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Cindy Nemser papers, 1966-2012

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Nemser (Cindy) Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

Cindy Nemser was born in 1937 in New York. She found her love of art at a young age, and although she did not pursue a career as an artist, she never left the arts, instead becoming an art and theater critic as well as a proponent of the feminist art movement of the 1970s. She holds both a bachelor's (1958) and a master's (1964) degree in English Literature from Brooklyn College and a master's degree (1966) in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

In 1969, Nemser began writing articles that exposed the sexism that women face in the arts with the hope of improving and expanding opportunities for female artists in the art world. Many of her articles were published in magazines such as Arts Magazine (of which she was a contributing editor from 1973-1975), Artforum, Art in America, Art Journal, and Ms. In 1972, Nemser helped found the Feminist Art Journal for which she was editor and writer until 1977. Nemser has also written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her first publication, Art Talk: Conversations With 12 Women Artists (1975, 1995), was a seminal work in the field of books written exclusively about women artists. She also penned Ben Cunningham: A Life With Color (1989), and a novel, Eve's Delight (1982). Nemser conducted many interviews with artists and art professionals over her active years in the art world, using her preferred format of audio recordings to document the exchanges. Artists and critics she interviewed include Gordon Matta-Clark, Lawrence Alloway, Eleanor Antin, Eva Hesse, Lee Krasner, and Helen Frankenthaler. Many of the interviews were used as the basis for her articles and Art Talk. In addition to her work as a writer, Nemser has also curated several exhibitions focusing on women artists. In Her Own Image and Women's Work: American Art 1974 were both created for the 1974 project Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts. More recently, Nemser curated Women's Work: Homage to Feminist Art at the Tabla Rasa Gallery, 2007.

Still an active feminist and writer, Nemser runs a blog entitled, "Firebrand: Cindy Nemser's Forum" that can be found at She currently resides in New York.

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