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Irene Peslikis papers, 1957-2002 and undated 27 Linear Feet — 20,250 Items

Feminist artist, activist, and educator Irene Peslikis (1943-2002) was born in New York, New York, and raised in different locations in Queens, New York. She was instrumental in a number of influential feminist and feminist art groups, including the New York Feminist Art Institute, the journal Women & Art (co-founded with Pat Mainardi), and the group Redstockings. The Irene Peslikis Papers span the years 1957-2002 and document Peslikis's life as a feminist artist, activist, and educator. The collection is organized into nine series: Feminist Activism, Correspondence, Writings, Personal Files, Subject Files, Education, Art, Printed Material, and Audiovisual Material. Materials in this collection include correspondence, essays, personal journals, exhibit files, artwork in a number of media, personal files, her student files, teaching files, clippings, photographs, journals, pamphlets, and audiocassettes. Frequent and/or notable correspondents include her immediate family: her mother, father, and brother, Michael; and friends Ursula Karau, Alix Kates Shulman, Rosalyn Baxandall, Robin Morgan, Carol Hanisch, Lucinda (Cindy) Cisler, Lucia Vernarelli, Pat Mainardi, Judy Chicago, and Shulamith (Shulie) Firestone.

The Irene Peslikis Papers span the years 1957-2002 and document Peslikis's life as a feminist artist, activist, and educator. The collection is organized into nine series: Feminist Activism, Correspondence, Writings, Personal Files, Subject Files, Education, Art, Printed Material, and Audiovisual Material.

The Feminist Activism Series is composed of materials from three key venues for Peslikis's feminist activist work: the New York Feminist Art Institute, the journal Women & Art, and the group Redstockings. This series includes organizational records, related correspondence and articles, exhibition announcements, and grant proposals.

The Correspondence Series contains letters, postcards, and cards received by Peslikis from family and friends. Frequent and/or notable correspondents include her immediate family: her mother, father, and brother, Michael; and friends Ursula Karau, Alix Kates Shulman, Rosalyn Baxandall, Robin Morgan, Carol Hanisch, Lucinda (Cindy) Cisler, Lucia Vernarelli, Pat Mainardi, Judy Chicago, and Shulamith (Shulie) Firestone. A smaller amount of outgoing letters is also included. Correspondence depicts Peslikis's work as an activist and as an artist, as well as her financial and medical difficulties.

Materials in the Writings Series include manuscripts, notes, notebooks, and journals kept by Peslikis. The Manuscripts subseries includes writings by people other than Peslikis which directly impacted her work, as well as drafts and outlines of Peslikis's publications. Notes, notebooks, and journals were all penned by Peslikis. Notebooks are primarily personal journals kept by Peslikis from her teenage years through the early 1980s and again from the early 1990s until the end of her life.

The Personal Files Series depicts the numerous financial, legal, and medical issues confronted by Peslikis over three decades. Peslikis received assistance in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, and subsidized housing for artists (at Westbeth Artist Housing), each of which required meticulous documentation in order to retain. A portion of this series is closed until 2099.

The Subject Files Series consists primarily of clippings and notes retained by Peslikis on a number of women- and feminism-related subjects, as well as on art, astrology, United States foreign policy, and Greek politics.

The Education Series is composed of files documenting Peslikis as a student, an instructor, and an instructor in search of employment.

Items in the Art Series include artwork by Peslikis, duplications of her artwork, sketchbooks, and files related to her exhibits, including flyers, reviews, and catalogs.

The Printed Material Series comprises periodicals, pamphlets, and printed essays. Subjects represented include feminism, Marxism, and art.

The Audiovisual Material Series consists of audiocassettes and super 8 film documenting discussions, meetings, and other events. Items are labeled with original descriptions provided by Peslikis. Also included is a VHS tape of a memorial service for Peslikis.

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Victoria Ortiz papers, 1923-1999 and undated, bulk 1960-1990 12.2 Linear Feet — 19.0 linear feet; approx. 14,999 Items

The Victoria Ortiz Papers span the years 1923 to 1999, with the majority of the papers dating from 1960 to 1990. The main collection (2003-0204) comprises materials separated from the Bobbye S. Ortiz Papers and consists of one series; the accession number 2003-0204 was assigned to this grouping. Viki Ortiz's political and intellectual interests can be gleaned from the topics in the Victoria Ortiz Subject Files Series, which has been divided into seven subseries to facilitate its use. The first three subseries contain newspaper and magazine articles, organizational materials, photographs, pamphlets, speeches, and reports related to Cuba, Mexico, and Latin America. Scholars of U.S. anticommunism and student movements in the 1960s may find of interest materials related to Ortiz's 1963 trip to Cuba, taken with 58 other college students in defiance of U.S. policy. Each subseries is organized alphabetically by topic or title.

The parallels and differences between Viki's and Bobbye's political interests are reflected in their subject files. Both maintained extensive collections of materials on international women's liberation; like her mother, Viki was most interested in the status of women in Latin American nations. Yet while they shared similar social values and political beliefs, Viki's interests often diverged from her mother's. Viki's general files reflect her involvement in International Year of the Woman activities and her interest in population control, as well as her interest in such topics as reproductive rights, family structure, and economic justice.

Viki's great interest in adoption and parenting grew out of her own experiences as a single adoptive parent of a Mexican-born child. The subseries on adoption and parenting includes newsletters and publications of organizations for single parents; research for a book on single adoptive parenting; and miscellaneous clippings, notes, and other materials on issues such as adoptive parenting, international adoption, and gay/lesbian parenting. These materials are arranged alphabetically by topic or title.

The final subseries contains Viki's extensive notes and other materials related to literature. This subseries is organized into coursework, general literature, and Latin American literature, and is arranged alphabetically therein.

The addition (2003-0066) consists primarily of professional and subject files documenting Ortiz's law career, writings, and feminist and social activism. Her work on the literature and women's issues of Latin America are particularly well-represented. Portions of this addition are closed to use until 2050.

Addition (05-024) (3759 items, 7.7 lin. ft.; dated 1923-1997 and n.d) comprises research materials pertaining to gender, women, and the law; artist Elizabeth Catlett; and experimentation with LSD by the U.S. military. Includes family documents about Camilo, Ortiz's adopted son; teaching materials; files from CUNY law school; correspondence, appointment calendars; videotapes; travel diaries; photographs, printed material; and ephemera. This addition is closed to use until 2050.

Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.