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The MCA continued its tradition of showing avant-garde women artists for many decades to come, including the compelling Frida Kahlo, Laurie Anderson, and Louise Bourgeois.

In 1978, the MCA hosted Frida Kahlo’s (1907–1954) first solo show in the United States, which was visited by many women artists and curators who were part of Chicago’s alternative movement to exhibit art.

Frida Kahlo on White Bench, New York, 1939, Nickolas Muray 11 1⁄2” x 14 1/2” Modern color carbon print
rom the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection

Without the combined talents, efforts, and dedication of all of our collaborators over the many decades of diligent hard work and striving, the works described in this book would not be possible. It is a testament to the spirit of our times that there are more people involved than technologies used in the realization of the complex collaborations that are herein described. Community is a thread that weaves us all together in the circle of life and is unique to midwestern values that have migrated the world over through the seeds planted on the prairie by contemporary women in the arts as well as their forerunners.


We are indebted to the life’s work that has been shared with sincere reflection and deep introspection in the oral history interviews provided by our contributors. Their individually unique and yet overlapping stories helped to illuminate a very exciting and pivotal time in history for women to make a difference in the world by charting innovative, collaborative pathways through the arts and sciences.


Special thanks to Lisa Wainwright, Anne Balsamo, and Judy Malloy for writing the three forewords to the book that speak to the historical context of the underrepresentation of women in the arts throughout modern history, and the significance of women equally contributing towards the making of our culture today.


We gratefully acknowledge the dedication, enthusiasm, and unwavering support of our editor, Laurie Matheson, and her staff for bringing this seminal book to fruition. The co-editors express special appreciation to Jennifer Comeau and Julie Laut for their insightful guidance, and to Dustin Hubbart and Jennifer Fisher for their stunning visual design of the book. The peer reviewers selected by the University of Illinois Press provided knowledgeable insights and invaluable suggestions that enriched the historical background of the manuscript and fine-tuning of the transcribed interviews.


We would also like to gratefully acknowledge all of the exceptional men and women from the scientific community whom we have had the sincere privilege to work with. Their unique talents, curiosity, enthusiasm, openness, and shared resources have truly helped us to transcend with the arts to make inroads for future generations of explorers. Without their dedication and perseverance during the changing tides of our times, we would collectively miss seeing the forest beyond the trees.


The editors are grateful for each other’s camaraderie, collegiality, guiding friendship, and inspiration that have enriched our lives and the evolution of our collaborative process with creative joy.


With heartfelt thanks, we are equally indebted to the many more colleagues, collaborators, and friends who have been with us all on this exciting journey from the beginning and beyond, whose inspirations made all things possible.

New Media Futures: The Rise of Women in the Digital Arts was published in 2018 by the University of Illinois Press and is available in both print and ebook formats:

University of Illinois Press




Apple Books

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