Veteran Feminists of America


A FOUNDER OF Women Artists in Revolution

In 1969 women artists were fighting to be taken seriously by art historians, museums and galleries. They formed WAR - Women Artists in Revolution and conducted their own war against the male dominated art world. They demonstrated, published articles and joined other feminists in actions . They marched with their art in the great Women's March for Equality on August 26, 1970 on Fifth Avenue.

That's when I met Juliette Gordon. She was one of the founders of WAR. Those were exciting times, when thousands of women were rebelling against restrictions of all kinds.

They would join existing organizatons, form new ones, meet at demonstrations and meetings and, as soldiers who'd fought bloody wars together, were bonded forever.

But 40 years is a long time to keep track of everyone. The formation of VFA got most of us back together, but some - such as Juliette Gordon -- seem to have disappeared into the stratosphere. So when VFA honored feminist artists in 2004, she wasn't included. I couldn't understand how a New York artist wouldn't know that we were honoring feminist artists. I couldn't imagine what had happened to her.

But something is in the air. "Lost" pioneer feminists are finding us! Not only did I hear from Merikay McCleod, and Bunny Sandler about Vincent Macaluso, but I received a call from Sam Weinreb, Juliette's partner and father of her son. Urged by artist Sylvianna Goldsmith, he'd checked out our 2003 Salute to Feminist Artists on the web, and "Your name rang a bell," he said. He wanted Juliette to receive recognition for all she'd done, so he called and gave me news of her.

"I met Juliette in the Art Workers Union, said Sam. Among protests we participated in was the Artists Against the Vietnam War. At a meeting of the Art Workers our president, Tom Lloyd, wanted a black wing at the Museum of Modern Art. Juliette interrupted . 'How about a women's wing?! she demanded?!"

And the art world did begin to open to women. One of the immediate results was the great Women's Art Musuem in Washington, DC.

Juliette was also doing well. She had many one-woman shows at the Star Turtle Gallery, the Alan Stone Gallery and for several years at her own Juliette Gordon Gallery on East 73rd Street in New York. She exhibited at the 17th biannual print exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in 1971 and took part in many exhibits on the East Coast.

But in 2002 she almost lost her life in a fire in her loft. Her 21 year old son pulled her out of the burning building just in time. After months of recuperation she was left unable to care for herself, and had to go into an assisted living home, where she lives today. Her heart is strong, but sadly her right wrist was damaged and she can't hold a paintbrush. She misses her art and her friends, but hearing that VFA will honor her perked her up.

Sam, an artist himself, sent photos of Juliette's beautiful work. He visits her often and reports that she was delighted to hear that VFA will present her with a certificate and medal of honor.
Jacqui Ceballos

Juliette's Art:

Juliette's address: Leo Tolstoy Nursing Home
100 Lake Rd, Valley College, NY 10989
Phone.845-268-3561 (Call around 9AM or 7 PM)

Sam Weinreb:

Comments to Jacqui Ceballos:

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