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Distinguished Feminist Award

The Distinguished Feminist Award, first presented in 2009, honors a person who, through their art, scholarship, or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts. This award replaced the Annual Recognition Awards given by CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) from 1996 to 2008 at a ceremony at the Annual Conference.

2017 Winner

 Joan Marter

The CAA Distinguished Feminist Award jury selects Dr. Joan Marter as the 2017 recipient. Dr. Marter, who recently retired from Rutgers University, has spent her lifetime supporting and creating scholarship for women artists, expressed through art criticism, teaching, curating, and scholarship in art history. Dr. Marter’s earliest publications were in journals such as Arts Magazine and The American Art Journal. Her work appeared in the first issue of Woman’s Art Journal (1980)—a relationship lasted throughout her working lifel she became the editor in 2004, a role she holds to this day. In 2009, she organized “Feminist Art Conference: To Celebrate 30 years of the Woman’s Art Journal” at Rutgers University. Her curating, which has focused on modernism and sculpture, has included Women and Abstract Expressionism, Painting and Sculpture 1945–1959 (1997) and Bold Gestures: Women and Abstract Expressionism (2016). Also from 2016 is her most recent book, Women and Abstract Expressionism (Yale University Press), destined to be a key work in the field. Part of the impressive community of feminist scholarship at Rutgers, Dr. Marter’s teaching has been an important factor in nurturing further generations of curators and writers committed to a feminist approach to art history and to women artists, not least because of her project-based pedagogies which opened her students’ eyes to work by women. Much loved by her students, her legacy will live on in their work as much as in her own.

Jury: Hilary Robinson, Middlesex University, chair; Claudia Sbrissa, St. John’s University; and Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York.

Past Winners

Since 2009, the Distinguished Feminist Award has honored such influential leaders in the visual arts field as Griselda Pollock, Faith Ringgold, Lucy R. Lippard, and many more. For past winners of the CWA Annual Recognition Awards, scroll down further.

2016 Carrie Mae Weems
Jury: Hilary Robinson, Middlesex University, chair; Claudia Sbrissa, St. John’s University; and Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York

2015 Amelia Jones
Jury: Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver, chair; Hilary Robinson, Middlesex University; and Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York.

2014 Lorraine O’Grady
Jury: Anne Swartz, Savannah College of Art and Design, chair; Julia Bryan-Wilson, University of California, Berkeley; and Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver

Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold (photograph by Grace Matthews)

2013 Harmony Hammond and Martha Rosler
Jury: Anne Swartz, Savannah College of Art and Design, chair; Julia Bryan-Wilson, University of California, Berkeley; and Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver

2012 Lucy R. Lippard
Jury: Frima Fox Hofrichter, Pratt Institute, chair; Julia Bryan-Wilson, University of California, Berkeley; and Anne Swartz, Savannah College of Art and Design

2011 Faith Ringgold
Jury: Lowery Stokes Sims, Museum of Arts and Design, chair; Frima Fox Hofrichter, Pratt Institute; and Moira Roth, Mills College

2010 Griselda Pollock
Jury: Lowery Stokes Sims, Museum of Arts and Design, chair; Diane Burko, professor emerita, Philadelphia Community College; and Moira Roth, Mills College

2009 Guerrilla Girls
Jury: Lowery Stokes Sims, Museum of Arts and Design, chair; Diane Burko, Philadelphia Community College; and Moira Roth, Mills College

CWA Annual Recognition Awards

From 1996 to 2008, the Committee on Women in the Arts presented Annual Recognition Awards during a ceremony at the CAA Annual Conference. At its October 2007 meeting, the CAA Board of Directors voted to establish a twelfth Award for Distinction, the Distinguished Feminist Award, which honors a person who, through his or her art, scholarship, or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts. The Distinguished Feminist Award replaces the committee’s Annual Recognition Award.

2008 Amalia Mesa-Bains and Celia Álvarez Muñoz

2007 Judith Brodsky and Ferris Olin

2006 Moira Roth and Trinh T. Minh-ha

2005 Beverly Buchanan and Lowery Stokes Sims

2004 Betye Saar and Nancy Spero

2003 Elizabeth Catlett and June Wayne

2002 Janet Cox-Rearick and Jaune Quick-To-See Smith

2001 Elsa Honig Fine

2000 Carolee Schneemann, Mary Garrard, and Norma Broude

1999 Samella Lewis

1998 Linda Nochlin

1997 Louise Bourgeouis

1996 Agnes Gund

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