Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts and criticism and that marked a departure from modernism. The term has more been applied to the historical era following modernity and the tendencies of this era. While encompassing a wide variety of approaches, postmodernism is defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection toward the meta-narratives and ideologies of modernism calling into question various assumptions of Enlightenment rationality. Common targets of postmodern critique include universalist notions of objective reality, truth, human nature, reason and social progress. Postmodern thinkers call attention to the contingent or socially-conditioned nature of knowledge claims and value systems, situating them as products of particular political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies. Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to self-referentiality and moral relativism and irreverence.
Postmodern critical approaches gained purchase in the 1980s and 1990s, have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including cultural studies, philosophy of science, linguistics, feminist theory, literary criticism, as well as art movements in fields such as literature and music. Postmodernism is associated with schools of thought such as deconstruction and post-structuralism, as well as philosophers such as Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson. Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse, include assertions that postmodernism promotes obscurantism, is meaningless, adding nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. Postmodernism arose after World War II as a reaction to the perceived failings of modernism, whose radical artistic projects had come to be associated with totalitarianism or had been assimilated into mainstream culture; the basic features of what is now called postmodernism can be found as early as the 1940s, most notably in the work of artists such as Jorge Luis Borges.
However, most scholars today would agree that postmodernism began to compete with modernism in the late 1950s and gained ascendancy over it in the 1960s. Since postmodernism has been a dominant, though not undisputed, force in art, film, drama, architecture and continental philosophy. Salient features of postmodernism are thought to include the ironic play with styles and narrative levels, a metaphysical skepticism or nihilism towards a "grand narrative" of Western culture, a preference for the virtual at the expense of the Real and a "waning of affect" on the part of the subject, caught up in the free interplay of virtual, endlessly reproducible signs inducing a state of consciousness similar to schizophrenia. Since the late 1990s there has been a small but growing feeling both in popular culture and in academia that postmodernism "has gone out of fashion". Structuralism was a philosophical movement developed by French academics in the 1950s in response to French Existentialism, it has been seen variously as an expression of High modernism, or postmodernism.
"Post-structuralists" were thinkers who moved away from the strict interpretations and applications of structuralist ideas. Many American academics consider post-structuralism to be part of the broader, less well-defined postmodernist movement though many post-structuralists insisted it was not. Thinkers who have been called structuralists include the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, the semiotician Algirdas Greimas; the early writings of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the literary theorist Roland Barthes have been called structuralists. Those who began as structuralists but became post-structuralists include Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze. Other post-structuralists include Jacques Derrida, Pierre Bourdieu, Jean-François Lyotard, Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray; the American cultural theorists and intellectuals whom they influenced include Judith Butler, John Fiske, Rosalind Krauss, Avital Ronell, Hayden White.
Post-structuralism is not defined by a set of shared axioms or methodologies, but by an emphasis on how various aspects of a particular culture, from its most ordinary, everyday material details to its most abstract theories and beliefs, determine one another. Post-structuralist thinkers reject Reductionism and Epiphenomenalism and the idea that cause-and-effect relationships are top-down or bottom-up. Like structuralists, they start from the assumption that people's identities and economic conditions determine each other rather than having intrinsic properties that can be understood in isolation, thus the French structuralists considered themselves to be espousing Constructionism. But they tended to explore how the subjects of their study might be described, reductively, as a set of essential relationships, schematics, or mathematical symbols.. Post-structuralists thinkers went further, questioning the existence of any distinction between the nature of a thing and its relationship to other things.
Postmodernist ideas in philosophy and the analysis of culture and society expanded the importance of critical theory and ha
National Museum of Women in the Arts
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, located in Washington, D. C. is "the only major museum in the world dedicated" to celebrating women's achievements in the visual and literary arts. NMWA was incorporated in 1981 by Wilhelmina Holladay. Since opening its doors in 1987, the museum has acquired a collection of more than 4,500 paintings, works on paper, decorative art. Highlights of the collection include works by Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun; the museum occupies the old Masonic Temple, a building listed on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places; the museum was founded to reform traditional histories of art. It is dedicated to discovering and making known women artists who have been overlooked or unacknowledged, assuring the place of women in contemporary art; the museum's founder, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, her husband Wallace F. Holladay began collecting art in the 1960s, just as scholars were beginning to discuss the under-representation of women in museum collections and major art exhibitions.
Impressed by a 17th-century Flemish still life painting by Clara Peeters that they saw in Europe, they sought out information on Peeters and found that the definitive art history texts referenced neither her nor any other woman artist. They became committed to collecting artwork by women and to creating a museum and research center; the National Museum of Women in the Arts was incorporated in December 1981 as a private, non-profit museum, the Holladay donation became the core of the institution's permanent collection. After purchasing and extensively renovating a former Masonic Temple, NMWA opened in April 1987 with the inaugural exhibition American Women Artists, 1830–1930. To underscore its commitment to increasing the attention given to women in all disciplines, NMWA commissioned Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich to write Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra inspired by five paintings from the permanent collection, for an opening concert. In November 1997, the Elisabeth A. Kasser Wing was opened, adding two new galleries, a larger museum shop, a reception room.
Director Susan Fisher Sterling heads a staff of more than 30 people. In 1983, NMWA purchased a landmark 78,810 square feet former Masonic temple in the Renaissance Revival style to house its works. After extensive renovations that included the addition of the two dramatic marble stairways linking the first floor and mezzanine, the museum opened to the public on April 7, 1987; the Elizabeth A. Kasser Wing opened November 1997 making the entire facility 84,110 square feet. Wilhelmina Cole Holladay is the founder and chair of the Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Since her discovery that women artists have been omitted from collegiate art history texts, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay has made it her mission to bring to the forefront the accomplishments of women through collecting and researching women artists of all nationalities and time periods. Holladay created individual committees of over 1,000 volunteers from 27 states and 7 countries, to give educational opportunities to children through collaborations with schools and other community groups, as well as provided opportunities for adults to participate and encourage art in local communities across the globe.
Wilhelmina Cole Holladay's interest in art was sparked as a student at Elmira College in New York, where she studied art history, followed by graduate work at the University of Paris. She is listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in the World, she holds many honorary degrees and achievement awards for her work in the arts community. In 2006 she received the National Medal of Arts from the United States and the Légion d'honneur from the French government. In 2007 Holladay received the Gold Medal for the Arts from the National Arts Club in New York City. By 2015, a selection of sculptures will be installed along New York Avenue from 13th Street to 9th Street, in the heart of Mount Vernon Square; the museums efforts are in part to bring "character" to an area where "there is a lot of good stuff going on," due to revitalization programs in the neighborhood. Niki de Saint Phalle's works, four in total, were the first in a series of installations; the museums installation of de Saint Phalle's iconic pop art works are meant to be contrasting to the traditional sculpture that graces the streets and squares of Washington.
All five major median strips will be made into "sculpture islands," as described by National Museum of Women in the Art's director Susan Fisher Sterling. Another inspiration for the project comes from the lack of innovative contemporary art in Washington, encouraging the evolution of an area, in need of becoming hip and vibrant; the second artist to be featured, whose works are on display March 8, 2012 – March 9, 2014, was Chakaia Booker. The project has been sponsored by Medda Gudelsky, the D. C. Downtown B. I. D; the Philip L. Graham Fund, the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, members of the museum, the D. C. Department of Transportation, among others; these works will remain up before being returned to the artists foundation. The collection contains more than 4,500 works in a variety of styles and media, spanning from the 16th century to present day. Among the earliest works is Lavinia Fontana’s Portrait of a Noblewoman, ca. 1580. There are a number of special collections, including 18th century botanical prints, works by British and Irish women silversmiths from the 17th–19th centuries, more than 1,000 unique and limited edition artists’ books.
Nearly 1,000 artists are represented, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lynd
Woman's Building (Los Angeles)
The Woman's Building was a non-profit arts and education center located in Los Angeles, California. The Woman's Building focused on feminist art and served as a venue for the women's movement and was spearheaded by artist Judy Chicago, graphic designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville and art historian Arlene Raven; the center was open from 1973 until 1991. During its existence, the Los Angeles Times called the Woman's Building a "feminist mecca." The time: mid-'70s. The place: the Feminist Studio Workshop to become the Woman's Building; the quest: to find themselves, to make art, to change the culture. In 1973, CalArts teachers artist Judy Chicago, graphic designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville and art historian Arlene Raven were finished with trying to offer feminist education in a male-dominated institution like CalArts; that year they founded the Feminist Studio Workshop. FSW was one of the first independent art schools for women, revolved around a workshop environment, allowing women to develop their artistic skills and knowledge outside a traditional educational environment.
The vision of FSW was that art should not be separated from activities related to the women's movement. FSW met in de Bretteville's home, in November 1973 the three women began renting a workshop space in a vacant building near MacArthur Park, calling it the Woman's Building after a building from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. FSW sublet space in the building to performance art groups, the Sisterhood Bookstore, the Associated Women's Press, local chapters of the National Organization for Women and the Women's Liberation Union, three galleries: Womanspace Gallery, Gallery 707, Grandview. In 1975, the building that FSW was renting was sold, they, along with the other tenants, moved to a former Standard Oil Company building from the 1920s. In the 1940s the building had been converted into a warehouse, consisting of three floors of open space, making it ideal for FSW's classes and exhibitions; the space was the first arts organization to locate itself in downtown Los Angeles, contributing to the revitalization of the area during the 1970s and 1980s.
FSW became the main tenant as the previous smaller tenants left, decided to hire an administrator and create a board of directors to handle the growth of the organization. FSW obtained funding from memberships, fund-raising and grants. Numerous programs and groups formed out of FSW, they offered a two-year program in interdisciplinary arts, such as performing, graphics and writing. Deena Metzger started the writing program. Readers in the series included Meridel LeSueur, Honor Moore, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, they hosted large-scale exhibitions and social events. From 1976 to 1980 the Feminist Art Workers toured the Midwest with interactive performance and installation artworks. A performance group called the Waitresses formed, who performed in restaurants using the waitress as a metaphor for women in society; the Incest Awareness Project consisted of a series of interactive exhibitions from 1978–79, including a video installation, Equal Time and Equal Space, directed by Nancy Angelo, in which audience members would sit surrounded by video monitors playing videos of incest survivors sharing their experiences.
A group piece, In Mourning and in Rage, created by Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz, featured 10 tall women, wearing 7-foot-tall head extensions, draped in black, standing on the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall. Each woman represented a statistic of violence against women. Works such as these are credited with shaping the contemporary performance art scene. Artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville designed a necklace of an eyebolt on a chain, meant to represent "strength without a fist". In 1979 artists from the Woman's Building issued a nationwide call for lesbian artists to organize exhibitions of their work as part of the Great American Lesbian Art Show. In 1981 the Feminist Studio Workshop closed, due to the diminishing demand for alternative education. With FSW's closure, the programs of the Woman's Building were altered to cater to the needs of working women; the building's hours were reduced and two thirds of it rented to artists for studio space. That year all three of the founding members left, former students Terry Wolverton, Sue Maberry and Cheri Gaulke led the organization.
They began the Vesta Awards, an annual fundraiser. That year, the Woman's Building founded the Women's Graphic Center Typesetting and Design, a for-profit business designed to strengthen their finances and support the artistic endeavors of the Building, they provided phototypesetting, graphic design and printing services. However, in 1988 the Women's Graphic Center closed, the income for staff salaries disappeared. Wolverton served as sole executive director from 1988 to April 1989 before leaving. Pauli De Witt replaced Wolverton, staying only and failing to rescue the organization financially. After she left, a 13-member board ran the Woman's Building; the Woman's Building never recovered and despite pushes to move to another location, they closed the gallery and performance space in 1991. They continued to hold the Vesta Awards, with keynote speaker Lucy Lippard and proceeds going towards an oral history of the organization. In 1991, Sandra Golvin, President of the Board of Directors, donated the Woman's Building records to the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art.
Other archival collections of materials are at the Getty Research Institute and the ONE Archives, both in Los Angeles. The Woman's Building and its legacy was the subject of a ma
Feminist art is a category of art associated with the late 1960s and 1970s feminist movement. Feminist art highlights the political differences women experience within their lives; the hopeful gain from this form of art is to bring a positive and understanding change to the world, in hope to lead to equality. Media used range from traditional art forms such as painting to more unorthodox methods such as performance art, conceptual art, body art, video and fiber art. Feminist art has served as an innovative driving force towards expanding the definition of art through the incorporation of new media and a new perspective. Speaking, women artists, when they existed, have faded into obscurity: there is no female Michelangelo or Da Vinci equivalent. In Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists Linda Nochlin wrote, "The fault lies not in our stars, our hormones, our menstrual cycles, or our empty internal spaces, but in our institutions and our education"; because of women's historical role as caregiver, most women were unable to devote time to creating art.
In addition, women were allowed entry into schools of art, never allowed into live nude drawings classes for fear of impropriety. Therefore, women who were artists were wealthy women with leisure time who were trained by their fathers or uncles and produced still lives, landscapes, or portrait work. Examples include Mary Cassatt. Feminist art can be contentious to define as it holds different personal and political elements, different to each individual. Is all art made by a feminist feminist art? Can art, not made by a feminist be feminist art? Lucy R. Lippard stated in 1980 that feminist art was "neither a style nor a movement but instead a value system, a revolutionary strategy, a way of life." Emerging at the end of the 1960s, the feminist art movement was inspired by the 1960s student protests, the civil rights movement, Second-wave feminism. By critiquing institutions that promote sexism and racism students, people of color, women were able to identify and attempt to fix inequity. Women artists used their artwork, protests and women's art registries to shed light on inequities in the art-world.
The first wave of feminist art was established in the mid 19th century. In the early 1920s, with woman gaining the right to vote in America, liberalization wave spreading through the world; the slow and gradual change in feminist art started gaining momentum in 1960's. Before the 1960s the majority of woman-made artwork did not portray feminist content, in the sense that it neither addressed nor criticized the conditions that women have faced. Women were more the subjects of art, rather than artists themselves; the female body was regarded as an object of desire existing for the pleasure of men. In the early 20th century, works that flaunted female sexuality – the pin-up girl being a prime example – began to be produced. By the late 1960s there was a plethora of feminine artwork that broke away from the tradition of depicting women in an sexualized fashion. In order to gain recognition, many female artists struggled to "de-gender" their work in order to compete in a dominantly male art world. If a work did not "look" like it was made by a woman the stigma associated with women would not cling to the work itself, thus giving the work its own integrity.
In 1963 Yayoi Kusama created Oven-Pan – part of a larger collection of works she referred to as the aggregation sculptures. As with other works from that collection, Oven-Pan takes an object associated with women's work – in this case a metal pan – and covers it with bulbous lumps of the same material; this is an early feminist example of female artists finding ways to break from the traditional role of women in society. Having the lumps made from the same color and material as the metal pan takes away the pan's functionality, – in a metaphorical sense – its association with women; the protrusions remove the item's gender by not only removing its function of being a metal pan women would use in the kitchen, but by making it ugly. Before this era, common female work consisted of pretty and decorative things like landscapes and quilts, whereas more contemporary artwork by women was becoming bold or rebellious. Towards the end of the decade, progressive ideas criticizing social values began to appear in which the mainstream ideology that had come to be accepted was denounced as not being neutral.
It was suggested that the art world as a whole had managed to institutionalize within itself the notion of sexism. During this time there was a rebirth of various media, placed at the bottom of the aesthetic hierarchy by art history, such as quilting. To put it this rebellion against the constructed ideology of a woman's role in art sparked the birth of a new standard of the female subject. Where once the female body was seen as an object for the male gaze, it became regarded as a weapon against constructed ideologies of gender. With Yoko Ono's 1965 work, Cut Piece, performance art began to gain popularity in feminist artwork as a form of critical analysis on societal values on gender. In this work, Yoko Ono is seen kneeling on the ground with a pair of scissors in front of her. One by one, she invited the audience to cut a piece of her clothing off until she was left kneeling in the tattered remains of her clothing and her underwear; this intimate relationship created between the subject and the audience addressed the notion of gender in the sense that Ono has become the sexual object.
By remaining motionless as more and more pieces of her clothing are cut away, she reveals a woman's social standing where she is regard
Writing is a medium of human communication that represents language and emotion with signs and symbols. In most languages, writing is a spoken language. Writing is not a language. Within a language system, writing relies on many of the same structures as speech, such as vocabulary and semantics, with the added dependency of a system of signs or symbols; the result of writing is called text, the recipient of text is called a reader. Motivations for writing include publication, correspondence, record keeping and diary. Writing has been instrumental in keeping history, maintaining culture, dissemination of knowledge through the media and the formation of legal systems; as human societies emerged, the development of writing was driven by pragmatic exigencies such as exchanging information, maintaining financial accounts, codifying laws and recording history. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form.
In both ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica, writing may have evolved through calendric and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events. H. G. Wells argued that writing has the ability to "put agreements, commandments on record, it made the growth of states larger. It made a continuous historical consciousness possible; the command of the priest or king and his seal could go far beyond his sight and voice and could survive his death". The major writing systems—methods of inscription—broadly fall into five categories: logographic, alphabetic and ideographic. A sixth category, pictographic, is insufficient to represent language on its own, but forms the core of logographies. A logogram is a written character which represents a morpheme. A vast number of logograms are needed to write Chinese characters and Mayan, where a glyph may stand for a morpheme, a syllable, or both—. Many logograms have an ideographic component. For example, in Mayan, the glyph for "fin", pronounced "ka", was used to represent the syllable "ka" whenever the pronunciation of a logogram needed to be indicated, or when there was no logogram.
In Chinese, about 90% of characters are compounds of a semantic element called a radical with an existing character to indicate the pronunciation, called a phonetic. However, such phonetic elements complement the logographic elements, rather than vice versa; the main logographic system in use today is Chinese characters, used with some modification for the various languages or dialects of China and sometimes in Korean despite the fact that in South and North Korea, the phonetic Hangul system is used. A syllabary is a set of written symbols. A glyph in a syllabary represents a consonant followed by a vowel, or just a vowel alone, though in some scripts more complex syllables may have dedicated glyphs. Phonetically related syllables are not so indicated in the script. For instance, the syllable "ka" may look nothing like the syllable "ki", nor will syllables with the same vowels be similar. Syllabaries are best suited to languages with a simple syllable structure, such as Japanese. Other languages that use syllabic writing include the Linear B script for Mycenaean Greek.
Most logographic systems have a strong syllabic component. Ethiopic, though technically an abugida, has fused consonants and vowels together to the point where it is learned as if it were a syllabary. An alphabet is a set of symbols, each of which represents or represented a phoneme of the language. In a phonological alphabet, the phonemes and letters would correspond in two directions: a writer could predict the spelling of a word given its pronunciation, a speaker could predict the pronunciation of a word given its spelling; as languages evolve independently of their writing systems, writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies from one language to another and within a single language. In most of the writing systems of the Middle East, it is only the consonants of a word that are written, although vowels may be indicated by the addition of various diacritical marks. Writing systems based on marking the consonant phonemes alone date back to the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt.
Such systems are called abjads, derived from the Arabic word for "alphabet". In most of the alphabets of India and Southeast Asia, vowels are indicated through diacritics or modification of the shape of the consonant; these are called abugidas. Some abugidas, such as Ethiopic and Cree, are learned by children as syllabaries, so are called "syllabics". However, unlike true syllabaries, there is not an independent glyph for each syllable. Sometimes the term "alphabet" is restricted to systems with separate letters for consonants and vowels, such as the Latin alphabet, although abugidas and abjads may be accepted as alphabets; because of this use, Greek is considered to be the first alphabet. A featural script notates the building blocks of the phonemes. For instance, all sounds pronounced. In the Latin alphabet, this is acciden
Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts. The study includes painting, architecture, ceramics and other decorative objects. Art history is the history of different groups of people and their culture represented throughout their artwork. Art historians compare different time periods in art history; such as a comparison to Medieval Art to Renaissance Art. This history of cultures is shown in their art work in different forms. Art can be shown by attire, religion, sports. Or more visual pieces of art such as paintings, sculptures; as a term, art history encompasses several methods of studying the visual arts. Aspects of the discipline overlap; as the art historian Ernst Gombrich once observed, "the field of art history much like Caesar's Gaul, divided in three parts inhabited by three different, though not hostile tribes: the connoisseurs, the critics, the academic art historians". As a discipline, art history is distinguished from art criticism, concerned with establishing a relative artistic value upon individual works with respect to others of comparable style, or sanctioning an entire style or movement.
One branch of this area of study is aesthetics, which includes investigating the enigma of the sublime and determining the essence of beauty. Technically, art history is not these things, because the art historian uses historical method to answer the questions: How did the artist come to create the work?, Who were the patrons?, Who were his or her teachers?, Who was the audience?, Who were his or her disciples?, What historical forces shaped the artist's oeuvre, how did he or she and the creation, in turn, affect the course of artistic and social events? It is, questionable whether many questions of this kind can be answered satisfactorily without considering basic questions about the nature of art; the current disciplinary gap between art history and the philosophy of art hinders this inquiry. Art history is not only a biographical endeavor. Art historians root their studies in the scrutiny of individual objects, they thus attempt to answer in specific ways, questions such as: What are key features of this style?, What meaning did this object convey?, How does it function visually?, Did the artist meet their goals well?, What symbols are involved?, Does it function discursively?
The historical backbone of the discipline is a celebratory chronology of beautiful creations commissioned by public or religious bodies or wealthy individuals in western Europe. Such a "canon" remains prominent, as indicated by the selection of objects present in art history textbooks. Nonetheless, since the 20th century there has been an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of non-Western art, art made by women, vernacular creativity. Art history as we know it in the 21st century began in the 19th century but has precedents that date to the ancient world. Like the analysis of historical trends in politics and the sciences, the discipline benefits from the clarity and portability of the written word, but art historians rely on formal analysis, semiotics and iconography. Advances in photographic reproduction and printing techniques after World War II increased the ability of reproductions of artworks; such technologies have helped to advance the discipline in profound ways, as they have enabled easy comparisons of objects.
The study of visual art thus described, can be a practice that involves understanding context and social significance. Art historians employ a number of methods in their research into the ontology and history of objects. Art historians examine work in the context of its time. At best, this is done in a manner which respects imperatives. In short, this approach examines the work of art in the context of the world within which it was created. Art historians often examine work through an analysis of form; this approach examines how the artist uses a two-dimensional picture plane or the three dimensions of sculptural or architectural space to create his or her art. The way these individual elements are employed results in representational or non-representational art. Is the artist imitating an object or image found in nature? If so, it is representational; the closer the art hews to perfect imitation, the more the art is realistic. Is the artist not imitating, but instead relying on symbolism, or in an important way striving to capture nature's essence, rather than copy it directly?
If so the art is non-representational—also called abstract. Realism and abstraction exist on a continuum. Impressionism is an example of a representational style, not directly imitative, but strove to create an "impression" of nature. If the work is not representational and is an expression of the artist's feelings and aspirations, or is a search for ideals of beauty and form, the work is non-representational or a work of expressionism. An iconographical analysis is one. Through a close reading of such elements, it is possible to trace their lineage, with it draw conclusions regarding the origins and tra
American Association of University Women
The American Association of University Women founded in 1881, is a non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy and research. The organization has a nationwide network of 170,000 members and supporters, 1,000 local branches, 800 college and university partners, its headquarters are in Washington, D. C. AAUW's CEO is Kim Churches. In 1881 Marion Talbot and Ellen Swallow Richards invited 15 alumnae from 8 colleges to a meeting in Boston, Massachusetts; the purpose of this meeting was to create an organization of women college graduates that would assist women in finding greater opportunities to use their education, as well as promoting and assisting other women's college attendance. The Association of Collegiate Alumnae or ACA, was founded on January 14, 1882; the ACA worked to improve standards of education for women so that men and women's higher education was more equal in scope and difficulty. At the beginning of 1884, the ACA had been meeting only in Boston.
However, as more women across the country became interested in its work, the Association saw that expansion into branches was necessary to carry on its work. Washington, D. C. was the first branch to be created in 1884, New York, Pacific and Boston branches followed in 1886. In 1885, the organization took on one of its first major projects: they had to justify their right to exist. A common belief held at the time that a college education would harm a woman’s health and result in infertility; this myth was supported by Harvard-educated Boston physician Dr. Edward H. Clarke. An ACA committee led by Annie Howes created a series of questions that were sent to 1,290 ACA members. After the results were tabulated, the data demonstrated that higher education did not harm women’s health; the report, "Health Statistics of Female College Graduates" was published in 1885 in conjunction with the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor. This first research report is one of many conducted by AAUW during its history.
In 1887, a fellowship program for women was established. Supporting the education of women through fellowships would continually remain a critical part of AAUW’s mission. Back in 1883, a similar group of college women had considered forming a Chicago, Illinois branch of the ACA, they formed the Western Association of Collegiate Alumnae with Jane M. Bancroft as its first president. WACA was broad in purpose and consisted of five committees: fine arts, outdoor occupations,domestic professions and journalism, higher education of women in the West. In 1888, WACA awarded its first fellowship of $350 to Ida Street, a Vassar College graduate, to conduct research at the University of Michigan. In 1889, WACA merged with the ACA. In 1919, the ACA participated in a larger effort led by a group of American women which raised $156,413 to purchase a gram of radium for Marie Curie for her experiments. In 1921, the ACA merged with the Southern Association of College Women to create the AAUW, although local branches continued to be the backbone of AAUW.
The policy of expansion increased both the size and the impact of the Association, from a small, local organization to a nationwide network of college educated women, by 1929, there were 31,647 members and 475 branches. During World War II, AAUW began raising money to assist female scholars displaced by the Nazi led occupation who were unable to continue their work; the War Relief Fund received numerous pleas for help and worked tirelessly to find teaching and other positions for refugee women at American schools and universities and in other countries. Individual branch members of AAUW participated by signing immigration affidavits of support. During 1940, its inaugural year, the War Relief Committee raised $29,950 for distribution with 350 branches contributing; the organization was "largely apolitical" until the 1960s. On the other hand, women in the workforce had increased to the extent that they made up 38% of workers by the end of the 1960s. Women graduating from college were looking for good employment.
Membership in 1960 was at most of them middle class. AAUW is one of the world's largest sources of funding for women who have graduated from college; each year, AAUW has provided $3.5 to $4 million in fellowships and awards for women and for community action projects. The Foundation funds pioneering research on women and education; the organization funds studies germane to the education of women. The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund, a program of the Foundation, is the United States' largest legal fund focused on sex discrimination against women in higher education. LAF provides funds and a support system for women seeking judicial redress for sex discrimination in higher education. Since 1981, LAF has helped female students and administrators challenge sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, pay inequity, denial of tenure and promotion, inequality in women’s athletics programs. AAUW sponsors grassroots and advocacy efforts and Campus Action Projects and other educational programs in conjunction with its ongoing programmatic theme, Education as the Gateway to Women's Economic Security.
Along with three other organizations, it founded the CTM Madison Family Theatre in 1965. AAUW joined forces with other women's organizations in August 2011 to launch HERVotes to mobilize women voters in 2012 on preserving health and economic rights. In 2011, the AAUW Action Fund launched an initiative to encourage women to vote in the 2012 election; the campaign