I hope and I hope and I hope
A letter of advice to all young woman artists
In 1974, Miriam Schapiro, founder and director of the Feminist Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts, encouraged seventeen of her female students to write to women in the art world with a request: to reply with a letter of advice to a “Young Woman Artist.” These invaluable pieces of correspondence were then to be compiled in Anonymous Was a Woman, a book to be published as part of that year’s Women’s Art Festival. Before long, letters arrived from seventy-one of the women, including Lucy R. Lippard, a highly respected and influential writer, curator, art critic, and feminist whose achievements are rivalled by very few.
March 6, 1974
To a Young Woman Artist,
I’m sorry this has to be so short, because I have a lot I’d like to talk about with you, but try to read between the lines. I hope you’re angry but get it over with fast and use it while you’ve got it. I hope you don’t stop being angry now and then until things are better for all women, not just artists; I hope you’re working from yourself and know how to fuck the art world pressures when you get out there; and I hope you’re working for everybody else too; I hope you’ll be the one to figure out a way to keep art from being used the wrong way and for the wrong things in society; I hope you make your art accessible to more people, to all women and to everybody; I hope you think about that now and aren’t waiting till you make it, because that’s likely to be too late. I hope you remember that being a feminist carries with it a real responsibility to be human. I hope and I hope and I hope.