a project by Andrea Geyer. 2012 - ongoing

Vita Sackville-West (1892–1962) was an accomplished author and gardener born into the British aristocracy. She was known for her writing as well as for the design of Sissinghurst Castle Garden at her estate. Sackville-West began writing at an early age and composed multiple works before the age of eighteen. With the freedom of an open marriage, Sackville-West had numerous affairs with women, including the novelists Violet Trefusis and Virginia Woolf. She became involved with Trefusis as a teenager and would often dress as a man in order to accompany Trefusis in public. Her novel Challenge refers to their relationship; the main character, Julian, was named after Sackville-West’s nickname when passing as a man. The intermingling of her romantic and creative lives pervaded her relationship with Virginia Woolf, whose novel Orlando was inspired by Sackville-West’s lifelong gender variance. In its original publication, Sackville-West appears as Orlando in many of the photo-illustrations. Sackville-West is best known for her novels The Edwardians (1930) and All Passions Spent (1931). In 1927 she was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for her narrative poem The Land, and in 1933, she became the only author to win the prize twice.

Katherine Linn Sage (1898–1963), usually known as Kay Sage, was an American surrealist artist and poet active between 1936 and 1963. Sage was born in Albany, New York, into a wealthy family, and in 1936 she moved to Europe and divorced her husband to begin an independent life as an artist in Paris. There her work was included in the Salon des Surindépendants show at the Porte de Versailles in the fall of 1938. In 1939 she fled from the war with her new husband, painter Yves Tanguy, to New York. She had several solo shows at the galleries of Julien Levy and, beginning in 1950, Catherine Viviano in New York yet never found recognition on par with that of her husband. After Tanguy’s sudden death, Sage struggled with health problems and depression and took her own life. Known mainly as a visual artist, she also wrote five volumes of poetry, including Faut dire c’qui est (1959), four short plays, and a posthumously published autobiography from 1955 called China Eggs (1996).

Olga Samaroff (1880–1948) was an accomplished concert pianist born in Texas. She was sent to study in P aris and Berlin when her family discovered her talent for playing piano. By 1905, at the age of twenty five, Samaroff self-produced her New York debut at Carnegie Hall and performed Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. This began her touring career of the United States and Europe. Samaroff became increasingly famous, befriending the likes of musical and literary royalty, including Dorothy Parker, and was the first pianist to perform all thirty-two Beethoven Sonatas in public. She began teaching at the Philadelphia Conservatory in 1924, and later joined the faculty at the Julliard School, where she taught for the rest of her life. After suffering a shoulder injury in 1925, Samaroff retired from performing and spent the rest of her professional life working as a critic and instructor. She developed a music study course for non-musicians, and became the first music teacher to be broadcast on NBC television. Her pupils included notable pianists Natalie Hinder as and Rosalyn Tureck.

Ethel Sands (1873–1962) was an American artist, art patron, and hostess to the cultural elite. Encouraged by John Singer Sargent, she studied in Paris under Eugène Carrière, where she met fellow artist Anna Hope Hudson (Nan), who would become her life partner. She predominantly produced still lifes and interior scenes of the home she shared with Hudson in France, and she first exhibited at Salon d’Automne in 1904. She was highly influenced by Walter Sickert, who invited her to join the Fitzroy Street Group in 1907, and she became one of the founding artists of the London Group. Both Hudson and Sands showed their work at Carfax Gallery; and Sands exhibited at the Women’s International Art Club and the New English Art Club as well. She is perhaps most remembered, however, for her gatherings of writers, artists, and thinkers at her homes in England and France. Members of the Bloomsbury Group made regular appearances at her home, as did Henry James, Roger Fry, and Augustus John. She became the inspiration for Henry James’s Madame de Mauves and Virginia Woolf’s short story “The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection.” During World War I, Sands and Hudson established a hospital in France, but in World War II their homes were bombed and looted, destroying much of their work. The surviving paintings were donated to the Tate and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Margaret Sanger (1879–1966) was a birth control activist. Because her mother had died young of cervical cancer, after eighteen pregnancies in just twenty-two years, Sanger was deeply inspired to pursue advocacy for women’s health issues. Her first foray into activism was the production of the monthly newsletter The Woman Rebel under the slogan “No Gods, No Masters.” She opened the first birth control clinic in 1916, despite it being illegal to distribute information on contraception. This led to her arrest, but her trial and appeal earned the cause much support. Sanger advocated for a woman’s right to determine when to start a family and for the prevention of dangerous illegal abortions. She founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, later known as Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She organized the first birth control clinic, made up entirely of female doctors, as well as another clinic in Harlem, staffed entirely by African-American practitioners. She spent much of her life lobbying for the legalization of contraception, which was realized in the Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). Sanger was even instrumental in the development of the birth control pill, convincing the philanthropist Katharine McCormick to provide funding for its development.

Helen Saunders (1885–1963) was an English painter and member of the Vorticist movement. Born in Ealing, London, she completed her studies at the Slade School of Art and later at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. She was one of the first non-figurative British artists, and exhibited at the Twentieth Century Art exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery in 1914. In 1915 she signed the Vorticist manifesto in the first edition of Blast magazine, and participated in the group’s inaugural exhibition. She and Jessica Dismorr were the only two female members, and though Saunders exhibited with the London Group in 1916, she began to move away from the avant-garde in the 1920s. Her later still lifes, landscapes, and portraits were shown with the Holborn Art Society, and she died tragically of accidental gas poisoning at her home in Holborn, London. The whereabouts of fewer than two hundred of her works are currently known.

Augusta Savage (1892–1962) was a successful artist, activist, and educator in the Harlem Renaissance. In the 1920s she studied art in New York City at the Cooper Union School of Art, graduating a year early. She was then awarded fellowships that allowed her to study and exhibit her work in Paris for two years, followed by a Carnegie Foundation grant that sponsored her travel across Germany, Belgium, and France for eight months. During the Harlem Renaissance, Augusta made a name for herself as a portrait sculptor, creating busts of leading African-Americans of the time. She established the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts in New York in 1932. She was appointed the first director of the Harlem Community Art Center and was commissioned by the New York World’s Fair of 1939 to create a sculpture symbolizing the musical contributions of African Americans. After lack of federal funding forced the Harlem Community Art Center to close during World War II, Savage founded the Salon of Contemporary Negro Art, the first gallery of its kind in Harlem.

Concetta Scaravaglione (1900–1975) was born in New York City in 1900 to a recently immigrated Italian American family. The youngest of nine children, she was free to follow her ambitions to become an artist. Scaravaglione began studying at the National Academy of Design at sixteen, where she won a number of medals. By the age of twenty-five, she was exhibiting her works and had begun a long teaching career. She taught at several schools, including Educational Alliance, the Master Institute, New York University, Black Mountain College, Sarah Lawrence College, and Vassar College. During the Great Depression, she was employed by the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, and in 1935 she won the Widener Gold Medal. Scaravaglione created a figure of a railway mailman for the Post Office Department and numerous sculptures for the New York World’s Fair of 1964–65. In addition to major commissions from the Federal Art Project, she received grants from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Prix de Rome award from the American Academy, the first to be given to a woman. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Glasgow Museum, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario.

Margarete Schall (1896–1939) was a Modernist painter. She attended the art schools of Kunowski (Düsseldorf) and Walther-Kurau (Dresden). In 1924 she moved with Florence Henri, her long-term partner, to a studio in Paris. Schall occasionally modeled for Henri’s work as well. From 1927 to 1928, she studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau, where she befriended Hinnerk and Lou Scheper.

Margarete Scheel (1881–1969) was born in Rostock to a family involved professionally in medicine. She, however, took a different path, pursuing her secondary education at an all-girls, private institution before traveling to Berlin to study art at the Museum of Decorative Arts Berlin and the Reimann School. When war broke out, she continued her education in Paris. After school she moved between Belgium, the Netherlands and Berlin, exhibiting at the Free Secession and publishing in German art magazines. Following her time in Northern Europe, she took her budding sculptural practice southward to Rome in 1914, working in private studios and participating in the Werkbund Exhibition. She transitioned into pottery, even opening her own pottery workshop in Rostock. Soon after she began working for the Berlin Art Council and held a position in the Association of Rockstock Artists, working closely with sculptor Hertha Von Guttenburg. Their projects together led to new commissions in buildings like the New Vocational School. Many of her works were destroyed during bomb raids in the modest studio she kept during the National Socialist era, and most of the surviving pieces can be found in her hometown, as public art and in the Rostock Museum.

Lou Scheper-Berkenkamp (1901–1976) was a German painter and color designer who studied at the Bauhaus in Weimer. After completing her foundational work at the institution, she began the mural painting workshop but left her own studies after marrying one of her colleagues. She played an active role in the Bauhaus Theater before moving to Moscow, where her husband set up an “Advisory Center for Color in Architecture and the Cityscape.” She returned to the Bauhaus in 1931, first in Dessau, then in Berlin. When the school closed in 1933, Scheper-Berkenkamp continued collaborating with her husband, creating illustrative narratives for his work, and began publishing her picturesque tales as children’s books in 1948. She exhibited frequently following the release of her books and was one of the founders of Der Ring, an association of Berlin architects. After the death of her husband, she took over his ongoing color design projects at the Egyptian Museum and State Library before her own death in 1976. Recently, two new editions of her books have been published by the Bauhaus Archive.

Charlotte Schetter was a close friend of Dorothy Draper, an American interior designer. Their correspondence from 1881 to 1941 is held in the Archives of American Art.

Galka Scheyer (1889–1945) was a German-American painter and art dealer. After studying English and painting across Europe, Scheyer began working as a painter in Brussels in 1916. She collected modernist painting and subsequently organized a number of group shows, attracting the attention of collector Louise Arensberg. In order to promote her business to Hollywood collectors, Scheyer relocated to Los Angeles, lending works to be used as props in films. While there, Scheyer became friends with heiress Aline Barnsdall and painter Lucretia Van Horn. Much of her collection is now housed at the Pasadena Art Museum, as well as the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.

Katherine Schmidt (1898–1978) was a still-life painter from New York City. She joined the Whitney Studio Club about 1920 and became close to Juliana Force. She advocated for federal and state government support of the arts.

Rose Schneiderman (1882–1972) was a feminist and labor activist who emigrated from Poland to New York City when she was eight years old. Her family moved to Montreal in 1902, where she became interested in trade unions and radical politics. Soon after Schneiderman returned to New York City and began organizing fellow women garment workers. She quickly became one of the most prominent members of the Women’s Trade Union League and helped document unsafe working conditions among New York City’s sweatshops. Schneiderman ran for U.S. Senate in 1920 as a Labor Party candidate, calling for worker housing, better local schools, publicly owned power utilities, and state-funded health and unemployment insurance for all citizens. Schneiderman was a member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and saw the issue of woman’s suffrage as a key to economic rights. Her connection to both the women’s and labor movement continued with her coining of the phrase “Bread and Roses” within a 1912 speech: “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.” Schneiderman had a long-term relationship with fellow working-class woman Maud O’Farrell Swartz until Swartz died in 1937.

Margarete Schubert was a Berlin-based artist and member of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, a Dada-inspired Workers’ Art Council that was founded in 1919.

Nettie Rogers Schuler (1865–1939), suffragist and clubwoman, was one of only two women to have served as president of both the New York State and the New York City Federation of Women’s Clubs. In 1908 as president of the Western New York Foundation of Women’s Clubs, she addressed the annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1909 the 32,000-member Western Federation, the first chapter in the national federation to admit suffrage clubs as affiliates, passed a resolution in support of woman suffrage. That same year the New York legislature held hearings on the issue of woman suffrage, and Shuler was a member of the delegation that advocated on behalf of a suffr age amendment to the state constitution. In 1917 Shuler was chosen by NAWSA president Carrie Chapman Catt to become the association’s corresponding secretary. Shuler continued to participate in the New York state campaigns, building up support that was fundamental to congressional passage of the suffrage amendment. After the 19th Amendment was passed, Shuler and Catt continued to work together, publishing Woman Suffrage and Politics, a short, narrative history of the suffrage campaign.

Dorothea Schwarz (1893–1986) was a sculptor and part of a close-knit group of New York artists who attended the Art Students League, including Peggy Bacon and Anne Rector. Born in Brooklyn, Schwarz’s childhood was plagued by illness, and she spent the majority of her time at home. She took painting and art classes as a teenager, but it was when a friend gifted her modeling clay that an artist was born. Schwarz’s work is rooted in representational sculpture, with ties to nature, femininity, and animals. She found her footing in the art world during an exhibition at the National Academy of Design, New York, in 1914. She was featured in shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. She often associated herself with women artists and politics, campaigning with close friend Yasuo Kuniyoshi against fascism. She was a primary member of the Artists Equity Association, which worked to bring new rights to American artists.

Helma Schwitters (1890–1944) appeared in many works made by her husband, Dadaist Kurt Schwitters. She spent much of her life separated from her family during both World Wars. Her husband and son fled Germany in 1937, leaving Schwitters to manage the estate in Hanover. In 1939 she met with her son and husband in Oslo to celebrate her mother-in-law’s birthday and her son’s engagement; this was the last time she saw them in person. Though she and her husband corresponded by mail intermittently, she did not live to see the war’s end or to reunite with her husband.

Evelyn Scott (1893–1963) was an American playwright and poet whose modernist and experimental work was often published under the pseudonyms Ernest Souza and Elsie Dunn. Her critical works alluded to her southern heritage and poems like “After Youth” are rich with detailed narratives. A large collection of her manuscripts are housed at the University of Tennessee.

Janet Scudder (1869–1940) was an American sculptor known for elaborate fountains influenced by her Parisian escapades. In her early years she resided in Chicago and worked as a studio apprentice to sculptor Lorado Taft. While there, Scudder made sculpture for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and created a vibrant network of artists. She traveled to Paris, where she studied and worked before moving to New York City. In New York Scudder received commissions from the New York Bar Association and architectural committees. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Luxembourg Museum both owned sculptures and fountains made by Scudder. She traveled frequently between France and the United States where she was active in charity organizations including the Red Cross and YMCA during World War I. Later in life, she experimented with painting, exhibiting at the National Academy of Design, New York, in 1933.

Florence Guy Seabury (1881–1951) was a writer and member of the Heterodoxy, a feminist debate group based in Greenwich Village. Seabury’s essays, collected in The Delicatessens Husband & Other Essays (1926), were notable for their humorist takes on the roles of both men and women in the 1920s.

Sarah Choate Sears (1858–1935) was a photographer and art collector from the Boston area. Her family members were prominent Boston socialites, and her connections provided her the means to study painting at Cowles Art School and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She traveled throughout Europe with friends Mary Cassatt and Gertrude Stein; under their guidance, she began a collection of early Impressionist works. Her watercolors earned her attention at several exhibitions at the turn of the century, but it was for her work in photography that she was primarily known as an artist. She had started taking photographs in 1890 and soon after was presenting her work at local salons. She joined the Boston Camera Club in 1892 and was awarded a solo show there in 1899. After the publication of two of her photographs in Camera Work in 1907, she lost interest in photography, but continued painting for the remainder of her life.

Ruth Crawford Seeger  (1901–1953) was an influential composer, one of the “ultramoderns” of the 1920s and ’30s who developed American avant-garde music. In the 1920s she composed Nine Piano Preludes, Suite No. 2 for Piano and Strings, and Five Songs to poems by Carl Sandburg, which are noted for their expressive qualities. Four Diaphonic Suites, String Quartet, and Suite for Wind Quintet are often cited as her most defining musical contributions. Beginning in the early 1930s Seeger began concentrating more on collecting American folk music than on composing. In 1950 she returned to composition. Seeger’s music showcased an original approach to register, dynamics, and rhythm, using counterpoint and harmony to enhance the dimensional aspects of her compositions.

Marcella Sembrich (1858–1935) was a Polish coloratura soprano who sang leading roles in European and American opera. From 1898 to 1909 she was a regular member of the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York. She continued performing as a concert singer after her retirement from the operatic stage. Sembrich also became an instructor of singing at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School of Music, acting as mentor to many pupils who later gained recognition in their own right, including Josephine Antoine, Natalie Bodanya, and Alma Gluck.

Margaret Severn (1901–1997) was a dancer in the early twentieth century. She began her career as a ballet dancer but soon switched to more lyrical choreography, aided by W. T. Benda, whose masks she donned in her acclaimed performances of the Greenwich Village Follies. Severn was often typecast as a dancer in 1920s films, and it was perhaps due to her deeply developed understanding of dance that Ruth St. Denis chose to capture her in motion in the photographic piece Portrait of Margaret Severn. Severn toured internationally and produced all aspects of her performances, from costume designs to backdrop paintings. In 1982, Peter Lipskis created a film about her work entitled Dance Masks: the World of Margaret Severn that was released at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823–1893) was a lawyer, journalist, teacher, activist, and publisher born to freed slaves in Delaware. Her parents relocated to West Chester, Pennsylvania, where in 1840 she opened a school for black children. Threatened by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, which required the return of captured fugitive slaves in the North to bondage by law, Shadd Cary and her brother moved to Windsor, Ontario. While in Ontario she founded a school for the children of fugitive slaves and began publishing the Provincial Freeman, an abolitionist newspaper, in 1853. She returned to the United States in 1860 and recruited volunteers for the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, Shadd Cary taught in public schools in Wilmington and Washington, D.C., and attended Howard University School of Law. When she graduated in 1883 she became the second black woman to earn a law degree in the United States. During the women’s suffrage movement, Shadd Cary worked with the National Woman Suffrage Association where she was an activist alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. She was also the first black woman to cast a vote in a national election.

Dorothy Shakespear (1886–1973) was raised in London by her father, Henry Shakespear, a London solicitor, and her mother, Olivia Shakespear, an art patron and novelist. Shakespear married Ezra Pound in 1914 after a long courtship, having been introduced to Pound and W. B. Yeats by her mother. Shakespear began her career as a painter with a nineteenth-century lens, but Pound influenced her to expand her ideas about painting and its function in society. She designed notices and book covers for the Vorticists, and her work was featured in Blast, a short-lived but powerful literary magazine of the Vorticist movement. Having traveled to Paris and southern France with T. S. Eliot, the couple decided to move there permanently in 1921. Shakespear was also the business manager for Exile, a literary magazine that published Pound and other writers like Hemingway. Shakespear was influential in Pound’s life and was involved in the circulation of ideas between the poets, writers, and artists of the modernist movement.

Anna Howard Shaw (1847–1919) was born in Britain and settled with her family in Michigan. After the Civil War, Shaw graduated from the Methodist institution Albion College. While studying at Boston University, where she was the only woman in her class, she became an advocate for women’s political rights and was invited to chair the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Her work in the union included working for women’s suffrage in order to gain support for temperance legislation. While involved with American Women’s Suffrage Association, Shaw met National American Woman Suffrage Association member Susan B. Anthony who encouraged her to join. Shaw played an instrumental role in merging the two groups, promoting unity within the movement for women’s suffrage. Serving as the NAWSA president for eleven years, Shaw resigned after feeling pressure to support militant activist tactics. She was replaced by her friend and ally Carrie Chapman Catt. Shaw passed away in Moylan, Pennsylvania, at the home she shared with her companion Lucy Anthony (niece of Susan B. Anthony) at the age of seventy two, just two months before the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Mary Shaw (1854–1929) was a feminist who utilized her acting talents as a vehicle to create change. She was involved in several controversial plays, including Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts and Hedda Gabler. She also played a role in Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw, Candida, Votes for Women, Divorce, and a multitude of other plays centralized around female suffrage. After her last three plays she toured and wrote articles about theater, transitioning into a life advocating for women’s rights. Shaw helped found the Professional Women’s League in 1892, and she founded the Gamut Club in 1913, a woman’s organization that strove to create space for “an aristocracy of brains” and a meeting place for busy career-women. The club supported serious endeavors in women’s rights such as the “dress strike” that was started by the Women’s Political Union in 1912. The group also took part in the Women’s Peace Parade of 1914, when over 1,500 women marched New York City. Shaw also worked with Jessie Bonstelle to found the Women’s National Theatre, which allowed male performers though the management was primarily female.

Mrs. John S. Sheppard was a social welfare worker who was elected chairman of the New York State branch of the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform. Sheppard believed that her social welfare strategies were unsuccessful due to prohibition, and she advocated for the repeal the 18th Amendment. Sheppard was also the chairman of the Membership Committee at the Museum of Modern Art. In January 1933 the committee arranged a poster competition for senior high school students in support of abolishing the 18th Amendment. She also wrote frequently about her viewpoints on prohibition.

Marjorie Sherlock (1897–1973) was a British visual artist known for her landscapes. She attended the Slade School, Westminster School of Art, and the Royal College of Art, and also studied under artists Walter Sickert and Malcolm Osborne. Sherlock was one of the first female artists to join the London Group, which facilitated alternative spaces and galleries for artists in London. Her etchings and oil paintings showed complex scenes from London as well as Egypt, Germany, and India.

Rowena Shoemaker (1918–1984) was the assistant director of the Play Schools Association, which worked with the New York Branch of the National Association of College Women and the Utopia Neighborhood Club to open the first all-day day care center in Harlem for children aged five to twelve years old. In her capacity as assistant director, Shoemaker helped write and publish a series of pamphlets, bulletins, and guides to play, including “Program Planning for Bus Trips” (1953), “All in Play” (1958), and “Trips: New York City and Out-of-Town” (1969). She also reviewed toys for Popular Science Monthly magazine.

Alma Siedhoff-Buscher (1899–1944) was trained in crafts at the Reimann School and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin. In 1922 she joined the Bauhaus and initially attended the introductory course taught by Johannes Itten and classes by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. She was subsequently accepted to the weaving workshop, but in 1923, under the guidance of Georg Muche and Josef Hartwig, Siedhoff-Buscher switched to the wood sculpture workshop. In conjunction with the major Bauhaus exhibition of 1923, she designed the furnishings of the children’s room in the Haus Am Horn as well as a puppet theater and children’s toys. In 1924 her furniture designs and toys were displayed at the exhibition for the conference of professional organization for kindergarten teachers, youth leaders, and day-care providers. Siedhoff-Buscher moved with the Bauhaus to Dessau in 1925 and continued to work there after graduation. In 1927, her last year in Dessau, she designed coloring books and cut-out kits for the publisher Verlag Otto Maier Ravensburg. Thereafter she traveled with her husband, who was an actor and had two children. Siedhoff-Buscher was the victim of a bombing raid in Buchschlag near Frankfurt am Main.

Clara E. Sipprell (1885–1975) was a Canadian-American photographer, known for her landscapes and portraits of famous actors, artists, writers, and scientists. At the age of sixteen, she left school and devoted her time to photography, learning contemporary photographic techniques using glass plate and platinum paper. Her early exhibitions were at the Buffalo Camera Club at a time when its membership was closed to women. Her first New York show was at Teachers College, Columbia University, and she subsequently opened a studio in Greenwich Village. She was influenced by the work of several New York photographers including Gertrude Käsebier and Alice Boughton. She became a member of the Pictorial Photographers of America, the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, and the Arts Club of Washington. Many famous personalities came to her for portraits including Pearl Buck, Malvina Hoffman, and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as many musicians and composers. Her cityscape New York—Old and New was one of the first photographs acquired by MoMA in 1932. Soon after moving to Vermont in 1937, Sipprell met Phyllis Fenner, a writer and librarian who would become her companion for the remainder of her life.

Bessie Smith (1894–1937), the “Empress of the Blues,” was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She began her performing at the age of nine on street corners with her siblings to provide for her family. Her professional career began in 1912 when she was cast in a traveling show that included popular blues singer Ma Rainey. Smith was known for her fiery and strong willed nature, along with her fierce loyalty to those around her. Steadily building a following for herself and her performances, Smith landed a major breakthrough recording deal in 1923 when she was hired as a recording artist for Columbia Records. She went on to make over 160 records and at the height of her career was earning $2,000 per week. She owned her own private railway car for touring. Like several notable women blues singers, Smith often engaged in lesbian relationships, including a volatile affair in 1926 with chorus girl Lillian Simpson. She was preparing for a post-Depression comeback with major recording sessions planned, when she was killed in a car accident in 1937.

Clara Smith (1894–1935) was an African-American blues singer. She was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, and moved to New York in 1923. Described as the “Queen of the Moaners,” she made her first commercially successful series of gramophone recordings that same year for Columbia Records. She recorded two duets with Bessie Smith, and the they became close friends. Smith was often accompanied by Fletcher Henderson on piano during her early records; her later records featured famous musicians like Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, James P. Johnson, Joe Smith, Charlie Green, and Don Redman. She performed throughout the country, headlining in West Coast and Harlem revues during her prime years. If some sources are to be believed, she even had a brief affair with Josephine Baker, whom she taught the nuances of the vocal craft. Though the Great Depression had a major impact on black vaudeville and the recording industry, ending many careers, Smith continued to record and perform until 1932.

Hilda Worthington Smith (1888–1984) was a labor and civil rights advocate, educator, and poet. She became interested in suffrage and social work while attending Bryn Mawr College, where she later held a position as dean and the first director of the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry. In 1924 Worthington Smith relocated the offices for the summer school to New York City, and in 1927 she cofounded the Affiliated Schools for Workers, which would later become the American Labor Education Service. From 1934 to 1936 she directed the She-She-She Camps, a program of resident camps for unemployed women initiated by Eleanor Roosevelt and modeled after her resident workers’ schools. As a director of the Workers’ Service Program for the Works Progress Administration in 1939, she worked to place unemployed teachers with organizations looking for instructors with federal sponsorship. Worthington Smith’s autobiography, Opening Vistas in Workers’ Education, was published in 1978 and two books of her poetry, Castle of Dream and Poems, were published in 1910 and 1964, respectively.

Maime Smith (1883–1946) was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress. She performed primarily jazz and blues and was the first African-American artist to make a vocal blues recording in 1920. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Smith found work in a touring act at just ten years old and began dancing in Salem Tutt Whitney’s Smart Set by the time she was a teenager. In 1913 she moved to Harlem to sing in clubs. Her first recording, for the songs “That Thing Called Love” and “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” on Okeh Records, was the first time a black, blues singer was recorded. Despite boycott threats against the record company, the record was commercially successful and Smith went on to an even bigger hit, “Crazy Blues,” which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994. Smith opened doors for other black singers and precipitated a sharp increase in the popularity of “race records.” She toured the United States and Europe as Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds, often billed as the “Queen of the Blues.” Smith appeared in the early sound film Jailhouse Blues, shortly before retiring in 1931. She returned to performing in order to appear in a string of films in the 1940s.

Pamela Colman Smith (1878–1951) was a British artist, illustrator, and writer best known for designing the Rider-Waite deck of tarot cards. She was born in London, but her family traveled between Jamaica, London, and Brooklyn for many years. They settled in Brooklyn when she was 15, where she attended Pratt Institute. Smith left Pratt only months before graduating, and became an illustrator. Returning to England in 1899, Smith pursued theatrical design as well as her illustration work. She opened her own studio in London in 1901 and held weekly open houses attended by many in the London arts scene. Later that year, Smith joined the spiritual group Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn who commissioned her to illustrate a tarot deck that would appeal to the art world. Smith’s deck has become the most popular tarot deck sold in the English speaking world and has been used as the basis for the design of many following decks. Her intuitive painting practice earned the attention of the New York avant-garde, receiving the first solo show for a painter at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 gallery, then known as Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession.

Anita “Neta” Snook (1896–1991) was a pioneering aviator who became the first woman aviator in Iowa, the first woman accepted to study at the Curtiss Flying School in Virginia, and the first woman aviator to run her own commercial airfield. She is best known, however, for being the woman who taught Amelia Earhart to fly. Earhart began taking lessons with Snook in 1921, and the two became friends. Snook later became the first woman to enter a men’s air race at the Los Angeles Speedway in 1921 and came in fifth. She retired from aviation at the age of twenty-five in 1922, but after Earhart disappeared during her flight in 1937, Snook began lecturing on her aviation career and published her autobiography, I Taught Amelia to Fly. She died one year before being inducted into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame.

Maria Carlota Costallat de Macedo Soares (1910–1967) was a self-trained, Brazilian architect. As a member of a prominent political family in Rio de Janeiro, she was invited to spearhead the development of Flamingo Park, a public park in the city. “Lota,” as she was known, had a relationship with American poet Elizabeth Bishop from 1951 to 1967. Their relationship was portrayed in the Brazilian film Reaching for the Moon (based on Rare and Commonplace Flowers, a book by Carmen Lucia de Oliveira) and in the book The More I Owe You by American author Michael Sledge. Bishop wrote most of her great poems while living with Soares during their years together. From 1960 to 1966 Soares designed, landscaped, and supervised the construction of Flamingo Park, funded by the regional government. The phrase “reaching for the moon” refers to the towering lampposts she designed to illuminate the park with the effect of moonlight. The park was a reflection of her passion, energy, and capacity of decision-making, but her obsessive dedication to the project brought an end to her relationship with Bishop. In 1967, Soares joined Bishop in New York to work on their relationship, after a period of extensive hospitalization for a nervous breakdown; she took an overdose of tranquilizers, however, and died several days later.

Solita Solano (1888–1975) was an American writer, journalist, poet, and drama editor. She lived in Paris during the 1920s and met many literary figures, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Solano, however, tended to keep within the intellectual-lesbian circles of the city. Her literary works include The Uncertain Feast (1924), The Happy Failure (1925), This Way Up (1927), and Statue in a Field (1934). Solano worked as a reporter for the Boston Herald-Traveler, then the New York Tribune, and was the first woman to hold a position of drama editor and critic at a major U.S. newspaper. After World War II, Solita returned to France where she spent the rest of her life.

Suzy Solidor (1900–1983) was a French singer, actress, and nightclub owner, who played muse for a number of artists, including Tamara de Lempicka, Francis Picabia, and Francis Bacon. Born Suzanne Louise Marie Marion, she changed her name to Suzy Solidor when she moved to Paris in 1929. She immersed herself in the artistic community and in the early 1930s became involved with Tamara de Lempicka. De Lempicka’s art deco portrait of Solidor in the nude remains the most famous portrait of the actress. The painting—acquired in 1973 under the condition that it remained in the permanent exhibition—hangs in a museum in Haut de Cagnes that houses Solidar’s art collection, which consists solely of artworks with herself as the subject.

Ré Soupault (1901–1996), born Meta Erna Niemeyer, was a European photographer, translator, and a member of the European avant-garde of the 1920s. She attended the Bauhaus School in Weimar from 1921 to 1925. She left Berlin after her training and established bases in Paris and New York, where she mingled with artists and filmmakers including Man Ray, Fernand Léger, Kiki de Montparnasse, and Alberto Giacometti. Soupault’s journalistic work began in fashion and soon expanded to travel reports and photojournalism, documenting her experiences from all over the world. From 1934 to 1952, Soupault collaborated with her second husband, Surrealist Philippe Soupault, to capture their journeys with a Leica and 6x6 and 4x4 Rolleiflex cameras. This period marked her most important works of photojournalism, portraits, and scenes of everyday life in Re’s career. In 1954, Soupault’s translation of Das Gesamtwerk by Comte de Lautréamont, previously considered untranslatable, was successfully published. From the mid-1950s, Soupault continued her artistic pursuits in Paris, where she remained until her death. At the end of the 1980s, photographic work comprised of about fifteen hundred negatives and some one hundred fifty vintage prints initially believed lost were rediscovered and published.

Harriet Speckart worked as a medical assistant to Marie Equi, a physician and suffragist. Speckart and Equi began a friendship and relationship that defied odds during their time. They adopted an infant girl and raised the child together from 1906 until their relationship in 1921.

Eulalie Spence (1894–1981), a writer, teacher, and actress, was born in the British West Indies but grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her family lived in poverty but her mother was had an independent nature that served as a wonderful role model for Spence. She went on to graduate with a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She began her career as a public school teacher in 1918 and spent over thirty years teaching English and Drama at Eastern District High School in Brooklyn. Spence was also an active writer, and her play Foreign Mail came in second place in the popular Krigwa playwriting contest. Founded by prominent members of the NAACP, the Krigwa Players often had an activist bent to their theater productions, but Spence preferred to provide entertainment rather than propaganda with her playwriting. Previously overshadowed by more prominent male African-American playwrights, Spence’s work has recently begun to be rediscovered alongside other lesser known African-American female writers.

Anne Spencer (1882–1975) was an American poet and civil-rights activist who participated in the New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance. She was the first African-American to be published in the Norton Anthology of American Poetry. She was also an activist for equality and education. She grew up in West Virginia and graduated from the Virginia Seminary in 1899 as valedictorian. She lived in Lynchburg, Virginia, for the rest of her life, and as her poetry grew in popularity she became more and more involved with her local community, working to improve the lives of African-Americans. The local chapter of the NAACP was founded in her home. Over thirty of her poems were published in her lifetime, and her work has notably been included in the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women.

Mrs. Irving D. Speyer was a member of the Utopia Neighborhood Club, a Harlem-based women’s social service organization. She was the chairwoman of the executive committee and a white member of the interracial staff at the Utopia Children’s Center, a progressive daycare center in Harlem.

Maria Spiridonova (1884–1941) was a female Russian revolutionary; she led a life of imprisonment, torture, and immense fame. As a dentistry student in Moscow, Spiridonova first came into conflict with the law when she was arrested during a student demonstration. She had an allegiance with the Socialist Revolutionary Party, she fought in the name of the Russian peasants. When police repressed a peasant uprising, Spiridonova took matters into her own hands and murdered a notorious district security chief, Gavril Luzhenovsky. The authorities physically abused Spiridonova once she was caught, and the courts sentenced her death by hanging. The sentence, however, was later changed to lifetime in exile in Siberia. In 1917 Spiridonova was released from exile. She returned to acts of peasant anarchism and caught the attention of Louise Bryant, a sympathetic American journalist who interviewed her for her novel, Six Months in Russia. Bryant wrote, “If she were not such a clear thinker and so inspired a person, her leadership of the physical giants would be ludicrous. Spirodonova is barely five feet tall. . . . I have not met a woman her equal in any country.” In 1919 Spiridonova was arrested and sent to a mental asylum following a series of attempted terrorist attacks on the Bolsheviks, and in 1941 the aged Spiridonova was executed. In 1992 she was
officially exonerated of all charges.

Ruth St. Denis (1879–1968) was a key figure in both American modern dance and American sacred dance. From the beginning of her career in the early 1900s, St. Denis incorporated dance forms from diverse world cultural and spiritual traditions. Denishawn, the dance company she founded, popularized dance as a performing art and trained a whole generation of American dancers, including Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey. At Adelphi University, St. Denis helped found the nation’s first college dance program. In her later years, she explored dance as a form of religious and spiritual expression.

Lotte Stam-Beese (1903–1988) was a German urban planner and architect. She attended the Bauhaus school in 1926 after working in the weaving facilities of the Deutsche Werkstätten (German workshops) in Dresden. At the Weimar Bauhaus Stam-Beese worked under Josef Albers and Wassily Kandinsky, eventually gaining admission to the newly developed architecture department. She was the first woman to work under Hannes Meyer, a renowned Swiss architect. Their teacher-pupil relationship led to a romantic entanglement, and Stam-Beese moved to Russia with Meyer in 1930. Her professional and personal life flourished when she met Mart Stam, a Dutch architect, in Moscow. She left for Amsterdam with Stam in 1935 and ran her own architectural firm until 1938. Stam-Beese received her diploma at the College of Architecture in 1944 and taught at the Academy of Architecture and Urban Planning in Amsterdam. She was involved in various projects in multiple districts in Rotterdam and in 1947 created the first car-free street in the Netherlands.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) was the architect and author of the women’s rights movement’s most important strategies and documents. While in London in 1840, Stanton met Lucretia Mott, the Quaker teacher who served in many of the associated Temperance, Anti-Slavery, and Women’s Rights organizations with which Stanton was associated. Mott discussed with Stanton the need for a convention on women’s rights and together they made the plan to call the first women’s rights convention in 1848. This initiated the women’s rights movement in the United States and Stanton’s leadership role. Unwilling to commit to a vigorous travel schedule until her children were grown, Stanton wrote many of her speeches for delivery by Susan B. Anthony, whom she had met at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1851. Almost thirty years later, Stanton co-authored the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States, which Anthony presented, uninvited, at the Centennial Celebration in Washington. Later in her career Stanton focused increasingly on social reforms related to women’s concerns other than suffrage. She is regarded as one of the major forces in the drive toward equal rights for women in the United States and throughout the world.

Ellen Gates Starr (1859–1948) was a social reformer and activist born in Laona, Illinois. She studied at the Rockford Female Seminary, where she met her partner, Jane Addams. Addams and Starr founded Hull House, a center for child care and continuing education for adults. Starr was involved with campaigning for the reform of child labor laws in Chicago and was a member of the Women’s Trade Union League where she helped to organize strikes for garment workers on multiple occasions. She taught English literature in affected areas of Chicago to children who were without access to education.

Emma Stebbins (1815–1882) was among the first notable American woman sculptors. Raised in a wealthy New York family, she was encouraged in her pursuit of art from an early age. In 1857, she moved to Rome where she moved in with sculptor Harriet Hosmer, who had established herself there in 1852. It was here, where she met and fell in love with actress Charlotte Cushman, and quickly became involved in the bohemian and feminist lesbian lifestyle, which was more tolerated in Rome at the time, than it would have been back in New York. Cushman and Stebbins began spending time in a circle that included African American/Native American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, many celebrities, and fellow lesbians that included Harriet Hosmer. In this environment, the women flourished without regard for showing outward affection for one another. One of Stebbins' early commissions was a portrait bust of Cushman. When in 1869 Cushman developed breast cancer, Stebbins devoted all her time to nursing her lover, ignoring her work. When the couple returned to the United States in 1876, Cushman died of pneumonia. Following her death, Stebbins never produced another sculpture. She released the correspondence, Charlotte Cushman: Her Letters and Memories of Her Life in 1878. Stebbins died in New York in 1882, at the age of 67.

Milly Steger (1881–1948) was a German sculptor educated at a boarding school in London. While there, she took instruction in painting and decided to become an artist. From 1903 to 1906, she received private training in Dusseldorf, as women were not currently allowed to attend the arts academy. She moved to Berlin in 1908, where she began teaching at the Academy of the Ladies Society of Berlin Artists. Steger was invited to Copenhagen in 1910, where she was commissioned to create the first large-scale architectural sculpture for the city, creating four statues of women for the facade of the Hagen Theater. She completed a number of other public commissions until World War I. Returning to Berlin in 1917, Steger spent much of the rest of her life teaching drawing and sculpture. Notable avant-garde patron Katherine Dreier collected her work, but much of Steger’s unsold work was lost when her studio was destroyed during World War II. Just before her death in 1948, Steger was named the honorary president of the Democratic Women’s League of Germany.

Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was an American writer and poet born to wealthy German-Jewish immigrants. Stein attended Radcliffe College and later enrolled at Johns Hopkins University to study medicine. Before receiving a degree, Stein left school and moved to Paris in 1903 with her partner Alice B. Toklas. Their home on the Left Bank soon became an influential gathering spot for many young artists and writers. Her friendships grew to include writers Djuana Barnes and Mina Loy, as well as patrons Mabel Dodge and Mildred Aldrich. Her first book, Three Lives, was published in 1909, followed by Tender Buttons in 1914. Tender Buttons clearly showed the effect modern painting had on her writing. In these small prose poems, images and phrases come together in often surprising ways—similar in manner to Cubist painting. Her writing received considerable interest from other artists and writers but did not find a wide audience. Despite being of Jewish descent, Stein remained in France throughout World War II and voiced support for the Vichy regime, believing her wealth and notoriety would let her avoid persecution. Stein survived the war but died at the American Hospital at Neuilly in 1946 due to inoperable cancer.

Sarah Stein (1870–1953) was an American art collector born in 1870 to a wealthy German merchant family based in San Francisco. Her contributions to art started in the early 1900s after marrying into the Stein family, influential patrons for Parisian avant-garde art. Following in the footsteps of her sister-in-law, Gertrude Stein, she and her husband, Michael Stein, moved to Paris in 1903 where they met important artists, writers, and thinkers of the early twentieth century. Sarah Stein jumpstarted Henri Matisse’s career by persuading Leo Stein to purchase his controversial piece Women with a Hat (1905). By 1906 Sarah Stein primarily collected Matisse’s work and soon became the artist’s confidante. Despite her departure from Paris in 1935, their deep friendship lasted until her death. Through Stein’s travels and eventual return to San Francisco, she became the first to bring Matisse to America and helped the other Steins introduce modernist art to Western Europe and America. A loving portrait of Stein by Matisse made in 1916 currently resides at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, along with Woman with a Hat, the work that had so captivated her.

Kate Steinitz (1889–1975), a painter, art historian, and collector, grew up in Berlin. She attended drawing classes with Käthe Kollwitz as well as the Women’s Painting School of Lovis Corinth. Steinitz began painting pictures chiefly of her three daughters for “home use.” Her paintings and photographs were soon exhibited in Hanover as well as in New York. A notable member of the avant-garde, Steinitz was one of the many artists collected by patron Katherine Dreier. Under the Nuremberg racial laws, Steinitz was expelled from the Reich Literary Organization and forbidden to publish in 1935. She then immigrated to the United States and began working as a freelance journalist and graphic artist. She became a U.S. citizen in 1944 and moved to Los Angeles the following year, where she took a position at the Leonardo da Vinci Library. In the following years, she was expanded the library into the world’s foremost Leonardo collection and published catalogs highly prized among experts. In 1969 she was awarded the highest honor for a Da Vinci specialist—an invitation to deliver the annual festival lecture in Vinci, Italy.

Varvara Stepanova (1894–1958) was a Russian artist and one of the founding members of the First Working Group of Constructivists in 1921. She received an arts education in Odessa, hoping to move beyond her peasant upbringing. She lived in Moscow during the Russian Revolution and became close friends with many members of the Russian avant-garde. In the years before the revolution, Cubism and Italian Futurism, along with traditional peasant art, influenced many artists, including Stepanova and her fellow Constructivist Lyubov Popova. She designed costumes and sets for avant-garde productions and became a textile and graphic designer with the intention of bringing technology and industry together with art.

Karin Stephen (1890–1953) was a British psychologist and psychoanalyst who found her calling after her interaction with the famous Bloomsbury Group, an informal network of artists, writers, and intellectuals. Stephen was raised by her Quaker grandmother and educated at Newnham College in Cambridge. Within the Bloomsbury Group, she discovered her interest in psychoanalysis and met her husband, Adrian Stephen, the younger brother of Virginia Woolf. Stephen and her husband pursued their medical degrees and then their psychology specializations together. By 1926 Stephen was a certified doctor and psychoanalyst, and in 1931 she became a full member of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She published The Misuse of the Mind in 1922 and Psychoanalysis and Medicine: A Study of the Wish to Fall Ill in 1933. Stephen had suffered from severe deafness since she was a student but over the years her condition worsened. Her manic depression, her husband’s death in 1948, and her deteriorating health led her to commit suicide in 1953.

Grete Stern (1904–1999) was a German-born photographer who helped modernize the arts in Argentina, where she nationalized as a citizen in 1958. After studying graphic arts in Germany, she changed her focus to photography and relocated to Berlin where she took private photography lessons. It was there that she met fellow student Ellen Auerbach, with whom she founded the critically acclaimed photography and design studio Ringl+Pit, known for their innovative work in advertising. Stern continued her studies at the Bauhaus photography workshop but moved to England due to the political climate of Nazi Germany and continued her collaboration with Auerbach from a studio there. She first traveled to Argentina in the mid 1930s with her husband and fellow photographer, Horacio Coppola, where they mounted what Sur magazine called “Argentina’s first modern photography exhibition.” Comprised of photographs produced in Germany and the United Kingdon, the presented works ranged from portraits and landscapes to advertising photographs and collages. Stern’s unconventional work featured elements such as montage, flat lighting, and untouched negatives, and her modernist sensibility helped to found the modernist art movement in Argentina. She ran a studio with Coppola in Buenos Aires, but after their divorce in 1943 she began exhibiting on her own internationally. Stern went on to direct the photography workshop of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes on 1956. She retired from photography in 1985.

Hedda Sterne (1910–2011) was an artist best remembered as the only woman in a group of Abstract Expressionists known as “The Irascibles,” which included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko. In her artistic endeavors she created a body of work known for exhibiting a stubborn independence from styles and trends, including Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, with which she is often associated. Sterne has been almost completely overlooked in art-historical narratives of the postwar American art scene. At the time of her death, possibly the last surviving artist of the first generation of the New York School, Sterne viewed her widely varied works more as in flux than as definitive statements. Her works are in the collections of museums including MoMA in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, also in Washington, D.C.

Marie Sterner (1880–1953) was a gallerist and art dealer based in New York who was instrumental in advancing the careers of American artists in the early twentieth century. She opened her first gallery in 1923 and exhibited, among others, Florine Stettheimer and Hedda Sterne.

Leta Stetter (1886–1939) was an American psychologist who made significant contributions to clinical and educational psychology, as well as the psychology of women. After growing up in Nebraska in an emotionally abusive household, Stetter excelled at school and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1906. She began her professional career as a teacher in Nebraska’s public schools but moved with her husband to New York City, where married women were not allowed to teach. Bored and frustrated, she enrolled in Columbia University in 1911 to study education and sociology. She received her master’s degree in education in 1913 and began working at the Clearing House for Mental Defectives shortly thereafter. Stetter went on to be hired as the chief of the psychological lab at Bellevue Hospital as well as a consulting psychologist for the New York Police Department. Stetter earned her Ph.D. with a dissertation on the subject of women’s supposed mental incapacity during menstruation. She conducted a scientific experiment testing both women’s and men’s performance on various cognitive, perceptual, and motor tasks every day for three months, concluding that there was no scientific link between decreased performance and menstruation. Stetter also took a strong stance on the education of “gifted” children, a term she coined, asserting that they should not be isolated from other children but that a special curriculum should be developed to suit their needs. Stetter wrote many articles on psychological factors impacting the social standing of women, and many of her books became leading textbooks in the field.

Carrie Stettheimer (1869–1944) was one of three daughters born to a wealthy family in Rochester, New York. After spending much of her childhood in Europe, she and her family returned to New York City at the start of World War I. The Stettheimer home became a popular salon for New York’s writers, artists, and intellectuals. While Stettheimer largely managed their household, she also undertook a project to replicate the family home in miniature. She worked on the ambitious dollhouse for over twenty years, even enlisting artist friends to create miniatures of their work to decorate the house. The work is currently on permanent display at the Museum of the City of New York.

Ettie Stettheimer (1875–1955) was one of three daughters to a German Jewish family who lived in Rochester, New York. She and her sisters, Carrie and Florine, were known socialites amongst the artistic and intellectual community, hosting an influential salon at their home; they were also artists in their own right. Stettheimer graduated from Barnard in 1896 and received a master’s degree in psychology in 1898. She then went on to receive her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Freiburg in 1908. Stettheimer published her first books, Philosophy, in 1917, and her second, Love Days, in 1923, under the pseudonym Henrie Waste, a compression of her full name, Henrietta Walter Stettheimer. Love Days is considered a feminist novel, and it insists that romantic love is inconsistent with a woman’s self-realization. After the deaths of her sisters, Stettheimer spent most of her time organizing their sisters’ affairs. She arranged for their art works to be given to some of the important museums in America and approved several posthumous exhibitions of Florine’s work. In 1949 Stettheimer published a book of Florine’s poems, Crystal Flowers. In 1951 she published her own Memorial Volume, which included her previously published works as well as her dissertation on William James and four short stories.

Florine Stettheimer (1871–1944) was a member of a wealthy and influential assimilated Jewish family who frequently moved between Europe and America. Stettheimer began her formal art training in 1892 at the Art Students League of New York. Her early work reflects academic training tempered by a bright palette and pronounced brushstrokes that attest to her exposure to post- Impressionism during her family’s travels in Europe. Stettheimer maintained the stance of the detached observer, recording events for the private pleasure of friends and family. She seldom showed her work, and never sold it. In 1934 she designed the sets and costumes for Gertrude Stein’s avant-garde opera Four Saints in Three Acts. Her best-known works are four paintings celebrating modern life in New York with wit and irony: Cathedrals of Broadway (1929), Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue (1931), Cathedrals of Wall Street (1939), and Cathedrals of Art (1942), all owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In her poems and in her paintings, Stettheimer described a world in which people define themselves by the things that surround them, rather than by their internal values or beliefs.

Doris Stevens (1892–1963) was a prominent figure in the American suffrage movement. Before joining the suffrage, Stevens worked as a social worker and teacher. In 1914 she joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) as its executive secretary and organized the first convention of women voters in 1915 at the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. When the National Women’s Party (NWP) was formed in 1915 as a rival group of NAWSA, one committed to shaming President Woodrow Wilson’s administration into supporting the suffrage movement through public protests outside the White House, Stevens joined. In 1916 she was on the first executive board of the NWP and was the vice-chairman of their New York branch. When the United States entered World War I, Stevens argued that it was hypocritical for the United Stated to fight for democracy abroad when their own women where not included in democracy. She was arrested in 1917 for picketing and was sentenced to sixty days at Occoquan Workhouse, though she served only three days. Stevens continued to protest and in 1920 she was arrested, along with six other women, for marching to the New York Metropolitan Opera House to demand that President Wilson call a special session of Congress to vote on suffrage. Almost two hundred police officers and onlookers attacked and beat the women. Three weeks later, the 19th Amendment was passed. Her book Jailed For Freedom (1920) gave an account of her campaign; after its publication she continued to serve on a number of organizations concerned with women’s rights.

Francis Simpson Stevens (1894–1976) was an American painter who exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show. Largely influenced by Italian Futurism, Stevens’s work often represented action and motion. In 1913, she rented a studio in Florence from Mina Loy and was the only American artist to show at Sprovieri’s Esposizione Libera Futurista Internazionale of 1914. She left Florence that summer and returned to New York where she exhibited her work and was met with positive reviews. She continued painting but dropped out of public view some time after 1919.

Gunta Stölzl (1897–1983) was an influential textile artist born in Munich and studied decorative arts before taking leave from her studies to serve as a nurse during World War I. When she returned to school she read the Bauhaus manifesto and decided to continue her studies at the newly formed school. Due to strong gender roles at the school, she was relegated to the “women’s department” which was primarily the textile workshop. Seeing her instructor’s disinterest in developing its facilities, she traveled to Italy for further inspiration and took dyeing courses in Germany. With these skills, she was able to reopen the dyeing studio at the Weimar Bauhaus. In 1925, Stölzl became its only female master and played a key role in developing their weaving program. She wanted the program to deviate from its original notions of “women’s departments” and accordingly integrated theories of modern art and industrial design materials into its curriculum. Under political pressure from the Nazis, she was forced to resign in 1931. She later opened her own hand-weaving business in Zurich and designed mainly textiles for interior design. Her work appears in the collections of MoMA, the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Thelma Johnson Streat (1911–1959) was an African-American artist, dancer, and educator whose groundbreaking work made her the first African-American woman to have a painting collected by the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to showing at MoMA, Streat’s work has been exhibited at the American Contemporary Art Gallery, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. She created her most famous painting, Rabbit Man in 1941 (now a part of MoMA’s permanent collection) during her time as a WPA artist at the “Pickle Factory” in San Francisco. During this time, Streat worked with Diego Rivera on the Pan American Unity Mural for Treasure Island’s Golden Gate International Exhibition. Rivera praised her as “one of the most interesting manifestations in this country at the present.” She was threatened by the Klan for her painting Death of a Negro Sailor (1943), which depicted an African-American sailor dying after fighting to protect the rights he did not himself enjoy. Streat traveled to Haiti, Mexico, and Canada to study traditional indigenous dances; she returned a performance artist of sorts who became one of the first visual artists to perform interpretive dance in front of her art. She even performed at Buckingham Palace in 1950. With her husband, William Kline, Streat founded the Children’s City Art School of Hawaii and the Children’s Education Project as part of her effort to teach cultural understanding rather than bigotry.

Lucy Stone (1818–1893) was an American orator, abolitionist, suffragist and was a strong and vocal advocate for women’s rights. She was born in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. In 1839, Stone went to Mount Holyoke Seminary for one term, then enrolled in Oberlin Collage in Ohio four years later. In 1847 she became the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a bachelor’s degree. Stone then went onto work with the American Anti-Slavery Society. It is at this society that Stone hones her public speaking skills and becomes widely recognized. In 1850, Stone helped to initiate the first national Women’s Rights Convention in Worchester, Massachusetts and continued to support this convention annually. In 1858, Stone reminded Americans of the “no taxation without representation” principle; her refusal to pay property taxes was met with the publicized impoundment and sale of household goods. At the end of the Civil War, she went to Kansas to work on the referendum for suffrage. She also served as president of the New Jersey Women Suffrage Association and from there, helped organize the New England association. Stone lives to see the end of slavery, but dies thirty years before women are permitted the vote. Her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell continues from her mothers work is a key figure in the Suffrage movement.

Marie Stopes (1880–1958) was an author, best known for her 1918 book Married Love: A Book for Married Couples. Revolutionary and controversial, the book approached sex, intimacy, and love with a open, honest approach; it is considered to be one of the first sex manuals. The founder of the first birth control clinic in Britain, Stopes edited the newsletter Birth Control News, answering readers’ questions with explicit practical advice. Stopes earned a doctorate in science from the University of London, becoming the youngest woman in Great Britain to have a doctorate, and a Ph.D. in paleobotany in 1904.

Anne Sullivan (1866–1936) was an American educator who was best known for teaching Helen Keller. Sullivan was born in Freeding Hills, Massachusetts to Irish immigrant parents. Sullivan grew up in impoverished conditions, and struggled with health problems. At the age of five, she contracted an eye disease called trachoma, which severely damaged her sight. Her mother died while she was young and her father abandoned her and her two siblings. They were sent to Tewksbury Almshouse, a home for the poor, where she met a state official who was inspecting Tewksbury almshouse, and spoke to him about her education. She was then allowed to leave and enroll in the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts. While at Perkins, she had several eye surgeries, which improved her sight, and in 1886, she graduated valedictorian from her class. In 1887, Sullivan was asked by the Keller family to teach their deaf, blind, and mute daughter, Helen, to which she accepted. The two began a life long bond. Sullivan was Helen Keller’s educator for thirteen years and in 1900, accompanied her to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Keller was admitted to Radcliffe College. Sullivan went with Keller to every class, spelling into her hand all the lectures, demonstrations, and assignments. When Keller received her Bachelor of Arts degree, it was a triumph for both women. In 1930, Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania wanted to recognize Sullivan and Keller’s achievements with honorary degrees. Keller accepted but Sullivan refused. She reluctantly accepted the oftter in 1931, at the urging of Keller and other friends.

Mary Quinn Sullivan (1877–1939) was an influential modern art collector as well as one of the primary founders of MoMA. She studied at Pratt Institute beginning in 1899 and became an art teacher in Queens soon thereafter. She studied art school curriculums across Europe with the help of the New York Board of Education and was thus exposed to much of the Impressionist and post-Impressionist art movements. While living in Brooklyn, she befriended fellow collector Katherine Dreier, and together they studied master paintings in Europe. Sullivan even briefly lived with the Dreier sisters, who were social reformers and suffragettes. Later Sullivan would entertain many artists, writers, and politicians at her private home in Queens. Her philanthropic pursuits included donating to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. During the 1920s Sullivan befriended fellow arts patrons Lillie Bliss and Abby Rockefeller, with whom she helped develop a plan for a new museum of modern art in New York City. In 1932 she also opened her own gallery in midtown and employed the young Betty Parsons.

Vida Ravenscroft Sutton (1878–1956) was an American playwright, vocal teacher, and radio producer. She was member of the Heterodoxy group, a feminist debate society based in Greenwich Village, and the New Theater Company in New York. Sutton spent her early career performing as an actress and singer, later writing historical and biblical plays intended for churches or other community groups. She went on to direct plays and organize the Oneonta Playhouse in Tannersville, New York. Sutton spent her later career working for the NBC Radio program The Magic of Speech and served as the network’s speech and diction instructor in the 1930s.

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