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Distinguished Feminist Awards

CAA presents two annual Distinguished Feminist Awards: one presented to a visual artist or designer who, through outstanding efforts in their practice or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts; one presented to a scholar who, through outstanding efforts in their scholarship, curatorial practice, or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts. This award was established in 2007 to honor a person who, through their art, scholarship, or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts. From 1996 to 2008, this award was presented as an Annual Recognition Award by CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) at a ceremony at the Annual Conference.

2020 WINNER

Maud K. Lavin  Scholar 

Maud K. Lavin is a professor of visual and critical studies and art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the course of three decades, Lavin has worked tirelessly as a key pioneer in the field of feminist art history and visual studies. She is widely recognized today as one of the most brilliant, prolific, cutting edge, and generous professors and writers of art history and critical studies. Lavin has inspired countless students and readers with her theoretical and practical explorations of the great potentials of feminism through studies of and collaborations with women and LGBTQ artists, academics, and pop cultural figures that connect communities globally. Her books include Boys’ Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols: Queer Fan Cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, coedited with Ling Yang and Jamie Zhao (Hong Kong University Press); Push Comes to Shove: New Images of Aggressive Women (MIT Press); Clean New World: Culture, Politics, and Graphic Design (MIT Press); and Cut with the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch (Yale University Press), the first English-language book on Berlin Dada artist Hannah Hoch.  

While Lavin has moved with ease across topics, periods, and disciplines, her scholarship evidences a deep feminist commitment and a generosity in both intellectual inquiry and support for scholarship by others. Professor Lavin has not only created an important space for women in the arts; she also crucially demonstrates the intersectionality of that cause.  

Jury: Janet Goldner, Independent Artist, co-chair; Arnold Joseph Kemp, School of the Art Institute of Chicago co-chair; Robin Cass, Rochester Institute of Technology; and Elizabeth Duffy, Roger Williams University. 

PAST WINNERS

Since 2009, the Distinguished Feminist Award has honored such influential leaders in the visual arts field as Griselda Pollock, Faith Ringgold, Lucy R. Lippard, and many more. For past winners of the CWA Annual Recognition Awards, scroll down further.

2019 Senga Nengudi — Visual Artist 
2019 Anna C. Chave — Scholar
 
Jury: Janet Goldner, independent artist, New York City, cochair; Arnold Joseph Kemp, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, cochair; Elizabeth Duffy, independent artist, New York City; Jeannene Przyblyski, California Institute of the Arts 

2018 Lynn Hershman Leeson — Visual Artist
2018 Lowery Stokes Sims — Scholar
Jury: Claudia Sbrissa, St. John’s University, chair; Janet Goldner, independent, New York City; Arnold Joseph Kemp, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Jeannene Przyblyski, California Institute of the Arts.

2017 Joan Marter
Jury: Hilary Robinson, Middlesex University, chair; Claudia Sbrissa, St. John’s University; and Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York.

2016 Carrie Mae Weems
Jury: Hilary Robinson, Middlesex University, chair; Claudia Sbrissa, St. John’s University; and Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York

2015 Amelia Jones
Jury: Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver, chair; Hilary Robinson, Middlesex University; and Kathleen Wentrack, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York.

2014 Lorraine O’Grady
Jury: Anne Swartz, Savannah College of Art and Design, chair; Julia Bryan-Wilson, University of California, Berkeley; and Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver

Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold (photograph by Grace Matthews)

2013 Harmony Hammond and Martha Rosler
Jury: Anne Swartz, Savannah College of Art and Design, chair; Julia Bryan-Wilson, University of California, Berkeley; and Maria Elena Buszek, University of Colorado, Denver

2012 Lucy R. Lippard
Jury: Frima Fox Hofrichter, Pratt Institute, chair; Julia Bryan-Wilson, University of California, Berkeley; and Anne Swartz, Savannah College of Art and Design

2011 Faith Ringgold
Jury: Lowery Stokes Sims, Museum of Arts and Design, chair; Frima Fox Hofrichter, Pratt Institute; and Moira Roth, Mills College

2010 Griselda Pollock
Jury: Lowery Stokes Sims, Museum of Arts and Design, chair; Diane Burko, professor emerita, Philadelphia Community College; and Moira Roth, Mills College

2009 Guerrilla Girls
Jury: Lowery Stokes Sims, Museum of Arts and Design, chair; Diane Burko, Philadelphia Community College; and Moira Roth, Mills College

CWA Annual Recognition Awards

From 1996 to 2008, the Committee on Women in the Arts presented Annual Recognition Awards during a ceremony at the CAA Annual Conference. At its October 2007 meeting, the CAA Board of Directors voted to establish a twelfth Award for Distinction, the Distinguished Feminist Award, which honors a person who, through his or her art, scholarship, or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts. The Distinguished Feminist Award replaces the committee’s Annual Recognition Award.

2008 Amalia Mesa-Bains and Celia Álvarez Muñoz

2007 Judith Brodsky and Ferris Olin

2006 Moira Roth and Trinh T. Minh-ha

2005 Beverly Buchanan and Lowery Stokes Sims

2004 Betye Saar and Nancy Spero

2003 Elizabeth Catlett and June Wayne

2002 Janet Cox-Rearick and Jaune Quick-To-See Smith

2001 Elsa Honig Fine

2000 Carolee Schneemann, Mary Garrard, and Norma Broude

1999 Samella Lewis

1998 Linda Nochlin

1997 Louise Bourgeouis

1996 Agnes Gund