January’s new State of the Arts episode explores women in the art world, from 1970s America to the present-day Middle East. In it, producer Susan Wallner notes that it wasn’t until 1986 that Janson’s ubiquitous “History of Art” was revised to include any women artists! Times have changed and, in fact, New Jersey has been a center for women artists since the 1970s. Artists and scholars like Judith Brodsky and Ferris Olin, both based at Rutgers University, were central figures in the Women’s Caucus for Art, a major force in the fight to gain recognition for women. The Caucus is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The celebrated feminist artist Joan Snyder was also a pivotal figure at Rutgers. In the 1970s she established the Rutgers Series for Women Artists, the first exhibition space in the United States dedicated solely to established and emerging women artists. Louise Bourgeois, Faith Ringgold, Carolee Schneemann, and many others had important solo shows there.
State of the Arts producer Eric Schultz profiled Joan Snyder in 2011, shortly after she received a MacArthur “Genius” Award. The Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers had just mounted a show of her prints from 1963-2010 called Dancing with the Dark. Eric met the artist in New Brunswick and at her home and studio in Brooklyn where she reflected on her life’s work. While there, he also spoke with her daughter and Joan’s long-time partner Maggie, a New York City judge.
This week we are happy to share our 2011 profile of Joan Snyder, “Dancing with the Dark.”