Linda Stein

“All of a sudden Wonder Woman came to mind…I’m making these figures to be defenders of the vulnerable.”

Interviewed by Penny Stoil, VFA board

PS: Linda Stein we’re in your studio surrounded by your Women Warriors from your “Fluidity of Gender” series as well as other series. Tell us when you first called yourself a feminist artist.

LS: I don’t think I knew the word feminist – feminism back in those days – but I think I always was a feminist. I remember going to hear Betty Friedan, who spoke at Cooper Union in 1963. I was 20 years old and I was enthralled with her and just thought everything she said was magnificent.

And I remember there were people in the audience who said – one man stood up and said – “But if we have women’s equality – then what about bathrooms?” You know, everybody will use the same bathroom. And Betty Friedan answered him. And then another man stood up and said – “Well in the subways then men shouldn’t get up from their seats and let women have their seats right?” And Betty Friedan answered him. And so I became more and more of a feminist indeed – though I may never have used that word. And I think when my art became feminist, people really associated my artwork with that word feminism.

Something Very Extraordinary Took Place.

I was here in my studio. The police came in – rushed in and said get out of here. Just all of you – we were working on my art. Just get out of here – don’t even lock the door and start running up Church Street. So here we were. We were scared obviously. We just ran out of the building – started going up Church Street.

September, 11, 2001 – A very sunny Tuesday morning at about 20 to 9:00. I saw debris all over the place – everything was filled with white coming out of everywhere and everyone was running. I gave one of my assistants 20 dollars and said buy a radio – buy what you can. No stores were open – nothing was open. We just kept running with the crowd. And then my studio manager at the time said – let’s run all the way north. And I thought – no – let’s not run north because they bombed the south. I thought it was a bomb. They bombed the south probably going to bomb the north next. I don’t think we should run north.

And I Remember Not Being Really Afraid – Just Being Seeped with Adrenaline. 

And for a whole day we went up town. I had a friend on East 84th Street. It took me until about ten after five to get up to East 84th Street. I tell you this, because this is the setting for my work becoming feminist. How so? When I got there at that apartment and still didn’t know what was happening – I couldn’t come back here for eight months. I couldn’t – my apartment is four blocks from the studio I couldn’t come back to my apartment for eight months. I came back just to look at it but I didn’t live in my apartment for eight months. The items in my apartment – couch, mattress, furniture, carpeting, window treatment all had to be thrown out.

The Red Cross came in I remember and cleaned my books. That was the only thing they didn’t demand that I threw out. They came in and they cleaned every book I had up on the shelf, one by one. It was an amazing time. This street here – Reed Street – no cars came until December 21st – cars weren’t allowed on this street. People had to show passports or drivers licenses to cross the street.

I didn’t do my sculpture for almost a year. And when I started doing my solo sculpture again I thought I would do abstract work as I had been doing up until then. But all of a sudden my abstract work had a waist – had shoulders and looked figurative and I just stared at it completely surprised and said – my gosh it looks like warriors. The work looks like armor.

What Am I Doing? – I’m a Pacifist – I’m Not a Warrior.

When I jog, I jog around anthills. What’s happening here? And then all of a sudden Wonder Woman came to mind. It was maybe a year after I was doing my work and just the image of Wonder Woman came to me and I started drawing her and I refined the comic book Wonder Woman so that she stood standing still with her arms at her side her legs close together. And to me she looked like a sentinel – like a defender.

And I thought yes, that’s what I’m doing. I’m making these figures to be defenders. Defenders of the vulnerable and protectors, and so my work then took on a social justice stance and a feminist stand. Because here I was choosing a female warrior, a female defender – Wonder Woman – to be the foil, so to speak, for my own fears.

And what happened to me when I was a little kid was that I had these recurring dreams. I’m sure many people have had recurring dreams. In my dreams I was always running from the bad guys. So the whole dream would be me running with them chasing me, trying to catch me. They never caught me – but I woke up pretty tired in the morning because the whole dream was running. So here I was in these recurring dreams as a kid running for safety. And here it was on this sunny Tuesday that I was running for safety and protection for an entire day.

At one point as I was running, I turned around and said – why are they throwing furniture off the trade tower. And then I realized that it wasn’t furniture. And another point I turned around and just saw the tower go – swish – straight down completely folding in itself. And it didn’t tilt. It just came straight down. Months later I was going for surgery and had a dream  – woke up from the dream – went to the bathroom and fainted for a moment because it was just after surgery and I was a little tipsy and only took a second to fall down on one knee.

But as I fell down – straight without tilting – I felt like the trade tower. This was months later and as I fell to my knee – I didn’t get hurt – I was aware of being totally straight and feeling like the trade tower – months later. And to this day if I walk by a very tall building I feel as if maybe I have a gun or someone else has a gun that could shoot that building down and it too would go straight down.

So this was the background from which I started making my warriors and defenders. And slowly it became a traveling exhibition called the “Fluidity of Gender” and was involved with masculinity and femininity. So this series the “Fluidity of Gender” became a traveling exhibition in 2010 and has since that time traveled to more than 35 museums and universities around the country.

Wonder Woman Has Become the Foil for My Fears in Seeking Safety and Protection.

PS:  To challenge stereotypes you will also use other pop culture items besides Wonder Woman. Can you explain?

LS: Yes, challenging stereotypes is very important to me. I want people to think in terms of the fluidity of gender between femininity and masculinity. I want them to think in terms of parts of themselves being what’s called masculine and feminine. My art is pretty androgynous and so I choose cultural pop culture icons such as Princess Mononoke. People have heard of her perhaps from Anime. It’s a full-length feature from Anime and she is going to save the environment.

So this is a way I could draw in young people to my art as well as older people. This is an adult movie, not just a children’s movie, called Princess Mononoke and this character is one of my icons that I include in my art. Another one is Nausicaa also from Anime. Nausicaa is a young character who is saving the downtrodden and the vulnerable and she does it in such a soft manner. And she converts the bad guys and talks down the monsters that want to kill.

And I just tell people how I wish we could do that in our world today with all the Putins and all the tyrants in the world today who have been intimidating people. Could we talk them down? I’m not sure we can in today’s world.

Another character I use is Lisbeth Salander. She’s from “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and she’s a very interesting character because she starts a conversation about protection. Because she also includes aggression and sometimes violence. So there are people who would say – oh no we can’t use Lisbeth Salander because she’s been violent. But one has to think of why and how and start this conversation. I think it’s very good for a social justice talk that we all need to have.

Another one is Storm. I don’t know if you know her. She’s from X Men comics and I use her in my artwork. She combines superhero power with compassion more than perhaps any other superhero. And she’s a superhero of color. I like that too. We don’t often see superheroes of color. The last one I’ve been using is Lady Gaga who needs no introduction at all. What is she?

She Represents Gutsiness, Assertiveness, Power and All the Things that Feminists Seek and Encourage Women to Feel.

So those are the icons that I combine in my art with everything else.  Of course Wonder Woman is there primarily, but I use the other icons too. And there’s one other – a religious icon called Kwannon, an Asian goddess of mercy and protection and people turn to her when seeking solace. So these are all ways to start a conversation about bullying and bigotry and masculinity and femininity and empathy for the other.

PS: Linda, what are the most powerful themes of your pioneering art and how do you explore them?

LS: My themes have always to do with the other – respecting and accepting the other. So my arts about racism, sexism, trans and homophobia, classism, ableism – it’s all about encouraging people to step up and be up standers rather than bystanders. It encourages people to notice when someone is being abused and harassed. Isn’t that what we’re currently in our time now talking about? And this is what my art is about.

She Is My Hero

PS: In that vein, you coined the four Bs. What are they?

LS: I coined the four Bs in order to have this conversation. So the four B’s are the Bully, the Bullied, Bystander and Brave Up-stander. I think we’ve all been at least one of these, taken on one of these roles in our lifetime. And what I’d like is to inspire the audience – the participant, the viewer of my work into thinking about that on a daily basis. So let me give you an example.

I gave a workshop in Santa Barbara [to] about 45 or 50 young people – nine year olds – [who] were asked in advance of my coming to give that workshop to choose a hero. But the title was – “She is My Hero”. So they had to choose a female hero. They chose a hero and the teachers prepared them. They were asked to get pictures, get trinkets and bring them into their art class before I came and be prepared to make a collage about a hero.

So I got there. I gave a talk first and then I spoke to these nine year olds and the curators of the museum at that time told me, “You put a microphone in a 9 year old’s hand and don’t worry Linda, with a microphone a nine year old’s going to answer any question you have. So just feel comfortable about asking any question and you’re going to get a lot of hands raised for your answer.”

So I went there. There were parents in the room. There were crayons and collage materials and art supplies on each of the tables. And I said, “Who is your hero?” And they raised their hands – Alphea Gibson, a superhero, an astronaut, their grandmother, their friend in class. They gave me the names of the heroes.  And then I said – “Well hero. What is a hero? What words would you use to define hero?” And again they all raised their hands. You got to be smart. You got to be strong. You got to be courageous. One said – You got to be kind. I said – those are good words to use for hero.

And then I asked – “Were you ever a hero?” And there was a pause and a little 9 year old girl raised her hand,  took the microphone in her hand and said, “Well when Betsy was beating on Kevin and she made fun and used nasty words to Kevin. I went over to Betsy and said – cut that out – don’t be a bully. And then I went over to Kevin and said – Kevin don’t listen to Betsy – I’ll be your friend.” And then she put her hands on her hip – with a microphone in one hand and said – “I guess I was a hero.” And this is what my art and my teaching – and we have a whole educational committee – is about.

PS:  Can you describe body swapping and how the participant takes on a new avatar?

LS: I use body swapping as a way to infuse a little magic in my work. Maybe much of it is magic. But when somebody puts on my sculpture and looks in the mirror – there are always lots of mirrors in my studio for people to look into. They feel differently. They tell me they feel differently. They say very unusual things. They move around differently. They’re looking in the mirror and they’re taking different poses.

Most of them are strong poses and they’re saying things like – one high school student said – “If I’m wearing this sculpture when my boyfriend wanted have sex with me without a condom I’d much better be able to tell him – No you can’t.” And one woman in her late 70s said – “If I had this on while I was walking in the street later at night I would feel much safer – I would like to wear this.”  And everyone said something differently putting on the sculpture, because it kind of gives people an opportunity to pretend.

And if they just go along with it and let their mind wander and not be too self-conscious, we can watch them make these various changes. And for a while we filmed people coming into the studio doing this. Elizabeth Sakla said, “Sure you can film me wearing your sculpture but I’d like to bring boxing gloves. I’m taking boxing lessons,” and I said fine.

So I went and got another pair of boxing gloves and what could I use for a punching bag I thought?  And then I thought you know those long laundry bags or those bags you take to take clothes on trips – a long one. I filled it up with towels – I hung it from the ceiling. And as Elizabeth and I were punching into the punching bag she would look in the mirror and she would tell me what she was feeling and she felt stronger.

And it’s a pretend. But it helped people to think about what it could be like – wearing this new avatar – to behave in a different way. You know they say if you take an empowering position – if you just stand like this – with arms out for two minutes and look in the mirror, if you’re going to see your boss and ask for a raise or something like that, that’s all it takes. And there is this thinking that if you pretend you’re brave you really have a good chance of becoming brave.

Just One Word

PS: Protection is a haunting issue that you continue to address. How did this start?

LS: I’ve always been interested in protection. I told you about the recurring dream that I had as a kid and I always felt – even as I was growing up that I was being watched or maybe it even turned to persecution at some times – by people that were dangerous. And I read Revolution Within by Gloria Steinem when it first came out. And in it she said to choose one word that you felt you were missing in your childhood. Just one word. So I ask the viewer now to choose one word – not tell us. But my word was protection and that is something that I’ve sought probably for my whole life and have found a good deal of protection as an adult.

Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females

LS: “Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females” – the second part of that title is Tapestries and Sculpture. And in this series I’ve I think naturally progressed from seeking protection on an everyday basis to seeking protection at a time when it was in such short supply during the Holocaust. My gosh how these vulnerable people were abused and tortured and murdered with very little protection around at all. So the Holocaust I think was very natural for me to turn to while I was thinking about these things.

I started making tapestries that included 10 women. The men have been talked about and [written about] in history books, but the women who were heroes at the time of the Holocaust are not very well known. I did so much research. I read every book I could get my hands on. I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – twice. I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Nazi Officer’s Wife, biographies of savers. Hundreds of books I would say and articles about the Holocaust.

And from my research I chose 10 women that represented different faces of the Holocaust. Some joined the military, some like Anne Frank – the only one that everybody knows – just poured her heart out into diaries and her diaries were my introduction to the Holocaust. I first learned about World War II and this horrific time by reading about it through Anne Frank’s diaries.

So Anne Frank’s the only one that’s known. Some know Hannah Senesh some know Hadassah Rosensaft but most never even heard of these women and they saved thousands and thousands of lives. One was Nancy Wake who was magnificently beautiful and wonderfully rich with her husband living in Paris in a villa. And she gave all that up. She could have lived out her life in luxury.

She gave all that up as a young beautiful wealthy grand dame in town to at first bring secrets back and forth. And they didn’t touch her because she was so well known in town. She was the big woman in the town. They didn’t bother her. And then one day she said goodbye to her husband got on her bike as she did usually every morning and they had made up the night before that she was coming back. She was going to ride that bike to the trenches where a whole group of men in the ditches – that she would command – would help take people through the French Alps to safety.

She gave up this very easy life to become a hero. And I always use the word hero rather than heroine in my work because in my mind there’s kind of like a movie clip that goes around with the word heroine and what do I see in that movie? I see the girl roped to the railroad tracks screaming for help – waiting to be saved by the gallant lad who comes and saves her just in the nick of time as the train is coming – so I can’t use the word heroine. I feel that these women are heroes and the same with the word fierce. I don’t relate it to violence. I relate that word to a hunger to help someone, a determination to right a wrong.

PS: There are two simple objects that you use very often.

What Is the Deep Meaning Behind Spoons and Shells?

LS: This traveling exhibit called “Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females” has 10 tapestries. Each tapestry is about one female hero. It has a large 8-foot protective sculpture of black leather and next to that black leather sculpture is a Wonder Woman shadow. And it has 20 of what I call “spoon to shell” box sculptures and these box sculptures contain always a spoon and a shell. They become metaphors for abuse and for the mask that people had to wear during the Holocaust in concentration camps.

So here’s the spoon. The spoon, which is a nurturing tool, an everyday tool that one thinks of with positive feelings was like gold during the Holocaust. If you had a spoon it meant that when they passed around that filthy urn with watery gruel you didn’t have to sip from the rim of this urn – you could dip into the middle of it and take that gruel out of the middle. There was no real food but everyone felt that the rim had tuberculosis germs and everybody hated putting their lips against that rim.

So if you had a spoon in a concentration camp, which few people had – it was the ultimate luxury. The other fact that you have to know is during the Holocaust nobody talked about sexual abuse.

So Many Women Were Being Abused As Well As Men But Nobody Talked About It.

I heard stories where husbands didn’t want to take their wives back. Even a rabbi didn’t want to take his wife back because he considered her damaged goods. So nobody talked about sexual abuse. I read a book coauthored by Rochelle Saidel about sexual abuse during the time of the Holocaust. It sat on my table for a year before I could open it up. I opened it and read an interview that one essay had.

And in the interview, the woman being asked about her knowledge of sexual abuse mainly said, “Oh I know nothing about sexual abuse during the Holocaust.” She was a survivor in a concentration camp and in the next breath she says, “Well when I was in Camp C this worker came over to me and presented me with a box. I look at the box. I open it and it’s a spoon and I say oh thank you thank you so much.” A spoon.

“And he looks at me and he says – well when can we meet. So I knew it was in return for sexual favors. I took the spoon, she says, and I threw it at him without thinking. And then I said oh my god what did I do. He’s going to hit me – hurt me – kill me. I ran to the corner and thinking he was going to come after me but I saw him just walk over to another woman give her the box say a few words. The woman shook her head said yes” – and that was a spoon. So here was this instrument of nurturing that was used in order to have sexual abuse over and over and over during the Holocaust.

Now the shell. Elie Wiesel wrote a book called Night. And in it he describes being in the concentration camp and sitting stone still with a shell of a face  – a mask. He tried not to even blink his eyes, while next to him his father was being brutally tortured. Beaten senselessly and he had to sit there with a shell of a face. I couldn’t get that out of my mind. And so my box sculptures are called “Spoon to Shell” and they have various other items but they always have a spoon and a shell.

The Meaning of the Series 

PS:  From the Holocaust series you then created another series about displacement. Is that right?

LS: Yes. We have the “Fluidity of Gender” series. We have the Holocaust series and that Holocaust series led to a series you see behind me called “Displacement From Home”. What to leave, what to take – cabinets, cupboards, cases and closets and so you see drawers that are opening and closing and different kinds of objects that signify all these drawers open and closed. And they signify what?

They signify if you were waiting to get out of a war torn country and you were waiting for the person who was going to take you out and all of a sudden there’s a knock on the door and somebody says – “Okay the boat is waiting.” You have five minutes. Take one valise or just put what you can in your pockets leave everything else. In some cases people couldn’t take a valise because they had to sneak out and if they took a valise the guards would know that they’re trying to escape. So they were told just put in your pockets what you can.

In fact some were told not to take any pictures because if they took pictures of their loved ones or of family or friends or house then the guards if they were searched would know they were trying to escape. So I think about what I would take – what I would leave. And sometimes we have workshops with kids  [pretending they] are adults and they’re asked if you could take only one thing – what would you take?

What does the apartment or house look like after you leave it in such a rush? After you scramble around to take the few items with you? And what does your new place look like when you take these articles and try to put them in some order. So my work is about thinking of these items – these torn or broken disparate items that form the memories that we have of where we were and the reality of where we are.

Have Art: Will Travel! 

PS: During the second wave you founded a nonprofit organization – Have Art: Will Travel! What was it like then? And now how has that organization evolved?

LS: I started it when I was artist in residence in a high school and a school district so it included elementary junior and senior high school on Long Island. I had taught at Deer Park High School for 7 years and then told my Chairman I was leaving to do my artwork. And he said well we’ll find this position for you. So I was artist in residence and I created Have Art: Will Travel! in 1972.

And at that time I took high school students – I set up events all over town and senior citizen homes in junior or elementary schools, community centers and I gave each student a table on which they could exhibit their work and they had to make little signs saying what their work was – a description. And they could sell their work. So there had to be prices next to each piece and they could teach their work.

One girl I remember was exhibiting and selling pottery. She had with her a potter’s wheel where she could actually make pottery and allow the visitors to try it and she would teach how to do that. So that’s how Have Art:Will Travel! started in 1972.  It was incorporated in 1978 and now it’s the umbrella organization through which all these traveling exhibits are administered.

And we have an executive director and we have of fabulous board of directors which includes Gloria Steinem and Elizabeth Sackler and Abigail Disney, the grand daughter of the Disney’s and Michael Kimmel who’s a wonderful person talking about masculinities. Have Art: Will Travel! is mostly interested in education and inspiring people to be up-standers. So our educational curriculum team is made up of scholars from all over the country and they evaluate responses that we get from our workshops and they are there to help.

For instance when I was at the Hulta Museum in Helena, Montana a person from the curriculum team came after I gave a lecture and then left the next morning and she came and conducted workshops. And we’ve done that in Texas and all around the country. We published a book – published by Old City Publishing called Holocaust Heroes in which Gloria Steinem wrote the introduction and a major art historian Gail Levin wrote an essay. And Eva Fogelman, Ph.D., a psychologist specializing in the Holocaust wrote an essay. And scholars from all over the world wrote an essay on each of the ten heroes and the educational team did an essay at the end of the book.

The Stories of the Struggle Need to Be Told

PS:  Linda, you’re a board member of the Veteran Feminists of America. What does the VFA mean to you as a board member and perhaps even before.

LS:  I feel so very proud and privileged to be on the VFA board. The women in this organization, I feel, have done so much – have put in so much time and energy and expertise to making other women feel more inspired to be their authentic selves. I feel today that young people don’t really understand what older people – Veteran Feminists – have lived through.  Myself as a gay woman – I always felt – as a gay person I would say I always felt that being a woman was more of a roadblock to my advancement than being gay.  I’ve always felt that way.

So people might say – oh being gay must’ve held you back in various ways and certainly it did. It was a struggle as I was growing up. But being a woman I think had more of an effect on my advancement, my career and certainly personal advancement. You have to realize that at the time the art world was even more sexist than it is today and today it’s still pretty sexist.

And one of the one of the things I struggled with that made it hard was that I was a very talented athlete as well as a lover of school and the first in my family that went to college. So as an athlete and a girl that was an oxymoron. You couldn’t really be good at sports because if you went out with a boy the boy had to be better – smarter – stronger than the girl always.

So here’s what I would do. I would go out with a boy. And if we were playing ping-pong or tennis I would always throw the ping-pong or a tennis ball into the net. So the boy would always win. It wasn’t until I was 40 years old and playing tennis with Roy Lichtenstein and I was so thrilled to be playing with him – and he wasn’t really a good player. And I was feeding the ball to him so he could hit it back – and I was dreading that he would ask me to play tennis.

I sat with him and he did [ask me to play tennis] and then I said, “Linda what are you going to do. You’re 40 years old. Are you going to purposely hit the ball into the net now so he could win? Why – so he could like you?” I had this whole conversation in my head. And I said [to myself], “No, you can’t do this anymore. You have to play just the best you can and don’t worry about it. And if he doesn’t like you anymore that’s it.” And I did.

But you take that instance and how I acted on a first date with the boy I would sit there and say, “Oh, you’re a plumber. Tell me about it. What do you do with faucets and drains?” I mean this is what I thought I had to do to be feminine and to help the boy be masculine. So this is what I grew up with and when I tell people in my lectures that this is how I was as a kid – they say – No you’re joking! And the older people in the audience are just shaking their heads up and down.

So the VFA is so very important to archive what women went through at this time and it’s so important for young people to appreciate what VFA has done.

PS:  In that vein, you honor some of the leaders of the second wave in your Famous Print series. Who are they?

LS: I did a series called “Gender Scrambling” and in it I put women into different positions and men into different positions other than what is culturally encouraged. So I might have Eleanor Roosevelt in a bare chested masculine body and I might have other women in poses that are not typical.

And I have various VFA people in this series. There’s one where we have five women on the battlefield in armor. And [they are] Jacqui Ceballos, Muriel Fox, Eleanor Pam, Sheila Tobias and Barbara Love. I did a series called “Mood Portraits” with Gloria Steinem and Jacqui Ceballos. I think there was a portrait of her and a portrait of Muriel Fox. So I loved putting VFA people in in my artwork and will continue to do so.

The Future of Feminism in the Arts 

PS: Looking ahead, what do you hope for the future of feminism and especially for women in the arts?

LS: That’s such an important question. Thank you Penny. I think that sexism is still rampant today and you know how you could see it?  If you just Google some big galleries. What are the biggest galleries? Maybe Gagosian and Mary Boone and look at the artists on those websites – you’ll see maybe a stable of artists that the gallery has, containing 50 or 60 artists. How many women? Maybe five or six.

And one of the women I mentioned – Mary Boone – one of the gallerists, is a woman and still maybe of her 30 -35 artists, five or six [are] women. So it’s so hard. The odds today are so difficult. Today for women artists and the #MeToo movement has gone into this and not enough has been said about the harassment and abuse in the art world. Its coming up and Have Art: Will Travel! Inc. is going to be spending a lot of time talking about it.

We have a team of lawyers who are advising us. We have to be very careful of defamation and liability and we have to do it in a proper way. It’s very complicated but we must try to break this cycle in the art world of abuse, harassment and sexism. The higher up you go – the Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum – the higher up you go, the fewer females are exhibited.

Notice auctions at night. Nighttime auctions are more prestigious; more make more money in those auctions. Very few women are in evening auctions. The old boy network is alive and well and collectors are collecting fewer women.

Women are making a tenth sometimes 400 percent less than a man of equal quality. It’s very very difficult. I did a series called “Sexism” and in it – it had a longer title… it’s expanding, or exploding gender stereotypes or something like that. And in it, I had one tapestry called November 6 2015. And what was that tapestry about?

It was about the advertising in the New York Times art section and I looked at the ads. So expensive – the New York Times charges a fortune for ads. I looked in the ads on that day in 2015 and there were ads for artists throughout this section came to about 50 artists being advertised. All but one were men. 

Follow the Money

I would say where the money is – the men are. And then at the back of the New York Times arts section there was a section called free or inexpensive events. And there was a whole column of all the exhibitors and participants in these free and inexpensive events. You know, where you could take your family to a carnival or an art fair or something like that. And all the participants in this section were women or 95 percent women. Here’s where the women were allowed in – where no money was involved.

So Have Art: Will Travel! Inc. is working on this during the #MeToo movement and we’ve asked for responses from people who were abused and harassed. And we’ve gotten many many responses. And we’re working to see how we can go forward to help them. We look forward to this time when women are treated equally and represented in Congress as well as in the art world and everywhere else. And that will be the time when VFA and I and feminists everywhere will fulfill our dreams. I look forward to it.