Carolee Schneemann in ‘Fresh Blood – A Dream Morphology,’ circa 1981-86 © 2022 Carolee Schneemann Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

New Grants for Artist’s Archives from Hauser & Wirth Institute

18 November 2022

Nonprofit announces fall 2022 grantees including Carolee Schneemann Foundation, Institute of American Indian Arts, South Side Community Art Center, and Women’s Studio Workshop

Founded in 2018, Hauser and Wirth Institute is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to transforming the field of artists’ archives by nurturing equity and innovation and increasing access to archives. The recipients of their latest round of funding are organizations that build, activate, and generate public engagement with artists’ archives.

Hauser & Wirth Institute will distribute a total of $316,000 to four organizations: $28,500 to the Carolee Schneemann Foundation (New York) for an oral history project on the visual and performance artist’s legacy; $87,500 to the Institute of American Indian Arts (New Mexico) to expand digital access to its archives; $20,000 to South Side Community Art Center (Chicago) for a paid internship program that will help advance the careers of Black student archivists; and $180,000 to fund a full-time archivist position at Women’s Studio Workshop (Rosendale, NY), to activate their archives documenting feminist print cultures.

‘Their projects will radically increase access to archives, activate and make visible collections that have been hidden.’—Lisa Darms, Hauser & Wirth Institute Executive Director

‘The four grantees tackle long-standing obstacles to expanding the art historical record in creative and ambitious ways that align with our mission to foster equity and innovation in the field,’ says Hauser & Wirth Institute Executive Director Lisa Darms. ‘Their projects will radically increase access to archives, activate and make visible collections that have been hidden, train and fairly compensate archivists who are underrepresented in the field, and build new archives at an urgent moment before memory is lost.’

This funding extends Hauser & Wirth Institute’s support of individual organizations working to process and preserve artistic legacies. Within the past year, $700,000 of funding went to projects now underway at The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York), Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong), Sixty Inches From Center (Chicago), and YVR Art Foundation (Vancouver, BC), in addition to scholarships to Pratt Institute to fund full tuition for BIPOC graduate students entering the three-year, dual-degree Master’s program in Library and Information Science and the History of Art and Design.

Abstract Women's Studio Collective poster, 1975. Courtesy WSW

Schneemann and Parts of Body House Book, 1972. Courtesy CSF © 2022 Carolee Schneemann Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Carolee Schneemann Foundation

The Carolee Schneemann Foundation will contract an archivist to conduct a five-month oral history project comprising interviews with ten artists and friends about their collaborations with visual and performance artist Carolee Schneemann (1939 – 2019). Given that many of the photographers, painters, and writers whom Schneemann worked with are now in their 80s, it is urgent to capture these voices now for future research and scholarship.

‘In preserving the voices of Schneemann’s peers, this timely project will enrich understanding of a period and milieu steeped in aesthetic experimentation, political organizing, and critical reassessments of gender and sexuality and lay the foundation for future research on Schneemann’s life and work,’ says CSF Executive Director Rachel Churner.

A presentation of collection materials at the IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts

Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA)

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)—the birthplace of contemporary Indigenous American art— is an Indigenous-centered college in Santa Fe, New Mexico. IAIA’s mission is ‘to empower creativity and leadership in Indigenous arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and community engagement.’ The IAIA Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts (RCCNA) supports this mission through its dedication to advancing scholarship, discourse, and interpretation of contemporary Indigenous arts for regional, national, and international audiences. This grant will support the RCCNA in digitizing their Native Artist Files (NAF), the most student-used asset and a general starting point for researchers in the IAIA Archives. Established in 1971, the NAF contains nearly 7,500 biographical vertical files that include slides, resumes, news clippings, photocopies, and materials documenting individual artists and their careers.

‘This project comes at an important time for the Research Center,’ says RCCNA Director Dr. Lara Evans (Cherokee Nation). ‘We recently completed a multi-year project that enables us to provide online access to the 9000+ Contemporary Indigenous artworks in IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the IAIA’s Archival holdings within a single database. While artistic and scholarly activities are usually treated as separate endeavors within Western philosophical systems (with the intellectual more valued than the creative), within Indigenous knowledge systems physical ‘making’ is integral to knowledge production. This grant will help us make hidden archival materials available in this new database.’

Margaret Taylor Burroughs, In School-Together, date unknown

Charles White, Surrealist Brawl, 1937

South Side Community Art Center, Chicago

Funding will support three paid 10-week summer internships at South Side Community Art Center, Chicago, the oldest African American art center in the United States and a Chicago Historic Landmark, founded in 1940. The internship seeks to correct the lack of Black representation in the field around art and cultural heritage by placing Black undergraduate and graduate students in the Center’s Archives and Art Collection to help steward this vast artist- and community-centered resource. This will be the first paid internship program in Chicago to support Black students entering the workforce as archivists, collections managers, preventive conservators, and registrars.

‘Only between 3 and 4% of art collection managers and museums registrars, archivists and art conservators in the U.S. are Black or African American, and despite increases in worker representation there is still a major need for Black archives and collections workers,’ says SSCAC Archives and Art Collection Manager LaMar Gayles. ‘By funding an internship program we will begin to approach equity towards enabling these students to financially support themselves while they acquire new skills and work to advance their careers.’

WSW co-founders: Barbara Leoff Burge, Ann Kalmbach, Tatana Kellner, and Anita Wetzel, 1975. Courtesy WSW

Inside the Woman's Studio Workshop, 1992. Courtesy WSW

Women’s Studio Workshop

Women’s Studio Workshop’s (WSW) mission is to operate and maintain an artists’ workspace that champions the work of historically marginalized and under-represented people and artistic practices: women and trans, intersex, nonbinary and genderfluid artists at all stages of their careers working in etching, letterpress, papermaking, book arts, silkscreen, 3D work, ceramics, and photography. Founded as a women’s artistic community in 1974, WSW continues to be an important hub for radical thought, for modeling economic viability, and for print and book culture.

Coming on the eve of their 50th anniversary in 2024, Hauser & Wirth Institute’s grant will allow WSW to hire a full-time Archivist and Special Collections Manager to help preserve and activate their collections, which comprise artist books, artist files, institutional records, a photograph collection, and a silkscreen poster collection. The new archivist will establish best practices, and work with artists, academic and artistic institutions, and the public to create education programs, publications, and exhibitions.

As part of the grant, WSW will collaborate with Hauser & Wirth Institute to host a convening on community art archives to take place in 2024, drawing on the WSW’s experiences in creating a permanent dynamic space for their own historical records and other strategies for self-archiving.

Hauser and Wirth Institute is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to transforming the field of artists’ archives by nurturing equity and innovation and increasing access to archives. Operating independently of commercial interests, HWI provides grants for progressive archival projects and education, fosters networks locally and internationally and organizes public programming and workshops that enliven and expand conversations around artistic legacies.