Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Art: Women and Art: Overview

In this guide

Basic resources including databases, directories, biographical dictionaries, surveys, encyclopedias, theory and criticism, organizations and museums and new books.

Art Research Guide


Related research guides:
Art and Society
Art: Critical Studies
Ethnic & Gender Studies research guide

Women's History research guide


A Feminist Art Movement Online

A directory/archive of creatives who generate or distribute their work online; compiled by artist, Angela Washko as a contribution to making "the internet a more inclusive space for women and their cultural work."
Women Environmental Artists Directory online
Mission statement: Focusing on women’s unique perspectives we collaborate internationally to further the field and understanding of ecological and social justice art.

Biographical Dictionaries

Heller, Jules and Nancy G.Heller. North American Women Artists of the 20th Century: A Biographical Dictionary.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N6503 .N67 1995

Hillstrom,Laurie Collier and Kevin Hillstrom, eds. Contemporary Women Artists. Detroit : St. James Press, 1999.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N8345 .C66 1999

Watson-Jones, Virginia. Contemporary American Women Sculptors. Phoenix: Oryx, 1986.
HUNT FA-REF-4 NB212 .W37 1985

Gaze, Delia, ed. Dictionary of Women Artists. London and Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N8354 .D53 1997 VOL. 1
HUNT FA-REF-4 N8354 .D53 1997 VOL. 2

Surveys and Encyclopedias

Acker, Kathy and Avital Ronell. Time Capsule: A Concise Encyclopedia by Women Artists. New York, NY : Creative Time in cooperation with SOS International., 1995.
HUNT FA-REF-4 NX180 .F4 T56 1995

Butler, Cornelia, ed. Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution. Cambridge, Massachusettes; London: England, The MIT Press, 2007.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N72 .F45 W33

Conner, Randy P., David Hatfield Sparks, Mariya Sparks. Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit : Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Lore. London ; Herndon, VA : Cassell, 1997.
HUNT STACKS-2 BL795 .H6 C65 1997

Fine, Elsa Honig. Women and Art: a History of Women Painters and Sculptors from the Renaissance to the 20th Century. Montclair, N.J.: Allanheld & Schram, 1978.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N43 .F56

McQuiston, Liz. Suffragettes to She-Devils : Women's Liberation and Beyond. London : Phaidon, 1997.
HUNT FA-REF-4 HQ1154 .M424 1997

Reckitt, Helena, ed; survey by Peggy Phelan. Art and Feminism. London : Phaidon, 2001
HUNT FA-REF-4 N72 .F45 A78 2001

Rosen, Randy, curator. Making Their Mark: Women Move Into the Mainstream, 1970-1985. New York: Abbeville, 1989.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N6512 .M27 1988

Summers, Cluade J., ed. The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts. San Francisco : Cleis Press ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, 2004.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N72 .H64 Q44 2004

Grosenick, Uta, ed. Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century. Köln : Taschen, 2001.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N8354 .W653 2001

Theory and Criticism

Broude, Norma and Garrard, Mary D. The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970's History and Impact. New York : H.N. Abrams, 1994
HUNT FA-REF-4 N72 .F45 P68 1994

Jones, Amelia. The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. London: Routledge, 2003.
HUNT STACKS-4 HQ1121 .F46 2003
Try using this volume in conjunction with Hilary Robinson's Feminism-Art-Theory, an Anthology 1968-2000.

Langer, Cassandra L. Feminist Art Criticism : An Annotated Bibliography. New York, NY : G.K. Hall, 1993.
HUNT FA-REF-4 Z5956 .F44 L36 1993

Robinson, Hilary, ed. Feminism-Art-Theory: An Anthology 1968-2000. Oxford, England and Malden, Massachusettes: Blackwell Publishers, 2001.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N72 .F45 F442 2001
Try using this volume in conjunction with Amelia Jones Feminism and Visual Cultural Reader (2003)

Smith, Paul and Carolyn Wilde. A Companion to Art Theory. Oxford ; Malden, MA : Blackwell, 2002
HUNT FA-REF-4 N61 . C58 2002


Library Catalogs and Collections

Cameo the online library catalog represents the holdings of the Carnegie Mellon Libraries with an excellent selection of art books and exhibition catalogs on gender topics in addition to other titles held across the humanities disciplines.

Use Worldcat in conjunction with Cameo. It can help you identify and locate libraries holdings locally and nationally. You can obtain materials the CMU Libraries do not have through interlibrary loan, Illiad.

Link to the holdings of other libraries.
The University of Pittsburgh, Carlow University, Chatham University, and Duquesne University support formal women's and/or gender studies programs.  Materials in the University of Pittsburgh's Frick Fine Arts Library can be checked out with your CMU I.D.card.

Try these databases as a starting point to search for articles in journals:

Link to Databases for Art or  Databases A-Z for a full list of arts databases and databases across disciplines.

Art and Architecture Source (formerly Art Source)

ArtBibliographies Modern

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance

Performing Arts Periodicals Database

Other databases

Gender Watch  database
"repository of important historical perspectives on the evolution of the women's movement, men's studies, the transgendered community and the changes in gender roles over the years.


Books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day

North American Women's Drama
(Alexander Street Press)
Full text play scripts and supporting materials.


Mega-database that searches many interdisciplinary databases together - journals, newspapers, magazines; also industry reports.


Documents, sources, and other material related the history of women in social movements. Scholar's Edition.



Feminist Art Journal. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Feminist Art Journal, Inc.
Vols. 1-6 1972-1977
On Microfilm, Hunt Library, 3rd floor

n. paradoxa (Katy Deepwell editor, London)
An international feminist art journal "exploring feminist theory and contemporary women's art practices."
The online and print edition (held at Hunt Library) are separate publications and the content of each is different.

Women's Art Journal
Held as print subscription at Hunt Library.
Also available online for Carnegie Mellon Users: Link to Journal Search  from the University Libraries home page.

Journal of Women's History
Available online for Carnegie Mellon Users: Link to Journal Search from the University Libraries home page.

CMU Libraries Artists' Books Collection

CMU Libraries Artists Books Collection
Art Library and Special Collections, Carnegie Mellon

This collection provides an opportunity to explore traditional and alternative "book" forms created by artists who address social and cultural issues including gender.  Some of the works in the collection addressing gender have been generated via the active Women's Studio Workshop and the Visual Studies Workshop.

CMU Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion

Acqs of Interest


Robinson, Hilary. A Companion to Feminist Art. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 2019


Lamm, Kimberly. Addressing the other woman : textual correspondences in feminist art and writing.
Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2018
HUNT STACKS-4 (Stacks 4th Floor) N72 .F45 L35 2018


Millner, Jacqueline, editor.; Moore, Catriona, editor. Feminist perspectives on art : contemporary outtakes. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2018

Middleman, Rachel. Radical eroticism: women, art, and sex in the 1960s. Oakland, California : University of California Press, 2018
HUNT N8217 .E6 M53 2018

Organizations and Museums
Butler, Cornelia and Alexandra Schwartz, eds. Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art. New York : Museum of Modern Art : Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, 2010.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N8354 .M63 2010


National Museum of Women in the Arts website
"By bringing to light remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best women artists working today, the museum directly addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art in the U.S. and abroad, thus assuring great women artists a place of honor now and into the future."

see also:
Heller, Nancy, Women Artists : Works from the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Washington, D.C. : National Museum of Women in the Arts ; New York : Rizzoli International Publications.
HUNT FA-REF-4 N8354 .N38 2000


Women Make Movies 
"...a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women."
Entire catalog of films can be searched via the site; current print catalog kept in Hunt Library at Arts Reference
FA-REF PN1995.9 .W6 W664

Women's Caucus for Art website
Organization begun in 1972 in association with The College Art Association to support women professional artists. Includes important web links for affiliate women's art organizations and women in the arts in general.