

Take 2 Exhibition

Jan 17, 2007 – Mar 15 2007 04:00:00 GMT

Take 2: Women Revisiting Art History is presented at the Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA, and is organized by Janet Bishop. The exhibition features work by nine internationally recognized contemporary women artists: Janine Antoni, Beate Gutschow , Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman, Shahzia Sikander, Stephanie Syjuco, Sam Taylor-Wood, Catherine Wagner, and Kara Walker.

Hillary Clinton Forms Presidential Exploratory Committee

Jan 20, 2007

New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton announces the formation of a Presidential Exploratory Committee, signaling her intention to run for president of the United States in 2008.

The Feminist Future Symposium

Jan 26, 2007 – Jan 27 2007 05:00:00 GMT

The Museum of Modern Art in New York hosts The Feminist Future: Theory and Practice in the Visual Arts, a symposium that addresses critical questions about the relationship of art and gender.

Judy Chicago: Jewish Identity Exhibition

Feb 15, 2007 – Jul 06 2007 04:00:00 GMT

Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York presents Judy Chicago: Jewish Identity, an exhibition of the works of Judy Chicago that surveys her career, focusing on the impact of her family's Eastern European Jewish roots and the legacy of their values and political activism. The exhibition is curated by Gail Levin.

From the Inside Out Exhibition

Feb 22, 2007 – Apr 21 2007 04:00:00 GMT

From the Inside Out: Feminist Art Then & Now is displayed at the Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery, St. John's University, Queens, New York. This exhibition features a broad range of feminist art, from the early work of first-generation artists to recent work by contemporary artists. The exhibition is curated by Claudia Sbrissa.

Cover of exhibition catalogue From the Inside Out: Feminist Art Then & Now, 2007. St. John's University Department of Fine Arts

Multiple Vantage Points Exhibition

Feb 25, 2007 – Apr 15 2007 04:00:00 GMT

Multiple Vantage Points: Southern California Women Artists, 1980–2006 is presented at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Dextra Frankel and features work by 50 Southern California women artists; it includes performance work as well as traditional and new media processes.

Home Girls Exhibition

Feb 26, 2007 – Mar 29 2007 04:00:00 GMT

New Jersey City University presents Home Girls, curated by Margaret Murphy. The exhibition brings together artists whose work attempts to shed light on attitudes of family, childhood, domesticity, and the house as living space.

WACK! Exhibition

Mar 04, 2007 – Jul 16 2007 04:00:00 GMT

WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, curated by Connie Butler, opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA, and is scheduled to travel to P.S. 1 in New York, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. The exhibition focuses on feminist art from 1965 to 1980 and features work by more than 100 artists.

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art Opens

Mar 23, 2007

The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art opens at the Brooklyn Museum. A unique exhibition and education facility dedicated to feminist art, it features a gallery devoted to The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago; a biographical gallery presenting the women of The Dinner Party; a gallery space for a regular exhibition schedule of feminist art; and additional space for public and educational programs.

Global Feminisms Exhibition

Mar 23, 2007 – Jul 01 2007 04:00:00 GMT

Global Feminisms, an international exhibition of contemporary feminist art, is presented at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum and is curated by Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin.

Cover of exhibition catalogue Global Feminisms, 2007. The Brooklyn Museum, Merrell Publishers Limited

Setting the Table Exhibition

Mar 23, 2007 – Apr 21 2007 04:00:00 GMT

ACA Galleries in New York presents Setting the Table: Preparatory Work for The Dinner Party, which features 39 original drawings, selected test plates, and drawings for test plates created by Judy Chicago. The exhibition is curated by Jeffrey Bergen.

Women's Work: Homage to Feminist Art Exhibition

Mar 28, 2007 – May 13 2007 04:00:00 GMT

Art historian Cindy Nemser curates Women's Work: Homage to Feminist Art at Brooklyn's Tabla Rasa Gallery. The show creates a visual dialogue between the women artists of the feminist second wave with those of the emerging third wave. 

The Feminine Mystique Exhibition

Aug 15, 2007 – Feb 24 2008 05:00:00 GMT

The Feminine Mystique exhibition of contemporary art features the work of women who address feminist issues either directly or obliquely, filtered through a contemporary response to Betty Friedan's critical text The Feminine Mystique (1963). Discussed as the problem that has no name, the indefinable unhappiness faced by women at mid-20th century is re-visited in the work of these artists who take up this familiar issue, as well as a host of new ones, for the beginning of the 21st century. Thirty-five artists from New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere are featured.

Cover of exhibition catalogue The Feminine Mystique, 2007. © Jersey City Museum

Claiming Space Exhibition

Oct 27, 2007 – Jan 27 2008 05:00:00 GMT

Claiming Space: The American Feminist Originators, curated by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, is presented at American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C. The exhibition presents forty large-scale works and installations from the 1970s by twenty founders of the feminist art movement in the U.S.