a project by Andrea Geyer. 2012 - ongoing

Claude Cahun (1894–1954) was a French photographer, artist, and writer. Born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, she chose the name Cahun to avoid association with the avant-garde work of her father. Cahun began taking photographic self-portraits at eighteen, and in the early 1920s she moved to Paris with her partner Marcel Moore (Suzanne Mahlerbe). They collaborated often on their work and held salons in their home, which were attended by artists and literary figures like Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier. Cahun’s work, which dealt with issues of gender and sexuality and challenged social norms, spanned photography, collage, writing, and theater. She presented alternative visions of female identity and often addressed themes of androgyny, narcissism, and the female gaze. Cahun associated with the Surrealists and took part in left-wing political art projects. During World War II Cahun and Moore moved to Jersey, a British Crown Dependency off the Normandy coast, and became active in the resistance movement, distributing anti-Nazi flyers that undermined German authority in the area. They were arrested and jailed for their actions but were later released. Cahun died in 1954, having never fully recovered from her time in jail.

Mary Callery (1903–1977) was an American artist known for her modern and Abstract Expressionist sculpture. Mary Callery studied at the Art Students League of New York (1921–1925) with Edward McCartan and privately in Paris with Jacques Loutchansky. She resided in Paris part of each year and taught at the Black Mountain College. Her work was included in group exhibitions as early as 1939 at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Emma Calvé (1858–1942) was a French operatic soprano, best known for her performance as the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. One of the most famous female opera singers of the Belle Époque, she sang regularly at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and the Royal Opera House in London. Calvé began her training in Paris from Mathilde Marchesi, a retired German mezzo-soprano, and Manuel García. During a tour of Italy she was deeply impressed by the actress Eleonora Duse and closely observed her gestures and movements. Calvé made her operatic debut in 1881 in Gounod’s Faust at La Monnaie in Brussels. In 1891 she created the part of Suzel in L’amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni, later singing the role in Rome. She was chosen to appear as Santuzza in the French premiere of Cavalleria rusticana, which was viewed as one of her greatest performances. In 1894 she appeared as the lead role in Bizet’s Carmen at the Opéra- Comique in Paris. The city’s operagoers immediately hailed her as the greatest Carmen they had seen, a verdict other cities would later echo. She appeared with success in numerous other roles as well, among them, as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Lalla-Rookh, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and Camille in Zampa.

Edith Campendonk (1899–1987) was a Belgian painter influenced by Expressionism.

Jennie Amelia Vennerström Cannon (1869–1952) was an American artist who championed women’s equality in art communities across northern California. She received a master’s degree in art from Stanford University and later studied in New York with William Merritt Chase, whom she befriended and later persuaded to teach at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Cannon received both the Elliott Bronze Medal and the Langdon Prize from the National Academy of Design, and her art was sent on traveling exhibitions across the United States. She was instrumental in founding the Carmel Art Association and the California League of Fine Arts in Berkeley, and published art reviews for decades in regional newspapers.

Dora de Houghton Carrington (1893–1932), known generally as Carrington, was a British painter and decorative artist. She is remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group, in particular Lytton Strachey. The bohemian works and outlook of the Bloomsbury Group deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, and criticism, as well as modern attitudes towar ds feminism, pacifism, and sexuality. An accomplished painter of portraits and landscapes, Carrington also worked in applied and decorative arts, painting on any type of surface she had at hand, including inn signs, tiles, and furniture. She also designed the library at Ham Spray House, where she lived with Strachey and Ralph Partridge. She received little critical attention during her lifetime, but in 1970 a selection of letters and extracts from her diary was published; since then critical and popular appreciation of her work has risen sharply. Two of her works are in the Tate Gallery London, and her life was dramatized in the 1995 film Carrington.

Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) was a British-born Mexican Surrealist painter and novelist. From a wealthy background, Carrington was privately educated but was expelled from two schools for rebellious behavior. Her family sent her to an art academy in Florence but offered little support for her to pursue a career as an artist. She was drawn to Surrealist painting and began showing her work in New York in 1947. While living in France during World War II, she suffered a nervous breakdown and fled from psychiatric care to Mexico where she chronicled her experiences in the novel Down Below. She spent the rest of her life in Mexico. After exhibiting in an international survey of Surrealism as the only female English professional painter, Carrington quickly became a celebrity. Her paintings were exhibited with other prominent Surrealists, and in 2005 her work set the record for highest price paid at auction for a living Surrealist painter.

Dorothy Caruso (1893–1955) was an author from New York. Caruso wrote two biographies about her first husband, Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. The second book, Enrico Caruso—His Life And Death, was published in 1945 and was the source material for the 1951 film The Great Caruso. The following year Caruso also wrote an autobiography.

Elisabeth Luther Cary (1867 – 1936) was an American writer and art critic. Elisabeth was home-educated by her father, a publicist and from 1885–1898 she studied painting with local teachers. She became deeply interested in literature and began her career by publishing three translations from the French: Recollections of Middle Life (1893) by Francisque Sarcey, Russian Portraits (1895) by E. Melchior de Vogüé, and The Land of Tawny Beasts (1895) by “Pierre Maël”. Her first original work was published in 1898, a critical appreciation entitled Tennyson: His Homes, His Friends, and His Work. In 1904, she collaborated with Annie M. Jones to produce a book of recipes inspired by quotes from famous literary figures titled Books and My Food and only a year later she began publishing a monthly small art magazine called The Scrip. Her critical scheme placed emphasis on moral earnestness, refinement, and beauty of expression, values that informed her own writing as well as that of her subjects. After seeing a copy of The Scrip, the publisher of The New York Times offered Cary a job as an art critic. Throughout the next 28 years Cary made her review of the art scene an integral part of the Times. Her calm and conscientious reviews of gallery and museum shows over the years struck a consistent note of open-minded, genuine interest through the turmoil of early 20th-century art. After 1927 she focused on feature articles, writing often on printmaking, a field of particular interest to her. Following World War I, she helped encourage the founding of industrial arts schools and the introduction of machinery into the studio. She lived in Brooklyn her entire life and died of heat exhaustion in 1936.

Marchesa Luisa Casati  (1881–1957) was a wealthy Italian patron of the arts, known for her eccentricities and role as muse for numerous paintings and literary characters. Casati was known to have had an affair with painter Romaine Brooks, one of several artists who painted her portrait. She was notorious for her lavish parties, expensive clothes, and even a pair of cheetahs that she would walk on leash. By 1930 Casati had amassed over $25 million in debt and was forced to auction off her possessions. She died in London relatively penniless twenty-five years later. 

Lydia Cassatt (1837–1882) was the sister of Mary Cassatt and posed for many of her paintings. She was said to have had Bright’s Disease, a degenerative disease of the kidneys. The epitome of the Victorian maiden aunt, caring quietly and selflessly for those around her, she performed what anthropologists call “kinship work,” the largely invisible labor of nursing the sick, writing letters to relatives, and administering the household.

Mary Cassatt (1844–1926) was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to middle-class parents. They valued international travel and allowed Mary to travel throughout Europe, where she took her first drawing lessons and studied French and German. At fifteen Cassatt began studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but feeling she was not being treated equally as a female student, she withdrew and moved to Paris in 1866. There she studied with master teachers from the École de Beaux-Arts. In 1871 Cassatt’s paintings began to garner attention, yet her outspoken and critical nature alienated her from many Salon judges and critics. She was invited to show work with the Impressionists in 1879 and at the first Impressionist show in New York City. Highly influenced by the group, Cassatt began painting outdoors and focused on the lives of women and the relationship between mother and child. In 1891 she was commissioned by Bertha Palmer to paint a mural on the lives of modern women for the World’s Columbian Exposition. In 1915 Cassatt became a part of the women’s suffrage movement and showed over a dozen pieces in a show supporting the cause.

Anna Maria Augusta Cassel  (1860–1937) was a Swedish artist. She began her art studies at the Technical School in Stockholm completed them at the Stockholm Art Academy. Her paintings depict mainly the landscapes of northern Sweden, Stockholm, and Västmanland. She was one of five members of De Fem, a spiritualist group that met during the 1890s. Other members were Hilma af Klimt, Sigrid Hedman, Cornelia Cederberg, and Matilde N. Also called the Friday Group, they began as an ordinary spiritualist group that received messages through a psychograph (an instrument for recording spirit writings) or a trance medium. They met in each other’s homes and studios. During the Friday Group’s séances spirit leaders presented themselves by name and promised to help the group’s members in their spiritual training; such leaders are common in spiritualist literature and life. Through its spirit leaders the group was inspired to draw automatically in pencil, a technique that was not unusual at that time. When the hand moved automatically, the conscious will did not direct the pattern that developed on the paper, and, in theory, the women thus became artistic tools for their spirit leaders. In a series of sketchbooks, religious scenes and symbols were depicted in drawings made by the group collectively. Their drawing technique developed in such a way that abstract patterns—dependent on the free movement of the hand—became visible.

Willa Cather (1873–1947) is widely known for her narratives of immigrant and frontier life on the American plains. She grew up in Nebraska, a setting that had a large impact on her work, and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1894. Cather moved to Pittsburgh in 1896 to write for a women’s magazine and relocated to New York City in 1906 for a position at McClure’s Magazine. The publication serialized her first novel, Alexander’s Bridge (1912), to favorable reviews. Between 1913 and 1918 Cather published her Prairie Trilogy: O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Ántonia (1918). Soon thereafter, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922). Socially Cather had many strong friendships with women including opera singer Olive Fremstad, socialite Isabelle McClung, pianist Yalah Menuhin, and scholar Louise Pound. Cather lived for thirty-nine years with the editor Edith Lewis. Her intimate friendships as well as her affinity for men’s clothing have led some scholars to posit that she was a lesbian and to interpret her works accordingly. She never labeled herself as such, though much of her writing, which often featured strong female leads, has been interpreted through a queer lens.

Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012) was an African-American graphic artist and sculptor, best known for her depiction of African-American lives, with a focus on the female experience. Though she primarily pursued teaching, as it was difficult for a woman to make her career in the arts, she received a fellowship from the Rosenwald Foundation in 1946 to travel to Mexico City to work with the Taller de Gráfica Popular. She would work with the collective for the next twenty years and head the sculpture department at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas. While living in Mexico she was arrested for protesting during a railroad strike; her activism, along with Communist Party ties among many members of the Taller, led the U.S. embassy to bar her from entering the United States. She renounced her American citizenship in 1962 and became a Mexican citizen. When her work received an exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem, her friends and colleagues started a letter-writing campaign to the U.S. State Department that led to her being issued a special visa in order to visit the exhibition. Catlett’s work was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance movement and the Chicago Black Renaissance in the 1940s and reinforced in the 1960s and 1970s with the influence of the Black Power, Black Arts Movement, and feminism.

Carrie Chapman Catt  (1857–1947) was a lifelong activist and leader in the women’s suffrage movement. She grew up in Charles City, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State University as both valedictorian and the only woman in her class. In the late 1880s Catt became involved in the women’s suffrage movement and joined the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She was invited to speak at the Convention of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association in 1890. Catt was elected president of the Association in 1900 and again in 1915, a term that coincided with the passage of the 19th Amendment. After this victory, Catt founded the League of Women Voters and ran for President in 1920 under the Commonwealth Land Party. She was also involved in the suffrage movement internationally, and co-founded the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in 1902. During World War II she organized the Protest Committee of Non-Jewish Women Against the Persecution of Jews in Germany and sent a petition condemning anti-Semitism, signed by 9,000 American women, to Hitler. Her last organizing effort was the Women’s Centennial Conference in 1940, celebrating the first one hundred years of the feminist movement in the United States.

Cornelia Cederberg was a Swedish artist and one of five members of De Fem, a spiritualist group that met during the 1890s. Artists Hilma af Klimt, Anna Cassel, Sigrid Hedman, and Matilde N. were also members of the group.. Also called the Friday Group, they began as an ordinary spiritualist group that received messages through a psychograph (an instrument for recording spirit writings) or a trance medium. They met in each other's homes and studios. During the Friday Group’s séances spirit leaders presented themselves by name and promised to help the group’s members in their spiritual training; such leaders are common in spiritualist literature and life. Through its spirit leaders the group was inspired to draw automatically in pencil, a technique that was not unusual at that time. When the hand moved automatically, the conscious will did not direct the pattern that developed on the paper, and, in theory, the women became artistic tools for their spirit leaders. In a series of sketchbooks, religious scenes and symbols were depicted in drawings made by the group collectively. Their drawing technique developed in such a way that abstract patterns—dependent on the free movement of the hand—became visible.

Mary Chamberlain was a member of the Heterodoxy Club, a feminist debate group based in New York that was known for its more radical notions of feminism than was popular at the time. She was a peace activist as well as a delegate to the Women’s Peace Conference at The Hague in 1915. Chamberlain was also a suffragist and editor of Survey magazine.

Elspeth Champcommunal (1888–1976) was a British fashion designer and the first editor of Vogue in Britain. While living in France, she became associated with the Parisian literary and artistic set, befriending Virginia Woolf and other members of the Bloomsbury set. Every summer between 1929 and 1939 Champcommunal would travel Europe with American literary publisher Jane Heap and Florence Reynolds. After Champcommunal fled from Europe to London at the start of World War II, Heap remained there as her partner for the remainder of her life. As the editor of British Vogue in 1916, she shaped the British version into more than just a fashion magazine, adding articles on health, beauty and sports as well as opinion pieces. She remained with the publication until 1922. Beginning in the 1920s, Champcommunal ran her own eponymous couture label in France, earning her a significant reputation as a fashion designer. While living in London, she became a house designer for Worth London, and she later represented their interests among the major couture houses in London. She helped to found the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers and was involved in the organization throughout her tenure at Worth London.

Adeline Champney (1871–unknown) was born in Massachusetts. She later moved to Cleveland, where she became a writer and contributor to the publications Liberty and Mother Earth in the early 1900s. She was politically left-wing and a friend of Emma Goldman.

Elisabeth Gordon Chandler (1913–2006) was an American sculptor and educator. Born in St. Louis, she studied and performed harp until she was eighteen. Chandler moved to New York, where she studied sculpture at the Art Students League. After completing her studies, Chandler’s work was frequently recognized and awarded. It is in the collections of the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society, Princeton University, and the Paul Mellow Art Center, among others. In 1962, she moved to Old Lyme, Connecticut, and in 1976 she founded the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts with the mission to provide students with a traditional, representational education in fine art. Gordon taught sculpture at the academy until her death.

Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler (1886–1937) was born in New York City. A member of the Astor family, which held a prominent place in New York City business and society life, Chanler’s parents died within two years of each other when she was a child. She was a patron of the arts and one of the donors to the 1913 Armory Show.

Emilie Charmy (1878–1974) was a painter born in Saint-Etienne, France. After the death of her parents when she was five, Charmy’s brother became her guardian. The two moved to Lyon in the early 1900s, where she was encouraged to pursue art and music and became one of very few French women at the time to pursue painting as a career. Art dealer Berthe Weill, who actively sought out work by women artists, and patron Katia Granoff supported Charmy’s work. Influenced by the Fauvist painters, Charmy focused on flowers, still lifes, and images of bourgeois life. In a context in which paintings by women were typically considered decorative, Charmy’s work crossed gender barriers by being exhibited in shows in Lyon and Paris alongside that of prominent male artists. In 1909 she relocated to Paris where she lived for the remainder of her life. Her 1921 exhibition at Galerie d’Oeuvres d’Art caused a controversy when she showed works of women and nudes, taboo subject matter for female artists.

Katherine “Kitty” Cheatham (1864–1946) was an American singer and actress. She began her career in music at age fourteen by performing at the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. She later went on to study in New York, Paris, and Berlin. Her professional stage debut was made in England in 1904, where she performed renditions of African-American folk songs. Cheatham is best known as a musician, however, for her contributions to children’s music. During her career, she performed for thousands in the United States and Europe, and organized children’s concerts for the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. She published two collections of her songs, Kitty Cheatham: Her Book (1915) and A Nursery Garland (1917). Her repertoire included over 1,000 songs in nine languages. Many of the songs she sang expressed themes of Christianity and American patriotism. She was also a speaker who created a series of “illustrated lectures” that focused on her travels throughout Europe. In 1937 in Hungary she spoke before the delegates of the International Women’s Congress as the honorary vice president.

Franciska Clausen (1899 - 1986) was a painter who studied at the Grossherzogliche Kunstschule in Weimar, Germany, the Women’s Academy in Munich, and at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi, Moderne Kunst, Denmark. She was influenced by Cubism and considered one of the forerunners of Constructivist art and the Concrete art movement, implementing a strong focus on geometry in her work. In 1933, she taught at the Drawing and Applied Arts School for Women in Copenhagen. Clausen's work is included in the collections of many European museums including the National Gallery of Denmark.

Genevieve Rose Cline (1878–1959) was the first woman to be appointed a federal judge in the United States. Born in Ohio, she briefly attended Oberlin College before returning home to take a position as a clerk for her brother, a lawyer and later county prosecutor. She was involved in women’s club work, chairing the Committee on Legislation and State Institutions for the Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs beginning in 1916, and she organized support for child labor bills, civil service reform, care for the mentally ill. She enrolled in law school in 1917 and passed the bar exam four years later. Cline went on to serve as the vice president of the Women’s National Republican Association for Ohio, catching the attention of party leaders in Washington. After being appointed appraiser of merchandise for all foreign merchandise shipped through Ohio and Pennsylvania, a federal position, Cline was appointed to the United States Customs Court in 1928. She held the position for twenty-five years, remaining close to the women’s organizations that supported her, including serving on the executive committee of the National Association of Women Lawyers during the 1930s. Cline retired from the bench in 1953.

Elizabeth Jane Cochrane (1864–1922) was known to most New Yorkers as the journalist Nellie Bly. Wanting an independent life and looking for a way to support her mother, Bly trained as a teacher, one of the few professions open to women of the time. She started her career as a news writer at sixteen after penning a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch in response to an article she felt was misogynist. Bly devoted her time to covering the plight of women workers, and when the paper suggested she focus on traditional women’s topics, she instead moved to Mexico as a foreign correspondent. After criticizing the Mexican government, she was threatened and forced to flee. In 1887 Bly started to work for the New York World. She did an undercover assignment about the Roosevelt Women’s Lunatic Asylum by pretending to be insane. Her sensational report, which described the asylum’s horrible and unsanitary living conditions and abusive staff, prompted a grand jury investigation. Later she reported on her seventy-two-day trip around the globe, which broke the existing record of eighty days. She retired in 1895 at age 31.

Nessa Cohen (1885–1976) was an American sculptor and longtime member of the Art Students League of New York. Her small bronze statue Sunrise (n.d.) was shown at the 1913 Armory Show in New York. Emily Holmes Coleman (1899–1974) was an American born writer and a lifelong compulsive diary keeper. Her novel The Shutter of Snow (1930), about a woman who spends time in a mental hospital after the birth of her baby, was a fictional account of Coleman’s own experience in an asylum after her son’s birth. The diaries she kept as an American expatriate in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, and in England in the 1940s through the 1960s, are fascinating psychological revelations of her “passionate,” “impatiently earnest” self on an anxious quest. Coleman was always striving for something: for effectiveness as a writer, for a lucid mind, for passion in love, for a seemingly spiritual grace. On her thirty first birthday, she reflected on the “conscious effect” of Dante’s simple ending to the Inferno and Goethe’s words on putting his life in order, comparing them to her efforts to write and to live with self-control. Coleman converted to the Catholicism in 1944, and all of her writing afterwards was focused on her Catholic faith, which has been described as “mystical” and “fanatical.”

Colette (1873–1954) was the surname of the French novelist and performer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is best known for her novel Gigi, the basis for the film and Lerner and Loewe stage production of the same title. Largely concerned with the pains and pleasures of love, her best novels are remarkable for their command of sensual description, and one of her greatest strengths as a writer was her ability to evoke the sounds, smells, textures, and colors of her world. She often wrote of women in the roles of husband hunters or discarded, aging, or déclassé mistresses. She was a member of the Belgian Royal Academy (1935), president of the Académie Goncourt (1949) (and the first woman to be admitted into it in 1945), and a Chevalier (1920) and a Grand Officer (1953) of the Légion d’Honneur. During the German occupation of France during World War II, she aided her Jewish friends, including hiding her husband in her attic throughout the war. When she died in 1954, she was the first woman given a state funeral in France, although she was refused Roman Catholic rites because of her divorces.

Ithell Colquhoun  (1906–1988) was a British Surrealist painter born in India while it was still a British colony. She studied at the Slade School of Art in London as well as in France under Surrealist masters. While best known for her paintings, Colquhoun was also an active writer and poet. Her strong investment in the occult led her to break with Surrealism in 1940, though she continued to exhibit her work with the London Group and the Women’s International Art Club throughout the 1950s and ’60s. She published an occult novel, The Goose of Hermogenes, in 1961, and a collection of her writings was published posthumously.

Kate Thompson Cory (1861–1958) was a multi-talented painter, photographer, and poet. She was also a consultant on Hollywood films and a designer and illustrator. In 1905, Cory moved to Arizona to live on the mesas among the Hopi Native Americans. While there she observed, photographed, and drew their daily lives, and her paintings frequently depicted her experiences there. She moved to Prescott, Arizona, in 1912. Her work is among the collections of the Smoki Museum and the Sharlot Hall Museum, both in Prescott, Arizona, as well as the Smithsonian Institute.

Claribel (1864–1929) and Etta Cone (1870–1949) of Baltimore, Maryland, became prominent art collectors at the turn of the century and amassed one of the finest collections of modern French art in the United States. Independently wealthy, their love of art led them to travel throughout Europe, collecting important Impressionist works including pieces by Picasso and Matisse. In addition to their collection of European artists, the Cone sisters acquired a huge number of works from American artists including over 1,000 prints, illustrations, and drawings as well as decorative art. Etta was a pianist and managed the family household. Claribel befriended Gertrude Stein while the two were studying at the Women’s Medical College in Baltimore. Both sisters often bought work from Stein’s collection and it is suspected that Claribel and Stein were briefly lovers, before Stein met her long-term partner, Alice B. Toklas. The sisters traveled extensively, often in the company of other women, and maintained a high social status with their impressive art collection. After Etta’s death, the majority of their collection was donated to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Louise Connolly (1862–1927) was a civic leader and museum educator. With a master’s degree, she worked her way from school supervisor in Newark, New Jersey, to the superintendent of public schools in the nearby town of Summit. She was forced to resign in 1906 when the head of the board of education declared that the education system had become “too feminized” under her watch. Connolly was subsequently hired by the Newark Museum and became their head of education, embracing progressive pedagogy and publishing her research as The Educational Value of Museums in 1914. Her views on education fueled her support for women’s right to vote, and she argued that schools had difficulty meeting their civic responsibility—training students to be good citizens—because female teachers could not fully be citizens themselves. 

Nancy Cook (1884-1962) attended Syracuse University and graduated in 1912. At Syracuse University she met lifelong friend Marion Dickerman. Together they were suffragists for American women and a teachers at the Fulton New York High School from 1913-1918. Cook also co-owned the Todhunter School, a private school for girls in New York City. Cook also worked at Endell Street Military Hospital in London, also with Dickerman, learning how to create artificial legs and fit them to amputees. She also was talented in woodworking, cooking, photography and interior design. Cook and Dickerman became close friends with Eleanor Roosevelt through their advocation of women's rights and world peace. Cook and three other friends were the main leaders of the Women's Division of the New York State Democratic Committee in the 1920s. Cook and another group of female leaders went "Trooping for Democracy" in which they traveled throughout the United States. Cook and her colleagues built Val-Kill cottage at Hyde Park and later launched Val-Kill Industries which handcrafted of colonial furniture. The furniture was sold in New York City and also included the furniture designed for the White House bedrooms.

Marion Cothren (1880–1949) was an American author, best known for Cher Ami: The Story of a Carrier Pigeon in 1934 and Buried Treasure; The Story of America’s Coal in 1945. She was also affiliated with the National Advisory Council and theNational Women’s Council.

Elodie Courter (1911–1944), a native New Yorker, was the first director of the Museum of Modern Art’s traveling exhibitions. She completed a degree in art history at Wellesley College and began volunteering at the Department of Circulating Exhibitions at MoMA in 1933. She was swiftly promoted to director by 1935. Under her leadership, the department went from a modest operation to a highly impressive one, sending exhibitions to a wide range of venues from museums and galleries to universities to department stores, along with instructions for installation, packing, and wall text. Courter also developed the museum’s teaching portfolios, visual aids sent to schools as educational tools. She resigned from the museum in 1947, after which she became an advisor to the American Federation of Arts Exhibition Committee as well as the vice chairman of the International Exhibitions Committee. During the 1960s and ’70s Courter was increasingly interested in the moving image, publishing several articles on film, and joining the board of the MacDowell Colony in 1969 where she helped expand the colony’s fellowships to include filmmakers.

Julia May Courtney, born in Colorado, was an anarchist. She wrote “Remember Ludlow!” in 1914 for Emma Goldman’s magazine Mother Earth. The article described the Ludlow Massacre, an attack by the Colorado National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, on April 20, 1914. Two-dozen people, including women and children, were killed. The chief owner of the mine, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was widely criticized for the incident.

Josephine Boardman Crane (1873–1972) was a socialite, philanthropist, and patron of the arts. She was born in 1873 to a wealthy family in Cleveland, Ohio, who subsequently moved to Washington, D.C. in 1887. Boardman moved to New York City in 1922 and hosted weekly literary salon at her Fifth Avenue apartment, which were frequented by such notable writers as Marianne Moore. Crane was a founding trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. She used her philanthropic investments to help fund the Dalton School in Manhattan and help to implement Helen Parkhurst’s “Dalton Plan,” a progressive educational model that aimed to achieve a balance between a child’s individual talents and the needs of the community. The Josephine B. Crane Foundation still supports the Sierra Club along with various scholarships and scientific research projects.

Louise Crane (1913–1997) was an American philanthropist and patron of the arts. The daughter of Josephine B. Crane, co-founder of the Museum of Modern Art, Louise was a prominent supporter of jazz and orchestral music, initiating a series of “coffee concerts” at MoMA and commissioning a vocal and orchestral work by Lukas Foss. She even represented musicians like Mary Lou Williams. Crane met Elizabeth Bishop while classmates together at Vassar in 1930. The pair traveled extensively in Europe and bought a house together in 1937 in Key West, Florida. While Bishop lived in Key West, Crane occasionally returned to New York. She developed a passionate interest in Billie Holiday in 1941. With her companion, Victoria Kent, Crane published Ibérica, a Spanish language review that featured news for Spaniards exiled in the United States.

Margaret French Cresson (1889–1973) was an American sculptor who worked largely with marble busts and portraiture. Cresson exhibited her work internationally, including at the 1938 Paris Salon. Cresson’s father was also a sculptor, and her portrait was painted frequently by his artist friends. Her own work has been shown in Washington, D.C., at the Corcoran Gallery and in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Anna Belle Crocker (1898–1961) was one of the first women to hold positions of both museum director and art educator. From 1909 to 1936 she was the director of the Portland Art Museum. Crocker greatly expanded the museum’s program, presenting a wide range of works from the American and European avant-gardes. She was also the first principal of the Museum Art School. Crocker had educated herself in art history and arts administration by visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and European arts institutions and studying at the Art Students League. She retired from the Portland Art Museum in 1936.

Nancy Clara Cunard (1896–1965) was a writer, heiress, and political activist. She was born into the British upper class but rejected her privilege and fortune to devote much of her life to fighting racism and fascism. In 1920 Cunard moved to Paris, where she became involved with literary Modernism, Dada, and Surrealism. Much of her published poetry dates from this period. In 1927 Cunard moved to Normandy and set up the Hours Press in order to support experimental poetry and provide a higher-paying market for young writers. Her inherited wealth allowed her to take financial risks that other publishers could not. She also became an activist in matters concerning racial politics and civil rights in the United States. In 1931 she published the pamphlet Black Man and White Ladyship, an attack on racist attitudes. She also edited the massive Negro Anthology, collecting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction primarily by African-American writers. In the mid–1930s she took up the antifascist fight, writing about Mussolini’s annexation of Ethiopia and the Spanish Civil War. Her stories about the suffering of Spanish refugees became the basis for a fundraising appeal in the Manchester Guardian. Cunard herself helped deliver supplies and organize the relief effort. During World War II, Cunard worked as a translator in London on behalf of the French Resistance.

Imogen Cunningham (1883–1976) was born in Portland, Oregon. She began taking photographs when she was eighteen years old and started her formal study of photography at the University of Washington in Seattle a few years later. The chemistry of photography was of particular interest to her. After graduating she received a scholarship to study in Germany, where she focused on her technical process. While in New York on her way home, Cunningham had the opportunity to meet Gertrude Käsebier, who had been influential on her work. Cunningham opened her own studio in Seattle and became widely known for her portraits. She began exhibiting in 1913 at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts and Sciences and at the International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography in New York. In 1920 she moved to San Francisco with her children, and her interests shifted from portraiture to photographs of patterns and botanical specimens. In 1932 she co-founded Group f/64 which promoted fine art photography and pure photographic methods. During the 1940s Cunningham started working with street photography in addition to her commercial photography practice. In 1945 she was invited to become a faculty member at the California School of Fine Arts along with Dorothea Lange.

Charlotte Saunders Cushman  (1816–1876) was an actress known for her full contralto register and her ability to play both male and female parts. Cushman was a descendent of Mayflower pilgrim Robert Cushman, but her father’s financial troubles and untimely death sparked her to leave home and secure a career in opera. Cushman made her first appearance in opera at the Tremont Theatre, Boston, in The Marriage of Figaro. She went on to play Lucy Bertram in Guy Mannering and then traveled to New Orleans, where her strained voice gave out. She was encouraged by James H. Caldwell to become an actress, and he gave her the part of Lady Macbeth in 1835. Cushman returned to New York after a successful season, and when her sister, Susan Webb Cushman, became an actress as well, the two made headlines for appearing in Romeo and Juliet as the title characters. Cushman would play many male roles throughout her career, including Hamlet at the Washington Theater. In 1848 she met actress Matilda Hays, who would become her romantic partner for the next ten years, and the two moved to an American expatriate community of artists in Rome. There she carried on affairs with sculptors Edmonia Lewis and Emma Stebbins, and Hays left her for sculptor Harriet Hosmer, although she would later return. Cushman’s final performance was a revival of her first dramatic character, Lady Macbeth, at the Globe Theatre in Boston.

Olive Custance (1874–1944) was a poet from London. Custance joined the London literary circle in 1890 when she was only sixteen. Encouraged by poet John Gray and heavily influenced by French poets such as Verlaine and Rimbaud, she quickly rose to prominence as a poet. Her first book of poetry, Opals, was published in 1897. In 1901 she became involved in a relationship with the writer Natalie Clifford Barney in Paris, which Barney later described in her memoirs. Throughout her life Custance wrote and published poems in local newspapers and journals.

Hannah Maria Conant Tracy Cutler (1815–1896) was an abolitionist as well as a leader of the temperance and women’s suffrage movements in the United States. Cutler served as president of the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association. She helped to shape the merger of two feminist factions into the combined National American Woman Suffrage Association. Cutler wrote for newspapers and journals as well as drafted laws and authored several books. She lectured on physiology and attained a medical degree at the age of 53. Cutler presented petitions to state and federal legislatures, and helped to form temperance, abolition, suffrage and women’s aid societies in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Vermont.

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