Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond

Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond takes the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment as the occasion for reflection and exploration of the issues and challenges women in the United States have faced, and continue to face, in politics and society.

What has been accomplished in the last 100 years, and what has yet to be accomplished?

The fight for the 19th amendment was achieved through marches, demonstrations, and protest tactics that are still used today. And in the current moment of protest and activism around racism in the United States, Never Done speaks to the role of race and class in shaping women’s participation in politics and the public sphere.

When the 19th amendment—which stated that US citizens could not be denied the right to vote based on their sex—was ratified in 1920, many women were still denied this right. While the federal suffrage amendment prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, it did not address the intersectional discrimination that many American women faced: women from marginalized communities continued to face obstacles because of their race. Native American, Asian American, Latinx, and African American suffragists had to fight for their own enfranchisement long after the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Never Done is intended to be a celebration, a conversation, a critique, and a commemoration of the journey women have taken and have yet to take. Never Done aims to go beyond politics to create conversations about art, gender, race, and intersectional identities. To do so, this exhibition presents artwork by a diverse group of women: Black, brown, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and differently-abled women and non-binary artists; artists working in photography, painting, printmaking, collage, textile, and sculpture; artists from across the United States and from different generations. Moreover, statements from each artist reflect on their work in relation to women’s rights, feminisms, justice and representation, and the legacy of the suffrage movement. Taken together, this project reveals the myriad of different experiences women have and the multiplicity of views and modes of expression that women employ to communicate what is important to them.

—Rachel Seligman and Minita Sanghvi

Starting September 17, online visitors will experience a variety of content including images of 100 artworks by women and non-binary artists along with statements by each artist that reflect on their work in relation to women’s rights, representation, justice, and the legacy of the suffrage movement. Additional online content will include curatorial writing, student reflections, a list of feminist readings and online resources, and more.

When classes began August 24, students, faculty, and curators will use the gallery as a laboratory, working to discuss and envision the exhibition design for Never Done, which visitors will be able to experience when the Museum reopens to the public. With a diverse group of women and non-binary artists working in photography, painting, printmaking, collage, textile, and sculpture, the exhibition manifests a multiplicity of women’s experiences, views, and modes of expression.

Exhibition Name
Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond
Exhibition Type
Faculty Curated
Group Exhibitions
Place
Wachenheim Gallery
Dates
Sep 17, 2020 - Jun 6, 2021
Curators
Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond is organized by Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Malloy Curator, and Minita Sanghvi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Business, Skidmore College.
Artists
Nina Chanel Abney, Gina Adams, Laura Aguilar, Diana Al-Hadid, Laylah Ali, Diane Arbus, Firelei Báez, Rina Banerjee, Endia Beal, Tanyth Berkeley, Huma Bhabha, Suzanne Bocanegra, Katherine Bradford, Diane Burko, Andrea Carlson, Syd Carpenter, Jordan Casteel, Judy Chicago, Sonya Clark, Renee Cox, Jess T. Dugan, Chioma Ebinama, Jane Fine, Natalie Frank, Chitra Ganesh, Anna Gaskell, Vanessa German, Nan Goldin, Nancy Grossman, Kathy Grove, Guerrilla Girls, Martine Gutierrez, Daesha Devón Harris, Sheree Hovsepian, Juliana Huxtable, Hayv Kahraman, Mary Reid Kelley, Corita Kent, Lisa Kereszi, Harriet Korman, Deana Lawson, Ellen Lesperance, Malerie Marder, Julie Mehretu, Ana Mendieta, Joan Mitchell, Carrie Moyer, Lillian Mulero, Laurel Nakadate, Sophia Narrett, Dona Nelson, Gina Occhiogrosso, Alice O’Malley, Robyn O'Neil, Catherine Opie, Roberta Paul, Rachel Perry, Howardena Pindell, Sara Rahbar, Wendy Red Star, Erin M. Riley, Faith Ringgold, Deborah Roberts, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Martha Rosler, Erika Rothenberg, Alison Saar, Joyce J. Scott, Tschabalala Self, Joan Semmel, Beverly Semmes, Mindy Shapero, Cindy Sherman, Shahzia Sikander, Alisa Sikelianos-Carter, Amy Sillman, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Kiki Smith, Shinique Smith, Jenny Snider, Joan Snyder, Nancy Spero, Kathia St. Hilaire, Stephanie Syjuco, Sarah Sze, Barbara Takenaga, Lenore Tawney, Mickalene Thomas, Mildred Thompson, Tiny Pricks Project, Sara VanDerBeek, Kara Walker, Marie Watt, Carrie Mae Weems, Millie Wilson, Paula Wilson, Saya Woolfalk, Dyke Action Machine!
Student Staff
Jane cole 2019
Jane Cole
2019-20 Carole Marchand Endowed Intern, Student Advisory Council, past: Exhibitions and Collections Assistant, Gallery Monitor Associate
Scarlett Han
Student Advisory Council, past: Exhibitions Assistant, Tang Guide, Summer Volunteer

Collection Works

Click on an image to visit the Tang collection page for additional information about the work.

With a diverse group of women and non-binary artists working in photography, painting, printmaking, collage, textile, and sculpture, Never Done manifests a multiplicity of women’s experiences, views, and modes of expression.

View or download the checklist here!

Selected Works

A red tapestry with black, horizontal stripes hangs on a white wall. A wolf draped with a saddle saying "PROTO" three times is embroidered in black thread in the center.
Marie Watt, Companion Species (Saddle), 2019, reclaimed blanket, thread, embroidery floss, Czech beads, 80 x 87 inches, courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, photo by Kevin McConnell
Artist Reflection
Marie Watt

As for the word FEMINISM—I didn’t understand feminism until I went to college. In all honesty, I found the movement a bit confusing. As a citizen of the Seneca Nation, I was raised with a matrilineal perspective: women in our community (and by extension, women in the entire Iroquois Confederacy) have always been responsible for passing on our clan lineage and tribal enrollment rights. We are also the custodians of the land. Historically, voting rights were the domain of Clan Mothers, who nominated a tribal leader or chief; however, a Western ballot-style voting system is commonplace these days.

My husband, Adam, jokes that the Seneca language is made up of commands. And part of the humor in that is that those commands are most often coming from our mothers, aunties, and grandmothers, who speak with great authority. For these reasons I believe I come from a long line of proto-feminists. In my house, indigenous feminisms lift up equity and honor the voices, the bodies, the cultural esteem, the intellect, the labor, the economic sovereignty, the safety, the health, the creativity, and the humanity of women and girls. These are human rights, not privileges. My husband is one of my favorite feminists. Feminism is not female-centric. Feminism takes a community.

Read More

My interest in the prefix PROTO- emanates from the term proto-feminism, which describes my relationship to feminism. Proto-, the prefix, recalls things that come before, like organisms, epochs, and relationships (ancestral, communal, cosmic). In Companion Species (Saddle), I think of “proto-, proto-, proto-” as a mnemonic device that recalls the past—in my case, indigenous matrilineal proto-feminisms—so that it can lead us into the present and future. A saddle provides support, but it’s also an encumbrance, a weight, and a responsibility. It takes a similar kind of effort to uphold and live the values of feminism, which are highly personal, but also very public. Embodying one’s feminisms looks different on each person, and will look different over time.

I find writing about feminism and feminisms difficult. It’s like a ball of string that I get tangled in. The word feminism is loaded and often misunderstood, and it frequently alienates people who could or should be allies. Feminism is so elastic, and putting words to paper feels so fixed.

—Marie Watt, 2020

Show Less

Never Done Artists’ Reflections

This booklet includes an image of each of the 100 works in the exhibition paired with a reflection written by the artist on questions of justice, representation, feminisms, and more.

A Black woman wearing a red outfit smiles at the camera.
Jess T. Dugan, Dee Dee Ngozi, 55, Atlanta, GA, 2016, published 2018, archival pigment print, 20 x 16 inches, Tang Teaching Museum collection, purchase, 2018.17.1.16b
Student Reflection

 

 

Dear Woman in Red,
Turn your head to the sky and fly with me.
Your smile is a reminder of the burden and blessing before me.


—Iona Herriott ’20
HI 351 "Archival Storytelling" with Professor Jordana Dym

Object Tours

Listen to co-curators Rachel Seligman and Minita Sanghvi reflect on individual works in the exhibition. Downloadable transcripts of each reflection are available.
A Black woman wearing a super hero outfit and knee-high heeled boots sits atop the statue of liberty's head.
Cox 56a5766 1 sq
A pair of legs wearing black high heeled boots hangs down onto the crown of the statue of liberty's head.
Neverdone sept2 install 03 cox crop
Minita Sanghvi on Renee Cox
A dark, metallic sculpture of a birds-eye view of a farm with a silo and barn near the top of the sculpture and trees surrounding a field on the bottom.
Rachel Seligman on Syd Carpenter
An abstract painting of the profile of a dark-skinned person covered in white ferns sitting by green leaves with small, nude bodies of various colors floating above the figure.
Banerjee detail 3 2
Banerjee rina mother gathered three top detail
Banerjee detail 3 2
Banerjee detail 4 2
Minita Sanghvi on Rina Banerjee

Minita Sanghvi reflects on Rina Banerjee’s “Mother gathered Three and no more dirty stones, tossed them to sky that could break what had hardened her ground and without frown or flirt of flower father like grease or butter slipped aside to free from forty and some more grown men who held her as housewife like plant life with Three or no more daughters,” 2017.

Download the transcript.

A colorful, abstract sculpture of the torso and head of a Black woman surrounded by a silver and purple halo and blue eyes with the word “SAFETY” written in red above her head. The woman is inside a red and yellow arch with the statement “I WILL NOT SUFFER FOR YOU” in white on both sides of the arch.
3d0a8026 sq edit crop
German detail 4
German vanessa detail
German detail 4
German detail 5
German detail 2 2
Rachel Seligman on Vanessa German
Gg7a8321 1
Gg7a8320 1 nd full install view
Gg7a8323 1 1
Gg7a8330 1 2
Gg7a8318 1 detail1
Gg7a8323 1 2
Gg7a8320 1 nd full install view
Gg7a8328 1
Gg7a8320 1
Gg7a8330 1 1
Gg7a8326 1 2
Gg7a8319 1
Rachel Seligman on Joyce J. Scott
Rahbar sara shadowedits detail1
Rahbar sara shadowedits sq
Rahbar sara shadowedits detail3
Sep2020 neverdone install 05
Rahbar sara shadowedits detail4
Rahbar sara shadowedits detail5
Rahbar sara shadowedits detail2
Minita Sanghvi on Sara Rahbar

This reading list was compiled by Molly Channon, Curatorial Assistant; Jane Cole ’21 Marchand Intern, Curatorial; Rebecca McNamara, Associate Curator; Minita Sanghvi, co-curator, Never Done, and Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Malloy Curator.

View or download the list here!

Never Done
Feminist Digital Resources

While doing research for this exhibition, we found many rich and valuable digital platforms for organizations, publications, and projects working to amplify feminist voices and promote feminist work. We hope that you will find them to be productive and useful as resources, tools, and inspiration as well.

—Rachel Seligman and Minita Sanghvi

Art+Feminism

Art+Feminism is an intersectional feminist non-profit organization that directly addresses the information gap about gender, feminism, and the arts on the internet.

Asian American Feminist Collective

This organization seeks to address the multi-dimensional ways Asian/American people confront systems of power at the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, disability, migration history, citizenship and immigration status, through community building and public and political education.

Bitch Media

Bitch Media is a feminist response to pop culture, run by the company that publishes Bitch Magazine.

Black Women Radicals

Black Women Radicals (BWR) is a Black feminist advocacy organization dedicated to uplifting and centering the radical political activism of Black women and gender non-conforming and non-binary people.

Center for American Women and Politics

CAWP is part of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, and a nationally recognized leader of scholarly research and current data about women’s political participation in the US. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about the role of women in American politics, enhance women's influence in public life, and expand the diversity of women in politics and government.

Crunk Feminist Collective

With the tag line “Where crunk meets conscious and Feminism meets cool” this blog is a site for discussion among the hip hop generation of feminists of color.

Feminist Art Coalition

With a mission to “Engage. Reflect. Act.” the FAC is a platform for art projects informed by feminisms.

The Feminist Institute

Access and download issues of HERESIES; A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics, published by the New York-based group the Heresies Collective from 1977–1992.

Feministing

The blog Feministing shut down after 15 years of publishing but the site archives are still available with a critical variety of writings on a broad range of intersectional feminist issues.

Fierce Pussy

Fierce Pussy formed 1991, is an artist/activist collective advancing a radical queer and feminist position through interventions in public spaces with projects and actions that often take place without outside sponsorship, funding, or authorization.

Get her Elected

Get Her Elected (GHE) is an initiative where people from all over the world offer their skills pro bono to progressive women candidates running for office at all levels of U.S. government.

Guerrilla Girls

This pioneering feminist artist group maintains anonymity in order to focus on the issues. This site documents their history and ongoing activity.

Higher Heights

Higher Heights is the political home for Black women and allies to unleash collective organizing power from the voting booth to elected office, to push for a democracy that better reflects and represents Black women.

Mommy

Mommy is an interview format artblog created by Susan Silas and Chrysanne Stathaocos, focused on women who have been working for 20 years or more as artists.

Recording Artists: Radical Women

This is a new podcast from The Getty on Radical Women hosted by Helen Molesworth.

Rookie Magazine

This site is the archive of Rookie Magazine, a publication by and for teenage girls that gives a feminist alternative to traditional teen magazines.

She Should Run

She Should Run is an online community that serves to support and encourage women from all political leanings, ethnicities, sexual identities, and backgrounds to see themselves as future candidates.

She the People

She the People brings together a national network of women of color — voters, organizers, movement builders, elected leaders – to transform our democracy through shared values: to love our own and others, to make justice the law of the land, to create a country where everyone belongs, and to make this American democracy live up to its greatest promise.

WikiProject Women artists

“WikiProject Women artists” is a WikiProject dedicated to ensuring quality and coverage of women artists and their works in an effort to solve the systemic bias against women artists in Wikipedia.

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