a project by Andrea Geyer. 2012 - ongoing

Amelia Earhart (1897–1937) was a pioneer aviator, writer, and an outspoken women’s rights activist. She was born in 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, but moved frequently as a youth, eventually graduating from high school in Chicago, Illinois. In 1920 Earhart moved to California to reunite with her parents. While there she began her flying career under the guidance of teacher Anita “Neta” Snook. Sixth months after her first lesson, Earhart had saved enough money to buy her first plane. She came to public attention after becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1928. Several public endorsement deals followed, along with many solo journeys and competitive flying events, all of which added to her celebrity. During this time, Earhart became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt with whom she shared many sentiments about the importance of women’s rights. Earhart successfully completed a solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932, becoming the first woman to do so. She continued to break flying records in the years that followed. Earhart’s much-storied attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world ended at the age of thirty-nine when her plane was lost off Howland Island in the Pacific.

Crystal Eastman (1881–1928) was an activist, writer, and intellectual born in Marlborough, Massachusetts. After graduating from Vassar College in 1903, she moved to Greenwich Village and obtained a degree in sociology from Columbia University and a law degree from the New York City University Law School. In 1912 Eastman moved to Wisconsin where she led the women’s suffrage campaign, but she soon returned to New York and co-founded the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage in 1913, pushing for more radical tactics in the suffrage movement. A lifelong pacifist, Eastman also founded the National Woman’s Peace Party with Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Jane Addams, but was criticized by Addams for her radical views on sexuality and birth control. Eastman found a home for these attitudes as the editor of the Liberator from 1917 to 1921. She also worked with Emma Goldman towards legalizing prostitution and free political speech in wartime. During the war, Eastman witnessed the silencing, blacklisting, and deportation of many of her antiwar and left-wing colleagues, and she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union 1920. Considered one of the “New Women” of Greenwich Village, Eastman’s views reflected a shared idea that women should build support systems among themselves.

Marjorie Lee Eaton  (1901–1986), an artist and actress, grew up in Palo Alto, California. Eaton studied art at the Art Institute of Boston and in Italy and France. Edith Cox Eaton, Marjorie’s stepmother, ran an art colony out of the historic home of Juana Briones de Miranda in Santa Clara County, California, and Eaton spent a large amount of time there, along with the sculptor Louise Nevelson with whom she had taken classes at the Art Students League of New York. Eaton pursued her career in painting in Taos, New Mexico, where she was invited to work by Mabel Dodge. She was inspired by Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera, and produced Cubist-influenced, figural work, but her art brought her little financial success. She gave up painting entirely in the early 1940s and started a career in acting. Appearing both in Broadway plays and on film, Eaton largely found roles as a character actress, and worked consistently until her death.

Abastenia St. Leger Eberle (1878–1942) was an American sculptor and social commentator. She began her career studying at the Art Students League in New York. Eberle’s 1904 sculptural collaboration with Anna Hyatt was shown at the Society of American Artists Exhibition in the same year. In 1906 she became an elected member of the National Sculpture Society. Her figurative clay work The White Slave shocked audiences of the 1913 Armory Show for its depiction of child prostitution. Eberle continued to generate a highly politicized body of work, habitually depicting working class children in New York’s Lower East Side. Eberle championed the social function of art, citing a responsibility of artists to the viewer to “reveal them to themselves and each other.”

Claire Eckstein (1904–1994) was a German modern dancer and choreographer. Eckstein studied rhythmic gymnastics with Lucy Heyer in Munich from 1921 to 1923 and performed at Festspielhaus Hellerau in 1924. After marrying stage designer Wilhelm Reinking and moving to Darmstadt in 1927, Eckstein taught at the Hessian Landestheater as the dance director. She also became performance partners with American writer and dancer Edwin Derby, whom she influenced greatly. Eckstein was highly successful as a choreographer of stage dancing and operettas, but her career was cut short due to the rise of the Nazi party and her struggle with sclerosis.

Anita “Angna” Enters (1907 - 1989) was an artist, writer and dancer. She moved to New York from Milwaukee in 1919 to study at the Art Students League. Concurrent to studying art, Enters trained as a dancer and in 1924 staged her first solo program at the Greenwich Village Theater. "The Theatre of Angna Enters" was very successful and toured from New York through the United States and Europe until 1939. A Guggenheim Fellowship was awarded to Enters to study Hellenistic art forms in Athens, Greece in 1934. This trip would feed into her costume and set design, the studies for which are included in museum collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enters' writing is collected in three autobiographies, First Person Plural, Silly Girl and Artist's Life, a novel, Among the Daughters, and a book of writing about her work, On Mime. She also co-wrote the Hollywood films Lost Angel and Tenth Avenue Angel. She has taught at the Stella Adler Studio, Baylor University, Wesleyan University and Pennsylvania State University.

Marli Erhman (1904–1982) was an American-German textile designer. Born in Germany, she taught arts and crafts throughout Europe and the United States. Erhman orchestrated an experimental weaving workshop at the original Bauhaus. Later she was head of the weaving workshop at the School of Design in Chicago and taught weaving at the Chicago Institute of Design (now ITT Institute of Design) (1939–1947) and at Hull House in California. Erhman also taught weaving as a form of occupational therapy for soldiers who were returning from World War II. Erhman was awarded first prize for weaving at competitions held by the Museum of Modern Art and Fairchild Publications. Her use of plastic, metal, and rayon was championed for as a way to create aesthetic designs that could be mass produced with materials that were not subject to rationing during the war, since printed textiles had become scarce as the machines used for printing cloth had been appropriated for the production of ammunition.

Marie Equi (1872–1952) was an anarchist, supporter of the women’s suffrage, illicit birth control and abortion provider, worker’s rights activist, and open lesbian. Equi was born in Massachusetts and moved to Dallas, Oregon, with her friend Bess Holcomb at age 21. In 1903 she became one of the first woman to receive an M.D., graduating with a medical degree in California. After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, Equi organized a group of doctors and nurses to provide aid to the region; for her service she received commendation from the U.S. Army. Equi’s medical degree enabled her to provide abortions in Portland as well as to give access to and information about birth control. Her partner at the time, Margaret Sanger, was a birth control activist, and the pair was arrested after defending a group of men that were distributing birth control pamphlets that Equi helped Sanger to write. Equi participated in a workers strike supported by Industrial Workers of the World in 1916, and she later joined the organization. In 1918 she was arrested on account of sedition for a speech she made at an IWW conference; she served exactly half of her three-year sentence.

Florence Esté  (1860–1926), born in Cincinnati, Ohio, was described by the New York Times as one of the best-known female landscape painters. She was skilled in oils, watercolors, and pastels and was an accomplished etcher and engraver. In 1874 Esté traveled to France with Emily Sartain, the principle of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, a school she later attended from 1886–87. From 1876–82 she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and thereafter enrolled at the Académie Colarossi in Paris leading to her permanent relocation to France in 1888. In France Esté’s art was well received and appreciated, as evidenced by the governmental purchases of her paintings Un Bourg breton in 1918 and La Vallée in 1921. La Vallée and The First Snow were watercolors exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show. In 1925 Esté won thePhiladelphia Academy of the Fine Arts prize.

Lily Abbott Everett (1889–unknown) was an artist who exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show.

Alexandra Exter (born Aleksandra Aleksandrova Ekster, 1882–1949) is a Polish-born Russian figurative painter, theater designer, and fashion designer. Exter graduated from art school in Kiev in 1906 and in 1908 moved to Paris where she studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiére. Between 1909–1914 Exter traveled between Paris and Moscow spreading ideas of cubism and futurism among the Russian avant-garde. She participated in numerous avant-garde art exhibitions such as Link (Kiev, 1908). In theatrical design Exter experimented with costumes as abstract sculptural forms, sometimes reducing the stage sets to three-dimensional moving objects and using lighting for dramatic effect. She also introduced dynamic stage organization using complex arrangements and brightly colored features like curtains. Examples can be found in her costume and set design of Oscar Wilde’s Salome (1917) or Romeo and Juliet (1920–1921). In 1921 she showed five paintings, each called Planar and Color Structure, in the art exhibition 5x5=25 (Moscow, 1921). Although she was an experimental avant-gardist, she believed art could play a role in everyday life, hence leading to her involvement in fashion design. Herein Exter created prototypes of haute-couture designs for economically viable mass production. Exter immigrated to Paris in 1924 where she continued to teach, paint, and design.

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