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Elizabeth A. Sackler Center to Celebrate Fifth Anniversary

With a mission to present feminist art and explore its meaning and influence, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is the only public space of its kind in the United States, and it celebrates its fifth anniversary in March with a wide range of public program and events. The celebration will culminate in the Sackler Center First Awards on April 18, honoring contemporary women who are first in their fields.

Since its opening in 2007, the Sackler Center has attracted more than half a million visitors and has made a vital contribution to the visual arts by raising awareness of feminism's cultural contribution and educating new generations about the significance of feminist art, becoming a dynamic learning facility.

The Dinner Party (1979) by Judy Chicago, an icon of American art donated to the Brooklyn Museum in 2002 by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, is the centerpiece of the 8,000-square-foot Center. Surrounded by galleries for changing exhibitions and a space for educational activities, the dramatic design of the Sackler Center was created by award-winning architect Susan T. Rodriguez, a partner in Ennead Architects. The well-known feminist art historian and curator Catherine Morris has served as curator of the Sackler Center since 2009.

"Visitors to the Brooklyn Museum are extremely fortunate to have this extraordinary facility which, in its five years, has presented a remarkable range of exhibitions of works by artists such as Kiki Smith, Lorna Simpson, Eva Hesse, and, currently, gifted British artist Rachel Kneebone, making her museum debut in the United States. Elizabeth Sackler's vision has granted feminist art the long-awaited recognition it deserves. We are enormously grateful for her generosity," comments Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman. The center has also hosted hundreds of artist talks, panel discussions, and lectures on feminist art. The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art was established through the support of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation. "It has been a pleasure and a privilege to help create and develop this Center that celebrates and nurtures not only one of the most influential art movements of the twentieth century, but creates a venue for the exchange of information and ideas that are of vital importance to feminism," says Dr. Sackler, President of the Foundation.

Two exhibitions celebrate the fifth anniversary of the center. Rachel Kneebone: Regarding Rodin, on view through August 12, presents eight of Kneebone's intricately wrought, large-scale porcelain sculptures paired with fifteen Rodin sculptures, part of a gift from Iris and B. Gerald Cantor to the Museum collection. Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913-1919, on view through August 19, features drawings, works on paper, documentary photographs and newsprint stories by the celebrated writer and early twentieth-century women's rights advocate.

A public historian, arts activist, advocate for Native Americans, and patron of the arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Museum in the autumn of 2000. Dr. Sackler is president and CEO of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, president of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, founder and president of the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation, and a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. A lecturer, panelist, and writer, she has written extensively about the repatriation of ceremonial material to Native Americans and on the ethical issues that confront the Native American art market. She is the editor of the 2002 book Judy Chicago, a survey of the artist's work. Dr. Sackler has been the recipient of many awards and citations, among them ArtTable's prestigious Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts Award in 2006.
The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation was founded in 2002 to raise awareness of the contributions of women in all areas of art and culture with a specific focus on feminist art. It has fulfilled its mission through the support of women and feminist art exhibitions in museums throughout the United States, and with the gift in 2002 of Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party to the Brooklyn Museum. Dr. Sackler and foundation trustees Janet Bajan and Janet McKay, Esq., have supported and worked along with Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman and the staff of the Brooklyn Museum in the creation and maintenance of the center, and of its exhibitions and programming.

Highlights of the public programs celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art are listed below. Presentations by the Sackler Center are preceded by asterisks.

Thursday, March 1, 7 p.m.
Gallery Tour: "Unconventional Women from Ancient Egypt to Twenty-First-Century Brooklyn"
Artist Tour: Raw/Cooked artist Shura Chernozatonskaya leads a tour of her site-specific painting installation.
Saturday, March 3, 5-11 p.m.
Target First Saturday: Fierce, Phenomenal Women
March's event celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art by showcasing the rich culture of women and their influences.

Sunday, March 11, 3 p.m.
*Panel Discussion: Women in Downtown Theater: Producing Your Own Work
Moderated by playwright Erin Courtney, this panel explores the latest work of figures in New York's downtown experimental theater scene, including Kelly Copper of Nature Theater of Oklahoma, playwright Sibyl Kempson, Young Jean Lee of Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, Annie-B Parson of Big Dance Theater, and Tina Satter of Half Straddle.

Thursday, March 15, 7 p.m.
Film: Miss Representation (Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 2011, 85 min.). This acclaimed documentary explores the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman. Jennifer L. Pozner, Executive Director for Women In Media & News, will introduce the film and lead a discussion following the screening.
Saturday, March 17, 2 p.m.
*Panel Discussion: "Women Shaping Our World: Architecture, Gender, and Space"
The past decade has seen an unprecedented rise in interest in architecture and design in both the public and private realm. How have women been engaged in shaping this conversation? Focused on the intersection of architecture and gender, this discussion brings together four women who are prominent in the architectural world to share their views on the social and political implications of architecture, and the role women play in shaping today's society. John Cary, editor of the blog PublicInterestDesign.org, moderates. Panelists include Anne Fougeron, Principal, Fougeron Architecture, San Francisco, CA; Toni Griffin, Director, J. Max Bond Center, The City College of New York; SuSan Rodriguez, Partner, Ennead Architects, New York; and Karen Stein, New York-based writer and architectural consultant.

Thursday, March 22, 7 p.m.
BrooklyNites Jazz: Helen Sung
Described as one of the brightest emerging stars in jazz today, award-winning pianist Helen Sung performs, showcasing her singular sound and style.
Sunday, March 25, 2 p.m.
*Artist Talk and Video Screening: Simone Leigh and Liz Magic Laser
Simone Leigh and Liz Magic Laser screen Breakdown (2011), created in collaboration with Alicia Hall Moran. The accompanying lecture includes screen clips of the script's source material, such as Anthony Harvey's 1967 film adaption of Amiri Baraka's play The Dutchman, the 1970s television show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and the contemporary reality show Intervention.

Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m.
Performance: The Guerrilla Girls
The iconic feminist performance group will present an interactive multimedia show that illustrates their history of using art and action to expose and critique discrimination in fields such as art, film, and politics. The Guerrilla Girls will also assess the current state of creative industries and museum display by leading the audience in activities from the newly released edition of The Guerrilla Girls' Art Museum Activity Book.

Saturday, March 31, 2 p.m.
*Panel Discussion: "Transnationalism and Women Artists in Diaspora"
A.I.R. Gallery, The Rutgers Institute for Women and Art, and The Feminist Art Project co-present a discussion exploring the international feminist diaspora community in New York, with panelists Dr. Abena Busia, Chitra Ganesh, Kira Greene, Yulia Tikhonova, and Dr. Yasmin Ramirez.

 


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