The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Skip to main content

Important Update

The Museum is closed for installation and will reopen on June 6.

June 6, 2022 to January 8, 2023 | Lobby, Leir Gallery, Screening Room, Ramp, Project Space, Balcony, South Gallery, Sound Gallery, Opatrny Gallery

52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone

52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone celebrates the fifty-first anniversary of the historic exhibition Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists, curated by Lucy R. Lippard and presented at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 1971. 52 Artists will showcase work by the artists included in the original 1971 exhibition, alongside a new roster of twenty-six female identifying or nonbinary emerging artists, tracking the evolution of feminist art practices over the past five decades. 52 Artists will encompass the entirety of the Museum (approx. 8,000 sq. ft)—the first exhibition to do so in The Aldrich’s new building which was inaugurated in 2004.

Artworks

The artists whose work was presented in the original 1971 exhibition are: Cecile Abish (b. 1926), Alice Aycock (b. 1946), Cynthia Carlson (b. 1942), Sue Ann Childress* (b. 1947), Glorianna Davenport* (b. 1944), Susan Hall (b. 1943), Mary Heilmann (b. 1940), Audrey Hemenway (1930-2008), Laurace James (b. 1936), Mablen Jones (1943-2021), Carol Kinne (1942-2016), Christine Kozlov (1945-2005), Brenda Miller (b. 1941), Mary Miss (b. 1944), Dona Nelson (b. 1947), Louise Parks* (b. 1944), Shirley Pettibone (1936-2011), Howardena Pindell (b. 1943), Adrian Piper (b. 1948), Sylvia Plimack Mangold (b. 1938), Reeva Potoff (b. 1941), Paula Tavins (1936-2019), Merrill Wagner (b. 1935), Grace Bakst Wapner (b. 1934), Jackie Winsor (b. 1941), and Barbara Zucker (b. 1940). All but three of the original twenty-six artists will have work included in 52 Artists. (*These artists are not participating.)

The new generation of artists included in the exhibition are: Leilah Babirye (b. 1985), Phoebe Berglund (b. 1980), LaKela Brown (b. 1982), Lea Cetera (b. 1983), Susan Chen (b. 1992), Pamela Council (b. 1986), Lizania Cruz (b. 1983), Florencia Escudero (b. 1987), Alanna Fields (b. 1990), Emilie L. Gossiaux (b. 1989), Ilana Harris-Babou (b. 1991), Loie Hollowell (b. 1983), Maryam Hoseini (b. 1988), Hannah Levy (b. 1991), Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski (b. 1985), Catalina Ouyang (b. 1993), Anna Park (b. 1996), Erin M. Riley (b. 1985), LJ Roberts (b. 1980), Aya Rodriguez-Izumi (b. 1986), Aliza Shvarts (b. 1986), Astrid Terrazas (b. 1996), Tourmaline (b. 1983), Rachel Eulena Williams (b. 1991), Kiyan Williams (b. 1991), and Stella Zhong (b. 1993).

The twenty-six emerging artists were born in or after 1980, live and work in New York City, and will have not had a major solo museum exhibition in the United States as of March 1, 2022, aligning both with The Aldrich’s mission of representing the work of emerging artists and with Lippard’s original mandate for the 1971 exhibition. "This group of 26 emerging artists reflect the revolutionary advancement of feminist art practices over half a century and exhibit a diversity of experiences and a multiplicity of sensibilities united by a twenty-first century feminist expression that is inclusive, expansive, elastic, and free," said The Aldrich’s Senior Curator Amy Smith-Stewart, who curated the contemporary selection.

On view at The Aldrich from April 18 to June 13, 1971, Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists was organized by writer, art critic, activist, and curator Lucy R. Lippard. She viewed curating this landmark exhibition as an activist gesture. In its catalogue, she states: “I took on this show because I knew there were many women artists whose work was as good or better than that currently being shown, but who, because of the prevailingly discriminatory policies of most galleries and museums, can rarely get anyone to visit their studios or take them as seriously as their male counterparts.” With this exhibition, Lippard arguably founded feminist curatorial practice in this country.

52 Artists will survey this landmark exhibition, including works of art from the original exhibition and recreations of some of the more ephemeral pieces, and, if neither are available, related works from the same period. The exhibition will also include recent works by many of the original artists showing how their practices have evolved over the past fifty years. 52 Artists will also debut a commensurate group of twenty-six emerging artists living and working in New York City. By showing the original group alongside emerging artists of today, the exhibition will testify both to the historic impact of Lippard’s milestone exhibition and to the influence of her work, and the work of the original twenty-six artists she presented at The Aldrich, on a new generation of feminist artists.

Lippard’s original 1971 exhibition at The Aldrich was one of the first institutional responses to the issue of women artists’ invisibility in museums and galleries. More specifically, the show offered a rejoinder to the protests by the Ad Hoc Women Artists Committee (founded by Poppy Johnson, Brenda Miller, Faith Ringgold, and Lucy Lippard) over the absence of women in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1970 Sculpture Annual. Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists opened the floodgates to a host of other feminist exhibitions throughout the 1970s, signaling Lippard’s emergence as a visionary feminist curator and critic and marking the debut of many groundbreaking artists. 52 Artists not only celebrates this radical exhibition but underscores its ongoing influence on future generations of artists.

The exhibition is organized by The Aldrich’s Senior Curator Amy Smith-Stewart, who selected the emerging twenty-six artists, and independent curator Alexandra Schwartz, with The Aldrich’s Curatorial Assistant and Publications Manager Caitlin Monachino.

A 180-page hardcover book, co-published with Gregory R. Miller & Co., will accompany the exhibition. This significant catalogue will include new essays by Lippard, Smith-Stewart, and Schwartz, as well as rare historical documentation of the original exhibition, images, installation views, and checklists from both the 1971 and 2022 shows.

An exciting program organized in connection with the group exhibition 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone which celebrates the fifty-first anniversary of the historic exhibition Twenty-Six Contemporary Women Artists, curated by Lucy R. Lippard and presented at The Aldrich in 1971.

Links


Press

Funders

Major support for 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Generous support is provided by the Diana Bowes and Jim Torrey Commissions Fund, the Girlfriend Fund, Richard Mumby, the National Endowment for the Arts, The O'Grady Foundation, the Robert Lehman Foundation, the Wagner Foundation, and Friends of 52 Artists members: Melinda and Brian Carroll, Ellen and Andrew Celli, Eric Diefenbach and James-Keith Brown, Linda and Michael Dugan, Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, The Evelyn Toll Family Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Rachel and Peter Goulding, Agnes Gund, Pamela and David Hornik, Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia, Sacha Janke and Andrew McCormack, The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, Kristina and Philip Larson, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Elena Shulman, and Talbott and Carter Simonds Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi, and Lisa Roumell and Mark Rosenthal.

The catalogue for 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone is generously supported by the Eric Diefenbach and James-Keith Brown Publications Fund and the Girlfriend Fund.

Funders

Related Events

May 28, 2022 at 10:00 am | Children and Family Programs

Outdoor Clay Play! (Session 1)

Join us for a family-friendly, art-making workshop inspired by nature, outdoors in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden! Together with Aldrich Educators, learn about artist Alice Aycock’s sculpture practice, whose work will be exhibited in 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone. Then, create your own land art piece with clay and natural materials to take home, inspired by Aycock’s exploration of the earth’s surface.

June 4, 2022 at 2:00 pm | Member Event, Member Preview, Special Event

Private Event | VIP Reception for 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone

$500+ members and VIP guests are invited to join us to celebrate the opening of 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone. By invitation only.

June 5, 2022 at 12:00 pm | Member Event, Member Preview

Supporter Preview | 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone

A celebration of the opening of 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone for Museum supporters. By invitation only.

June 10, 2022 at 5:00 pm | Teen Programs

Teen Art-Making Workshop: Trans Power and The Artist’s Voice

Calling all teens and young adults! Join us in honor of Pride Month for this creative art-making workshop with Education Manager Lorena Sferlazza, centered around identity and power at The Aldrich!

June 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm | Special Event

Run On Art: Run to Celebrate 52 Artists

Celebrate The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s new exhibition 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone with a 3.1 mile run or 1.5 mile walk around downtown Ridgefield sponsored by On-Running and Ridgefield Running Company.

June 18, 2022 at 10:00 am | Third Weekend, Free Admission

Third Saturdays

Visit the Museum for FREE the third Saturday of every month. Participate in a Story Time at 10:30 am, a family-friendly tour of 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone at 1 pm, and drop-in to The Studio for a guided family-friendly art-making activity from 12 noon to 4 pm.

June 18, 2022 at 10:30 am | Third Weekend, Children and Family Programs

Story Time for Little Ones: I Will Be Fierce - AT CAPACITY

Together, we’ll explore artwork in 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone through mindful looking and a family-friendly reading of I Will be Fierce by Bea Birdsong. Then, we'll head to The Studio with Aldrich Educators to create your very own painted affirmation posters inspired by the art and story.*

June 18, 2022 at 1:00 pm

Family Tour of 52 Artists: Confronting Gender Stereotypes

Invite your whole family to participate in this guided tour of 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone with our Aldrich Educators!

July 9 at 4:00 pm to August 27, 2022 at 5:00 pm

All of the Sky: Five Poets, Five Saturdays

As part of its All of the Sky: Five Poets, Five Saturdays series, The Aldrich will host five noted contemporary poets–Claudia Rankine, Mahogany L. Browne, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Nathalie Handal, and Emily Skillings–for Saturday readings held in person in the Museum beginning on July 9, 2022.

July 9, 2022 at 4:00 pm | Public Programs

Poetry Reading with Claudia Rankine

As part of its All of the Sky: Five Poets, Five Saturdays series, The Aldrich will host noted contemporary poet Claudia Rankine.

Camp Aldrich: Week 1

Join us for Camp Aldrich, a full-day, week-long arts experience with Museum Educators and practicing artists!

Week 1 (Grades 1-3): July 11 to July 15, 2022

Camp Aldrich: Week 2

Join us for Camp Aldrich, a full-day, week-long arts experience with Museum Educators and practicing artists!

Week 2 (Grades 1-3): July 18 to July 22, 2022

Camp Aldrich: Week 3

Join us for Camp Aldrich, a full-day, week-long arts experience with Museum Educators and practicing artists!

Week 3 (Grades 4-6): July 25 to July 29, 2022

August 6, 2022 at 4:00 pm | Public Programs

Poetry Reading with Rosebud Ben-Oni

As part of its All of the Sky: Five Poets, Five Saturdays series, The Aldrich will host noted contemporary poet Rosebud Ben-Oni.

August 13, 2022 at 4:00 pm | Public Programs

Poetry Reading with Nathalie Handal

As part of its All of the Sky: Five Poets, Five Saturdays series, The Aldrich will host noted contemporary poet Nathalie Handal.

August 20, 2022 at 4:00 pm | Public Programs

Poetry Reading with Emily Skillings

As part of its All of the Sky: Five Poets, Five Saturdays series, The Aldrich will host noted contemporary poet Emily Skillings.

September 17, 2022 at 6:30 pm | Special Event

Aldrich Artists at the Table

Join us for Aldrich Artists at the Table, the Museum's annual farm-to-museum dinner in our Sculpture Garden where you will dine al fresco with Museum supporters and Aldrich exhibiting artists. Enjoy a cocktail hour featuring Nod Hill Brewery beer and Litchfield Distillery spirits, followed by a locally-sourced three-course dinner prepared by the Museum's culinary partner Hayfields Market.

October 6, 2022 at 5:30 pm | Member Event

Drinks with the Director

Enjoy a tour of the Museum’s current exhibition, 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone, with Executive Director Cybele Maylone followed by drinks in the Atrium.


Related Exhibitions

April 18, 1971, to June 13, 1971 | Old Hundred

Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists


Related News

"Revisiting a Groundbreaking Show of Feminist Art" in The New York Times

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum looks back at a 1971 exhibition devoted to women and puts their work in conversation with emerging feminist artists.



Top image: Merrill Wagner, Untitled, 1969. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York.