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Nemser, Cindy

    Full Name: Nemser, Cindy

    Other Names:

    • Cindy Nemser

    Gender: female

    Date Born: 26 March 1937

    Date Died: 26 January 2021

    Place Born: Brooklyn, Cattaraugus, NY, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): feminism

    Career(s): art critics

    Institution(s): Feminist Art Journal


    Feminist art historian and critic; founded Feminist Art Journal. Nemser received a B.A. in Education from Brooklyn College concentrating on eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature. She taught elementary school in the New York Public School System, and became an exponent of the United Federation of Teachers union. She concurrently pursued an M. A. art historyat New York University contributing reviews for Arts Magazine. She received an internship at the Museum of Modern Art, New York writing early articles on Chuck Close, Vito Acconci, Eva Hesse, and Gordon Matta-Clark. Her feminist convictions lead her to help found the group Women in the Arts in 1972, and, with Patricia Mainardi, Irene Peslikis, Irene Moss, Michelle Wallace and Marjorie Kramer, was appointed to the editorial board of Woman and Art, a forerunner of the Feminist Art Journal.

    She was the publisher and editor of the Feminist Art Journal (FAJ) from 1972-1977, working with Patricia Mainardi and Irene Moss for the first year of publication before continuing on as the sole editor of the FAJ. By 1977 when Nemser closed the Feminist Art Journal, it had been instrumental in securing positions for creative women and boasted world-wide readership, reaching major public and university libraries as well as many prominent artists, art critics and historians.


    In 1973, Nemser organized three panels on women in the arts along with Patricia Sloan for the artists’ division of the College Art Association.


    In 1975 Nemser authored Art Talk: Conversations with 12 Women Artists, which included interviews with Barbara Hepworth, Sonia Delaunay, Louise Nevelson, Lee Krasner, Alice Neel, Grace Hartigan, Marisol, Eva Hesse, Lila Katzen, Eleanor Antin, Audrey Flack, and Nancy Grossmann. A reprint published by Harper Collins in 1995 also included conversations with Betye Saar, Isabel Bishop, and Janet Fish. She continued her contribution to the studies on Op Art when she published Ben Cunningham: A Life with Colorin 1989. Her numerous articles have appeared in ArtforumArt in AmericaArts MagazineThe New York TimesThe Village VoiceNewsdayMS MagazineThe Journal of Aesthetic EducationArt Education and many more magazines and newspapers.

    Nemser has written several novels, short stories, and scripts for theater and television including her published book Eve’s Delight of 1982. Often these works combine her literary interest with her experiences in the art world.


    In the 1990’s Nemser became involved theater criticism, writing for publications such as Theater Guild Quarterly. Feminism continued to influence her work which exposed the sexism that permeated the theater world. She continues to be an active theater critic today.

    Nemser has served as curator or co-curator of several exhibitions which celebrate female artists and feminist art, including “In Her Own Image,” which showed at the Fleisher Art Memorial Gallery of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1974, “FOCUS: Women’s Work— American Art in 1974” (with Marcia Tucker, Adele Breeskin, Anne d’Hanoncourt and sculptor Lila Katzen) which showed at the Philadelphia Civic Center, and “Women’s Work: Homage to Feminist Art” at the Tabla Rasa Gallery in Brooklyn in 2007. Her papers are held at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, California.



    Firebrand (personal blog)

    Contributors: Lee Sorensen


    Lee Sorensen. "Nemser, Cindy." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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