Heresies Collective

The Heresies Collective was founded in 1976 in New York City, by a group of feminist political artists. The group sought to, among other goals, examine art from a feminist and political perspective. In addition to a variety of actions and cultural output, the collective was responsible for the overseeing the publication of the journal Heresies: A feminist publication on art and politics, which was published from 1977 until 1993.


The Heresies Collective was founded in 1976 by a group of feminist artists, with the goal of increasing discourse around the ideas of feminism, politics, and their relationship to art. The Heresies Collective's primary output was a reoccurring publication titled Heresies: A feminist publication on art and politics. The goals of the collective, through the publication of their journal, were to encourage the writing of feminist history, generate new creative energies among women artists, broaden the definition of art, and articulate diversity within the art world. In addition to the goals of encouraging and supporting feminist political art, the collective sought to stimulate dialogue around radical political and esthetic theory, and reject the capitalist framework of the art world through interrogating the processes by which art is created, critiqued, and consumed.[1]


The founding collective members listed in the first publication were:[1] Patsy Beckert, Joan Braderman, Mary Beth Edelson, Harmony Hammond, Elizabeth Hess, Joyce Kozloff, Arlene Ladden, Lucy Lippard, Mary Miss, Marty Pottenger, Miriam Schapiro, Joan Snyder, Elke Solomon, Pat Steir, May Stevens, Susana Torre, Elizabeth Weatherford, Sally Webster, and Nina Yankowitz.

Numerous other feminist artists contributed to the publication over the years, and participated in the collective structure. The film, The Heretics, by collective member Joan Braderman, lists the following additional women as members of the Heresies Collective:[2] Joan Snyder, Pat Steir, Michelle Stuart, Emma Amos, Patsy Beckert, Janet Froelich, Su Friedrich, Ida Applebroog, Sue Heinemann, Sabra Moore, Miriam Schapiro, Cecilia Vicuna, Nina Yankowitz, and Amy Sillman.

Collective ActivitiesEdit

While the publication was the primary activity of the collective, members of the group were also involved with other arts and political movements in New York. The collective was featured in an exhibit at the New Museum in 1983, titled Classified: Big Pages from the Heresies Collective. The exhibit featured large scale works from members of the collective, and was curated in part by En Foco, as part of the Events series.[3] In 1984 the collective staged a demonstration in front of the Museum of Modern Art called the Women Artists Visibility Event (W.A.V.E.), or Let MOMA Know, aimed at raising awareness about the poor representation of women artists at the museum.[4]

The Heresies Collective was also the subject of a documentary film, called The Heretics.[5] The film was conceived and directed by Heresies Collective member Joan Braderman.[6]


  1. ^ a b Heresies Collective (January 1977). "Feminism, Art and Politics" (PDF). Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics. 1 (1).
  2. ^ Braderman, Joan. "The Women". The Heretics. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  3. ^ Carson, Julie (2002). "On Discourse as Monument: Institutional Spaces and Feminist Problematics". In Ault, Julie (ed.). Alternative art, New York, 1965 - 1985: a cultural politics book for the Social Text Collective. New York: Drawing Center. pp. 121–145.
  4. ^ Osterman, Gladys (1984). "Let MOMA Know: Women Artists Visibility Event (W.A.V.E) at the Museum of Modern Art on Flag Day, 14 June 1984". Independent Voices. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  5. ^ Wilson, Emily. ""The Heretics": Women of the Heresies Collective". Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  6. ^ Braderman, Joan. "Synopsis". The Heretics. Retrieved 7 March 2015.

External linksEdit