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Identifier: MC 1460

Gloria Orenstein Collection on Women Artists


  • 1975-2012, bulk 2006-2012

Scope and Content Note

The Gloria Orenstein Collection on Women Artists consists of materials generated by the students of two of Orenstein's USC courses, Women in Literature and Art and Ecofeminism. The students created short films of interviews with women artists in Southern California in which the artists spoke about their work, their gender, and sexism in the art world. These materials span the dates 1975 to 2012; however, the bulk of the materials date from 2006 to 2012. The contents of this collection are housed in two manuscript boxes and two audiovisual boxes. The collection is divided between the subject files on the artists and the audio/video files of the interviews. This collection includes DVDs of interviews with women artists residing in the Los Angeles area. Also included are the students' papers written to accompany the visual material. These papers include rich biographical information about these artists, information about the artists' works, as well as the personal experiences of the students. In addition, several of the artists provided exhibition catalogs, CVs, and other informational materials. Anne Gauldin provided information about her artwork, as well as her involvement in the performance group The Waitresses and the performance group Sisters of Survival. There is a bound copy of her 1978 master's thesis, "Quest Through the Matrix: Edinburgh Arts Europe '76, Feminist Education, Feminist Art", Goddard College; a DVD video retrospective of The Waitresses and of End of the Rainbow: Sisters of Survival 1981–1985; promotional materials and clippings related to her work and exhibitions; as well as a publisher's draft of The Waitresses Unpeeled: Performance Art and Life, by Jerri Allyn and Anne Gauldin. The draft of this book also includes an essay by Gloria Orenstein. Jean Edelstein provided an exhibition catalog, as well as computer printed images of her artwork. Bruria Finkel donated an exhibition catalog from 1985. Anne Isolde's materials contains photographs of her artwork. Kivel Kesa provided information, including a short film on a DVD, about her project Girlhouse that was based on the iconic feminist exhibition Womanhouse. Harriet Zeitlin's materials contain exhibition catalogs and exhibition announcements.


1.25 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 2 audiovisual boxes)

Language of Materials


Provenance Note

The contents of the Gloria Orenstein Collection on Women Artists was received by Rutgers University in 2010 and 2012.


The collection is comprised of oral history interviews conducted by students of the feminist historian Gloria Orenstein between 2006 and 2012. Of special interest are additional materials provided by the interviewee Anne Gauldin, documenting the feminist performance groups The Waitresses and Sisters of Survival which were active in the 1970s and 1980s.

Biographical Sketch

Gloria Orenstein is a professor emerita of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Formerly she was assistant professor of English at Douglass College of Rutgers University from 1975 to 1981 as well as the chair of the Women's Studies Program at Douglass College from 1976 to 1978. Orenstein's research centers on women's studies in contemporary art, literature and culture; ecofeminism in the arts; surrealism; women and surrealism; shamanism and Jewish women artists. Orenstein has published a number of books, book chapters, and journal articles on these subjects. She is recognized as an integral participator in the feminist art movement.

Arrangement Note

When these materials were received, each interview (DVD) and corresponding student paper was contained in a plastic envelope and labeled with the artist's name. The students' papers and other materials were removed from the plastic envelopes and placed into acid-free folders. The DVDs were separated from the students papers and placed into audiovisual boxes for easier handling.

Related Resources

Several of the oral history interviews have been uploaded to the YouTube channel "USC School of Cinematic Arts."

Anne Gauldin

Anna Homler

Sharon Kagan

Nancy Macko

Barbara Smith

June Wayne

Inventory to the Gloria Orenstein Collection on Women Artists MC 1460
Edited Full Draft
Catherine Carey and Stephanie Crawford
November 2010
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.
Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.