Teacher gives art research to Getty Museum

Visual arts teacher Cheri Gaulke donated her research based on the Los Angeles feminist art movement of the 1970s and ‘80s to the Getty Museum’s Research Institute. 

The Woman’s Building, a seminal Los Angeles-based center for feminist art, will digitize and process various artist archives, which include project files, research papers, flyers and postcards.

“It is such a great honor to feel that a big institution like the Getty feels that the work that we made in the seventies and eighties is important enough to be studied and that they care so much about preserving the art and making it available to researchers,” Gaulke said.

Gaulke said she moved to Los Angeles in 1975 to experience and participate in the feminist art movement. She also hoped to produce artwork that could relate to the community rather than to submit to different museums or galleries for recognition.

“We addressed issues that a lot of art was not addressing at the time, such as sexual violence, and a lot of things that resonate with what’s happening today culturally, like racism and classism,” Gaulke said. “Those materials will be at the Getty and the Woman’s Building for researcher to come study to write articles and books about them.”

Gaulke plans to work on films and art full time after her retirement at the end of this year, she said, as well as continue developing her documentary about feminist performance art, “Acting like Women: Performance Art and the Woman’s Building.”

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