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Please explore this multi-faceted, interactive timeline interweaving historically situated events that reflect women’s narratives with art and STEM breakthroughs as they relate to the unfolding herstories presented in New Media Futures by twenty-two featured book contributors.  Co-created, innovative highlights include the Mosaic web browser, Virtual Reality CAVE, PHSColograms, digital games, computer animation, scientific visualization, and information design, alongside hidden figures, feminist heroines, and significant contributions made by women artists and scientists who transformed our world.   


circa. 1890s-1990s and beyond


"Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world."  

–Jane Addams

"Technology is a valuable handmaiden in the advances of culture, but only when wielded with a spirit of empathy, collaboration, and care, skills in which women, in my opinion, excel.” 


–Dr. Lisa Wainwright 

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

Our timeline research for New Media Futures included regional and national historic events that related to the arts, computer science, feminist history, and politics. These important events deepen the historical context of the digital revolution for readers while revealing their culturally enriched interrelated connections, some of which have been described in the book’s introductory essays, illuminated from our interviews and research.  Highlights in bold point to some of the events described in Part II of the introductory essay, while dates are thematically color coded in blue–politics, purple–arts and culture, green–science and technology and pink– herstory milestones.



Carrie Mae Weems

22 ½” x 30 1/8”

From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection 

Women Trailblazing Political Milestones in Illinois

2019: Juliana Stratton becomes the first African-American woman to become Illinois' lieutenant governor, and the state's fourth woman lieutenant governor overall, after Corinne Wood, Sheila Simon, and Evelyn Sanguinetti.


2019Lori Lightfoot becomes the first African American and openly LGBT woman and second woman elected as mayor of Chicago.

2016: Hillary Rodham Clinton secures the Democratic Nomination for the U.S. Presidential Election and wins the popular vote.


2017: Tammy Duckworth is elected to the U.S. Senate and becomes the first woman to give birth while in office.   


2013-17: Tammy Duckworth is the first Thai American woman and first disabled veteran woman elected to U.S. Congress.   


2008-16: Michelle Obama becomes the first African American First Lady to serve in the White House. 


2009-13: Hillary Rodham Clinton is the third woman appointed to serve as the U.S. Secretary of State. 


2001-09: Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in New York. 


1992: Carol Moseley-Braun of Chicago becomes the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. 


1979: Jane Byrne becomes the first woman mayor of Chicago. 


1931: Jane Addams wins the Nobel Peace Prize. 


1892: Chicago attorney, Myra Bradwell becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not.”

–Kamala Harris, 49th Vice President of the United States
Former U.S. Senator and Attorney General of California


1856 – Chicago Historical Society is formed and renamed Chicago History Museum in 2006. 

1866 – Chicago Academy of Design is formed. 

1868 – Fourteenth Amendment grants citizenship and “due process” to all persons born or naturalized in the U.S.


1869 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) found the National Womanʼs Suffrage Association (NWSA). 

1869 – Lucy Stone (1818-1893) founds the American Woman Suffrage Association that merges in 1890 with NWSA. 

1869 – St. Louis Law School becomes the first law school to admit women; Belle Mansfield, who read for the law on her own time, becomes the first practicing female attorney in the U.S. 

1870 – Sixty percent of all women workers are employed in domestic service jobs. 

1871 – Great Chicago Fire destroys the city. 

1871 – Frances Elizabeth Willard (1839-98) becomes the first female college president when she is elected to head the Evanston College for Ladies.


1872 – Victoria Woodhull runs for the office of President of the United States as the candidate of the Equal Rights Party. 

1876 – Chicago Womanʼs Club is formed and is joined by Philanthropist, Bertha Palmer. 

1879 – The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is established as a museum and school on southwest corner of State and Monroe Streets. 

1880 – Approximately 2.5 million women in the U.S. are working for wages. 

1880 – Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt (1845-1926) paints Woman in Black at the Opera. 

1882 – The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) is formed [former Chicago Academy of Design]. 

1885 – Bryn Mawr College opens and becomes the first womanʼs college in the U.S. to offer graduate studies. 


1886 – Jane and Nell Lloyd Jones co-found Hillside Home School in Wisconsin, the first co-education boarding school in the U.S. based on their “learn by doing” approach to teaching. 

Suffrage Parade, New York City, May 6, 1912.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.


“Shortly after I came home, my daughter Ada was born on April 19, 2010, named for Ada Lovelace [see p. 16] because I loved her contribution to the field of computer programming so much.”


–Tiffany Holmes

Mary Cassatt’s (1844–1926) design of the Woman’s Building South Tympanum celebrated young women pursuing knowledge and science. This is one of the themes emerging in the twentieth-century modern woman. Decoration of South Tympanum, “Modern Woman” by Mary Cassatt.


Source: Maude Howe Elliott, Art and Handicraft in the Woman’s Building of the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893,
“A Celebration of Women Writers.”

1889 – SAIC offers a program in Architecture through an alliance formed with the Armour Institute of Technology. 


1889 – Lorado Taftʼs (1860-1936) class stage a fountain comprised of nude nymphs on the lakefront south of the museum that was considered controversial–not for nudity, but because it was executed by women. 


1899 – Jane Addams (1860-1935) and Ellen Gates Starr co-found Hull-House on Chicago's Near West Side. 


1890 –Mary A. Blood and Ida Morey Riley co-found Columbia College Chicago. 


1890 – Board of Lady Managers meets to plan Womanʼs Building, organized by Bertha Palmer. 


1891 – The word “feminist” is first used in a book review in Athenaeum. 


1892 – Mary Cassatt receives commission to paint a mural depicting the Modern woman for the Womanʼs Building. 


1893 – Womanʼs Building opens for the Worldʼs Columbian Exposition. 


1893 – The Art Institute of Chicago relocates to present Michigan Avenue site after Worldʼs Columbian Exposition. 


1894 – Marion Mahony Griffin, the second woman Architect to graduate from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for her design of an artistʼs home studio design becomes Illinoisʼ first licensed woman architect and is hired by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1895. 


1900 – Women equal one-fifth of the American labor force, numbering 5 million workers. 

1901 – Frank Lloyd Wright delivers ʻThe Art and the Craft of the Machineʼ lecture at Hull-House that is published in Brush and Pencil. 

1905 – Georgia OʼKeeffe studies drawing with John Vanderpoel at AIC. 


1906 – Daniel Burnham creates civic plans for ʻThe White City.ʼ 


1907 – The Ladies Home Journal publishes Frank Lloyd Wrightʼs ʻFireproof Home for $5000,ʼ delineated by Marion Mahony that defines Prairie Style Architecture.


1909 – Daniel Burnhamʼs urban plan for Chicago is published. 


1910 – ʻPaintings from the Mrs. Potter Palmer Collectionʼ are exhibited at The Art Institute. 


1910 – First woman suffrage parade is held in New York City. 


1910 – Approximately 8 million women work outside the home. 


1910 – Ella Flagg Young becomes the first woman president of the National Education Association (NEA). 


1911 – Walter Burley Griffin and wife Marion Mahony Griffin submit award-winning plans to design the Australian capitol of Canberra. 


1911 – The Overbeck Sisters open Overbeck Pottery in Cambridge City, Indiana who include Margaret, Hannah Borger, Elizabeth Gray and Mary Frances. 


1912 – Frederick Fursman and Walter Marshall Clute, artists from The Art Institute of Chicago co-found Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Michigan. 


1912 – First electric washing machine is introduced. 


1915 – The Renaissance Society, a non-collecting “contemporary art museum” is founded at the University of Chicago. 


1915 – ʻSuffrage Loan Exhibition of Old Masters and Works by Edgar Degas and Mary Cassattʼ opened at the Knoedler Galleries in New York. 


1917 – Jeanette Pickering Rankin (1880-1973), suffragist and pacifist, is sworn in as the first U.S. Congresswoman. 


1917 – School and Home Education reports in a clipping ʻInventions of an American Artistʼ that Mary Cassatt has “invented surgical appliances for patients suffering from fractures, which have contributed to the comfort and recovery of the wounded in France.” 

1919 – Walter Gropius opens Bauhaus School [Building School] in Weimar, Germany that combined crafts with fine arts. 

1918 – The Representation of the People Act granted women over 30 the legal right to vote in general elections if they already voted in local government elections or were married to male voters. The Act granted all men over  21 the legal  right to vote, or at age 19, if they had been in active service or were not legally disqualified. 

1920 – Helen Gardner begins teaching full-time at SAIC and establishes art history department. 

1920 – The U.S. Department of Labor establishes the Womanʼs Bureau to oversee wage-earning womenʼs rights and interests with Mary Anderson as the first director. 

This notable portrait by Man Ray of the influential, feminist British author, Virginia Woolf, was featured on the cover of Time Magazine, April 12, 1937, Vol. XXX, No. 15.  While Woolf is admired for her novels, including Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando, which were both adapted to feature films in 2002 and 1992 respectively, she is well known for her classic essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’, penned in 1929.  She is the daughter of Julia Jackson, whose portrait by Woolf’s great-aunt, Julia Margaret Cameron, is included in Ellen Sandor’s chapter interview in Part I. Woolf’s sentiments continue to resonate with new meaning as women redefine spaces of their own to work and be creative in during these challenging times that are shifting our society.  Brenda Laurel’s research in Part III also explored a feminist concept of spatial navigation in her work with virtual reality and games for girls.  While Woolf’s pivotal essay addressed women’s spatial needs in the physical realm, Laurel’s research expanded the concept to include the virtual, whereas she observed, boys and girls negotiate and navigate physical spaces differently, opening up new possibilities for our community to think about inclusion in designing virtual environments.   

Virginia Woolf, 1935, Man Ray 

9 1/8” x 7” Vintage gelatin silver print 

From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection


Margaret Bourke-White (1904–1971) was an American photographer and photojournalist who influenced many generations with her images of strong women playing a major role in the industrial workforce during World War II. “Self-Portrait,” 1943, Margaret Bourke-White, 191⁄8" × 15¼" vintage gelatin silver print. From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection. Digital photo by James Prinz Photography.

1921 – Three black women, Georgianna R. Simpson (University of Chicago), Sadie Tanner Mossell (University of Pennsylvania) and Eva Dykes (Radcliffe College) become the first in the country to earn Ph.D. degrees. 


1921 - Joseph T. Tykociner, Professor of Electrical Engineering, joins University of Illinois faculty and demonstrates sound reproduced from motion picture film.  


1922 – Rebecca Latimer Felton becomes the first woman appointed to U.S. Senate. 


1923 – An Equal Rights Amendment is presented to Congress by Alice Paul of the National Womanʼs Party. 


1923 – Loja and Eliel Saarinen emigrate to U.S. from Finland. 


1924 – Ma Ferguson of Texas becomes the nationʼs first elected woman governor. 


1925 – The Womanʼs World Fair, the first ever devoted to womenʼs accomplishments, is held in Chicago. 


1926 – First Edition of Helen Gardnerʼs Art Through the Ages is published, featuring the chronological survey as a pedagogical approach for teaching art history to artists. 


1927 – Walker Art Center is established as a public art gallery situated in the Upper Midwest. 


1929 – Eva Watson-Schütze leads the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago through 1935 and creates groundbreaking exhibitions of Modernists including Braque, Arp, Brancusi, Miro and Picasso. 


1929 – Loja Saarinen becomes Director of the Weaving Department at Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. 


1929 – U.S. Stock Market Crash launches the Great Depression. 


1930 – Four-fifths of all households have electricity. 


1931 – Jane Addams becomes the first woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 


1933 – Nazi regime closes Bauhaus School in Berlin, Germany. 


1932 – Helen Gardnerʼs Understanding the Arts is published for teachers. 


1932 – The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture opens at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin with a group of 23 apprentices implementing the Wrightsʼ 

“learn by doing” approach and the ʻWisconsin Ideaʼ ideology formulated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


1932 – Eliel Saarinen designs buildings for and heads Cranbrook Academy of Art, founded in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan by George Gough Booth. 


1933 – Frances Perkins is named U.S. Secretary of Labor and becomes the first woman to hold a cabinet post. 


1935 – Farm Security Administration is formed under New Deal and employs women photographers, including Esther Bubley from the Midwest. 


1936 – Revised Edition of Helen Gardnerʼs Art Through the Ages is published. 


1937 – László Moholy-Nagy relocates to Chicago from Germany and creates the New Bauhaus that later becomes the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. 


1938 – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe relocates to Chicago from Germany and becomes the Director of the Architecture Department at the Armour Institute of Technology in Chicago. 


1939 – Hyde Park Art Center is formed in Chicago as one of the oldest alternative spaces in the city. 


1940 – Illinois Institute of Technology is formed by the merger of the Armour Institute of Technology founded in

1893 and Lewis Institute founded in 1895


1941 – Fifty-two percent of American families have mechanical refrigerators and/or washing machines. 


1942 – Margaret Bourke White (1906-71) becomes the first woman war correspondent. 


1942 – world's first electronic digital computer, built by John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry at Iowa State University during 1937-42.  


1943 – Eniac ((Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) first general purpose programmable computer commissioned by army.  Completed in 1946.


1944 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻPaintings by Martylʼ and ʻMarli Ehrman Textilesʼ. 


1945 – About 3.5 million U.S. women are union members. 


1945 – World War II ends; the following year, federal support of childcare facilities, vital during wartime for women workers, is abruptly cut off.


1946-1953 – Macy Conferences held in New York City and engendered the field of Cybernetics.  Participants included Norbert Weiner, John von Neuman and Heinz von Foerster, University of Illinois.  


1947 – Martyl creates ʻDoomsday Clockʼ for the magazine cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 


1947 – AIC receives controversial review from Eleanor Jewett for ʻChicago and Vicinityʼ exhibition. 


1947 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻPrints and Sculpture by Kathe Kollwitzʼ and ʻHelen Balfour Morrison – The Inheritance.ʼ 


1947 – The Great Books Foundation is formed by University of Chicago Chancellor, Robert Maynard Hutchins, and Mortimer Adler.  


1947 – Berenice Abbott files for a U.S. Patent for her invention of “Composition Guide” awarded on January 27, 1953, No. 2,626,467, that “relates to composition guides for use by photographers, both amateur and professional, for aiding in pre-determining the field to be encompassed by the picture.” 


1948 – SAIC students mount ʻExhibition Momentumʼ at Roosevelt College, juried by Josef Albers, Robert von Neuman, and Robert Jay Wolff. 


1948 – Third Edition of Helen Gardnerʼs Art Through the Ages is published after her death. 


1948 – Berenice Abbott files for a U.S. Patent for her invention of “Distorting Easel” awarded on August 21, 1951, No. 2,565,446, that “relates to the art of photography, and, in particular, to easels for holding a sheet of light sensitive paper or other material during projection printing, as, for example, in enlarging and in reducing.”  She files a second invention on May 7 for “Display Mount” that was awarded on May 12, 1953, No. 2,638,299. 


1949 – Simone de Beauvoir publishes The Second Sex. 


1949 – Heinz von Foerster goes to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Joins faculty in Electrical Engineering, 1951-1975. 

“We Can Do It!” iconic 1942 poster for Westinghouse by J. Howard Miller, an artist employed by Westinghouse for the poster used by the War Production Co-ordinating Committee. Closely associated with Rosie the Riveter, although not a depiction of the cultural icon itself. Pictured Geraldine Doyle (1924–2010), at age seventeen. From a scan of copy belonging to the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, retrieved from the website of the Virginia Historical Society.


Early history of computer at Illinois. A woman points to the screen of a PLATO terminal as part of her studies. Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives, Photographic Subject File, COL-13-13, Image #0001141.

1952 – ILLIAC computer series began at the University of Illinois. one of the first computers built and owned by a US university, 


1953 – The Kinsey Report ʻSexual Behavior in the Human Femaleʼ is published. 


1953 – Berenice Abbott files for a U.S. Patent for her invention of “Camera” awarded on November 18, 1958, No. 2,860,556, “to provide a candid camera for snapping a changing scene practically instantaneously and provided with a plurality of means whereby the camera may be held, aimed, and operated by one hand, so that the photographer on catching a scene he wishes to photograph may aim the camera and release the shutter in the matter of less than a second or so; the means for holding the camera being so constructed as to enable a finger or the thumb of the supporting hand to operate mechanism within reach of the digits of the hand to release the shutter.” 


1955 – Edward Steichenʼs Family of Man exhibition opens at MOMA and includes works by Ester Bubley and other women photographers with its catalog accompanied by a prologue written by Carl Sandburg. 


1955 –University of Illinois, Lejaren Hiller, with Leonard Isaacson, uses ILLIAC I, to compose the Illiac Suite, which is the first music to be written with the aid of a computer.  


1956 – John Bardeen,William B. Shockley and Walter H. Brattain share the Nobel Prize  for research on semiconductors and transitor effect.   This research transformed electronics and computing.   


1958 – Berenice Abbott makes photographs to illustrate laws and processes of physics for the Physical Science Study Committee of Educational Services, Inc., through


1961.  An exhibition, ʻThe Image of Physicsʼ was circulated nationally by the committee and the Smithsonian Institution. 


1958 – Film artist John Whitney Sr. uses analog computer to make art. 

1958 -- University of Illinois, Biological Computer Lab (BCL) opened under the direction of Heinz von Foerster.   

1958 – Professor Lejaren Hiller establishes the first experimental music studio in the Western world at the University of Illinois. 


1959 – Berenice Abbott publishes article ʻThe Image of Scienceʼ in Art in America. 


1959 – Mrs. Sterling Morton endows AICʼs south wing, and consolidates SAIC into one building with its own Columbus Drive entrance.


1960 – Junior Great Books is founded by The Great Books Foundation in Chicago. 


1960 – Artist John Whitney Sr. founds commercial graphics company, Motion Graphics, Inc. 


1960 -- First version of the PLATO computer-based education system is implemented on the ILLIAC I.  PLATO developed as a solution to individualized instruction and developed by a team that was led by faculty Donald Bitzer, PLATO became the basis for the first online community, complete with online forums and message boards, online testing, email, picture languages, and remote screen sharing.  


1961 - Ivan Sutherland at MIT presented Sketchpad. 


1961 – The Peace Corps is established with Sargeant Shriver appointed by President Kennedy as its first Executive Director. 


1962 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻClaire Zeisler – Weavings, and Artifacts from Her Collection.ʼ  

1962 – Peter and Dora Janson publish Jansonʼs History of Art. 


1962 – An estimated 46.5 million viewers watch on all three major networks as Jacqueline Kennedy leads a tour of the White House. 


1962 – University of Illinois Alumnus Nick Holonyak invents the first practical LED (light-emitting diode).  


1963 - Maria Goeppert Mayer wins Nobel Prize in Physics for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. 


1964 – Charles Csuri creates first computer artwork with FORTRAN programming language and an IBM 7074 computer at The Ohio State University. 


1964 -- The monochrome plasma video display is co-invented by University of Illinois Donald Bitzer, H. Gene Slottow, and graduate student Robert Willson for the PLATO Computer System. 


1965 - First Computer Art exhibition, at Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart 


1965 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻRuth Duckworth – Stoneware.ʼ  


1965 – The federal program Project Head Start is established to assist impoverished children. 


1965 – Computer scientist Ken Knowlton developed a computer-controlled movie making system at Bell Labs 

1966 – University of Illinois began building ILLIAC IV, funded by the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).   


1966 – The Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women is held in Washington D.C. and the National Organization of Women (NOW) is founded by 28 feminists with 300 members. 


1967 – Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) opens in Chicago and becomes the first museum in the U.S. devoted to both exhibiting and collecting contemporary art. 


1967 – John Szarkowski, Director of Department of Photography at MOMA curates ʻOnce Invisible,ʼ featuring “photographs revealing images which cannot be seen by the human eye without the aid of photography.” 


1967 - Sine Curve Man and Hummingbird created by Artist Chuck Csuri at Ohio State University.  


1967 - Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) started in New York by artist Robert Rauschenberg and Bell Labs engineer Billy Klüver. 


1968 – MCA receives its first work, Six Women by Venezuelan sculptor, Marisol. 


1968 – National Science Foundation awards $100,000 to Charles Csuri at The Ohio State University for ʻA Software Requirement for Research and Education in the Visual Arts.ʼ 


1968 - Cybernetic Serendipity: The Computer and the Arts exhibition at London Institute of Contemporary Arts.  Art Catalog published 1969 by Praeger, 101 pages. 


1968 – Ivan Sutherland invented the head-mounted display 


1968 - In Director Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey film, the sentient artificially intelligent entity HAL 9000 (based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke) computer is depicted as having been born in Urbana, Illinois. 


1969 – The first Womenʼs Studies baccalaureate degree program is offered at San Diego State University. 


1969 – Christo and Jeanne Claude wrap the exterior of the MCA building. 


1969 – The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held August 15 to 18 on a farm in upstate New York, draws some 300,000 to 400,000 people. 

An iconic photo showing women’s empowerment during the late 1960s. “Venice, California,” 1968, by Dennis Stock, 13" × 19¼" vintage gelatin silver print. From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection. Digital photo by James Prinz Photography.


Installation view of The Dinner Party: Wing 3 by Judy Chicago © 1974–1979. Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo courtesy of Judy Chicago/Art Resource, New York. Used  with permission.

1969 – Apollo II becomes the first manned moon landing on July 20 with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. 


1969 - Bell Labs builds first framebuffer (3 bits), New Jersey 


1969 - SIGGRAPH - ʻSpecial Interest Group on Computer Graphicsʼ, formerly the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). SIGGRAPH is the largest technical computer graphics and digital art/media organization in the world. 


1970 – Sonia Sheridan teaches course on developing ʻGenerative Systemsʼ at SAIC that utilizes copy machines in printmaking. 


1970 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻBarbara Young.ʼ  

1970 – Womenʼs employment is 31.2 million, compared to 18.4 million in 1950. 


1970 - Lillian Schwartz produces "Pixellation" at Bell Labs 


1971 – ARTnews publishes Linda Nochlinʼs critical essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” 


1971 – Ms. magazine is launched in Gloria Steinemʼs living room in New York City; its first issue hits the newsstands in 1972. 


1971 - Robert Abel and Associates founded 


1971 - University of Illinois Alumnus Michael S. Hart founds Project Gutenberg, what is now the oldest digital library. As of December 2007, the project had digitized over 28,000 books with approximately 50 more added each week by dedicated volunteers.  


1972 – Judy Chicago produces Womanhouse with Miriam Shapiro in Los Angeles. 


1972 – The Equal Rights Amendment is sent to the states for ratification after passing congress. 


1972 – SAIC launches Midwest Regional Film Center where Phil Morton creates the ʻVideo Databank.ʼ  


1972 – Seymour Cray, “father of supercomputing”, founded Cray Inc. (R&D and manufacturing in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and business headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota) 


1972 – University of Illinoisʼ ILLIAC IV completed. It was the first large-scale array computer. 


1972 -- Computer Graphics and Image Processing journal begins publication 

1972 -- Atari formed (Nolan Bushnell) and Pong video game developed for Atari 


1972 -- Graphics Symbiosis System (GRASS) developed at Ohio State by Tom DeFanti 


1973 – Motorola researcher Martin Cooper invents the first cellular portable phone released as a commercial product ʻMotorola DynaTAC 8000X.ʼ 


1973 -- Circle Graphics Habitat founded at University of Illinois at Chicago, eventually evolving into the Electronic Visualization Lab. 


1973 – Dan Sandin completes development of first analog image processor and with Tom DeFanti, produces “Inconsecration of New Space, the first public event held at UIC that included the ʻSandin IP.ʼ 


1973 – MCA exhibition of Eva Hesse. 


1973 – Chicago Womenʼs Video Festival is held at UIC. 


1973 – ARC and Artemesia, Chicagoʼs first alternative art spaces open across the street from the MCA. 


1973 – British professor of film and media studies, Laura Mulvey develops the concept of the “male gaze” in visual culture which is published in her critical essay ʻVisual Pleasure and Narrative Cinemaʼ by Screen in 1975. 


1973 – Susan Sontag writes ʻOn Photographyʼ as part of a series of essays for The New York Review of Books that are published into her award-winning book On Photography in 1977. 


1973 – Evans & Sutherland begins marketing first commercial frame buffer 


1973 - Ethernet - Bob Metcalf (Harvard) 


1974 - First SIGGRAPH conference (Boulder) 


1974 – Judy Chicago produces Dinner Party. 


1974 – Susanne Ghez becomes Executive Director of Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. 


1975 – Dan Sandin and Tom DeFanti premier EVE I (1975) at the Circle Graphics Habitat at UIC. 


1975 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻFifty Years of Photography Women Observed, As Seen in Vogue 1924-1974.ʼ  


1975 – U.N. International Womenʼs Year conference is held in Mexico City with 6,300 women attending; it leads to the U.N. Decade for women. 


1975 - Bill Gates starts Microsoft 


1975 - JPL Graphics Lab developed (Bob Holzman) 


1975 - Anima animation system developed at CGRG at Ohio State 


1976 – Ruth Leavitt publishes Artist and Computer in Minnesota. 


1976 – April Fool's Day, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs released the Apple I computer and started Apple Computers. 


1976 – Tom DeFanti gets PhD at Ohio State, student of Charles Csiuri 


1976 – Dan Sandin and Tom DeFanti premier EVE II (1975) at the Circle Graphics Habitat at UIC and establish the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL). 


1976 – Alanna Heiss founds P.S. 1 in New York, now MoMA PS1, dedicated solely to contemporary art. 


1976 – Cray-1 completed, fastest and first commercially successful vector processor supercomputer 


1977 – Joan Truckenbroad delivers white paper on computer art and the humanities at the University of Waterloo. 


1977 – National Womenʼs Studies Association (NWSA) is formed. 


1977 – Eleanor Holmes Norton, chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), authors federal guidelines on sexual harassment in the workplace. 


1977 – Marcia Tucker founds the New Museum in New York, exclusively dedicated to showing contemporary art from around the world. 


1977 – Jenny Holzer creates ʻTruismsʼ her most known work, comprised of a series of aphorisms or “truisms” that are publicized in public spaces including telephone booths, billboards and in 1982 on one of the Times Square giant LED screens. 


1977 - University of Illinois Alumnus Bruce Artwick (MS'76) develops Flight Simulator and forms subLOGIC to market the simulator for personal computers. He forms a new company in 1982 and licenses the simulator to Microsoft. 


1978 – Jane Veeder and Phil Morton create experimental video artwork, ʻProgram #7.ʼ 


1978 – MCA exhibition of Frida Kahlo. 


1978 – The first year that all seven sister colleges – Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, and Wellesley–have female presidents. 


1979 – Jane Byrne is elected as Chicagoʼs first and only female mayor and is the countryʼs largest city to have elected a woman mayor. 


1979 – For the first time, more women than men enter college in the U.S. 


1979 – Two of the U.S. hostages in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, are women: Kathyrn Koob and Elizabeth Ann Smith. 


1979 – Washington Bureau Chief returns loaned feminist artwork of Ayatollah Khomeini by Ellen Sandor two weeks after hostage crisis. 


1979 – Eleanor Dickinson conducts interview with Dr. Peter Janson published in Women Artists News. 


1979 - Motorola 68000 32-bit processor 1979 - Atari 8-bit computers introduced  


1979 - University of Illinois Alumnus John Cioffi (BS'78) begins to develop DSL (digital subscriber line) technology, which enables digital data transmissions over regular telephone networks. The technology revolutionizes the capabilities of Internet use. 


1979 - Disney produces The Black Hole using CGI for the opening 


1979 - Sunstone - Ed Emshwiller (NYIT)  


1979 - George Lucas hires Ed Catmull, Ralph Guggenheim and Alvy Ray Smith to form Lucasfilm 


1980 – Copper Giloth receives the first MFA awarded by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at UIC for her award-winning animation ʻSkippy peanut butter jarsʼ. 


1980 – Center for New Television-CNTV renamed from Chicago Editing Center. 


1980 – Art Chicago is established as the premier contemporary art exposition in the U.S. at Navy Pier. 


1980 – Over 40 percent of the total workforce is female; women with children at home constitute 20 percent of the total U.S. workforce. 


1980 – The U.S. Census allows that “the head of the household” need not be the husband. 

1980 – Disney contracts Abel, III, MAGI and DE for computer graphics for the movie Tron 

Charlotte Moorman, Artist Performing Cello Bomb at Chicago Art Fair, 1984, 5 1/4” x 4 1/4” Vintage black-and-white Polaroid print  From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection 

This notable photograph, taken by Cal Kowal of Charlotte Moorman performing in Carl Solway’s booth at the Chicago Art Fair. Moorman was a pioneering performance artist and collaborator of Nam June Paik, who incorporated electronic media into her works to make provocative feminist statements.   

Moorman is an important Fluxus artist, along with Paik, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, and John Cale. Formed in 1961, Fluxus artists were influenced by the ideas of Marcel Duchamp and John Cage.   


The primary performers of the first Electronic Visualization Event, EVE I, in Chicago in 1975. Bottom row (left to right): Tom DeFanti, Barbara Sykes, Dan Sandin, Phil Morton, Bob Snyder, and Drew Browning. Second row (left to right): Guenther Tetz and Larry Cuba. Top row (behind music stand on right): Michael Sterling. Courtesy of Barbara Sykes.

1981 – Sandra Day OʼConnor becomes the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 


1981 – Helyn D. Goldenberg becomes the first woman president of the MCA. 1981 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻLouise Bourgeois - Femme Maison.ʼ 


1981 – Eleanor Tufts includes Women Artists News interview with Dr. Peter Janson in Arts Magazine article. 


1981 - University of Illinois at Chicago Tom DeFanti expands GRASS to Bally Z-50 machine (ZGRASS) 


1981 – Cranston/Csuri Productions, first computer production company spin off at Ohio State University. 


1981 - Digital Productions formed by John Whitney and Gary Demos 


1982 - Tron released 


1982 - Jim Clark founds Silicon Graphics Inc. 


1982 - Sun Microsystems founded (sun := Stanford University Network) 


1982 – Joan Truckenbroad becomes first department chair of SAICʼs Art & Technology Program. 


1982 – Copper Giloth chairs the first juried and public exhibition of experimental two-dimensional, three-dimensional, interactive and time-based works by artists and scientists at ACM SIGGRAPH in Boston that becomes the annual SIGGRAPH Art Show. 


1982 – Laurie Anderson performs at the MCA during New Music America. 


1982 – The Renaissance Society exhibits ʻEva Hesse – A Retrospective of the Drawings.ʼ 


1982 – The Equal Rights Amendment is defeated. 


1982 – There are 444 Womenʼs Studies programs in colleges and universities nationwide. 


1983 – Ellen Sandor coins the term ʻPHSCologramʼ an acronym for Photography, Holography, Sculpture and Computer Graphics; forms (art)n with SAIC peers and creates first new media installation with PHSColograms. 


1983 – Sally Rosenthal receives an MFA from EVL and exhibits her work on the top floor of the John Hancock Building in Chicago, featuring a computer driven knitting machine rendering cows, output as a tapestry inspired by Eadweard Muybridgeʼs ʻStudies on Motionʼ. 


1983 – SIGGRAPH Video Review is launched. 


1983 – MCA exhibition of Louise Bourgeois. 


1983 – Oprah Winfrey relocates to Chicago to host the AM Show, later re-named The Oprah Winfrey Show, and becomes the number one talk show host in the U.S. and the first African American billionaire. 


1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first American female astronaut in space. 


1983 - University of Illinois Alumnus Tomlinson Holman (BS'68) develops THX, a high-fidelity sound reproduction standard for audio systems, including cinema. Holman produced THX while at Lucasfilm to ensure that the soundtrack for the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, would be accurately reproduced in the best venues. 


1984 University of Illinois School of Music founds the Computer Music Project, led by Sever Tipei, which makes extensive use of the Experimental Music Studios, currently led by Scott Wyatt. 


1984 – Apple launches the MacIntosh, first successful personal computer with screen and mouse-driven graphical interface, included ʻMacPaintʼ and advertised as a counter-Orwellian device.  Apple ran the famous “1984” commercial in late December 1983. 


1984 – Nancy Burson produces Evolution II, an early example of computer generated portraiture, combining the face of a man with a monkey. 1985  ChoraLearn, a computer program designed at the University of Illinois School of Music, enables researchers and students to imitate and analyze Bach chorales. 


1985 – Ellen Sandor collaborates with Tom DeFanti and Dan Sandin at EVL and creates ʻEllen Test II,ʼ the first digital 3D PHSCologram that also includes animation.   


1985 – Donna Cox coins the term ʻRenaissance Teamsʼ as a methodology to “describe multidisciplinary teams of experts focused on solving visualization problems and provided guidelines for successful collaborations.”  Published in Leonardo 1986, receives the international coler-maxwell award. 


1985 - University of Illinois NCSA (Donna Cox, George Francis, Larry Smarr,) and Electronic Visualization Lab / UC-Chicago (Dan Sandin, Tom DeFanti) collaborate with Ellen Sandor and (art)n to create digital process for producingPHSColograms (barrier-strip and lenticular autostereoscopic images).   


1985 – Copper Giloth and Jane Veeder publish ʻThe Paint Problemʼ in IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, Vol. 5, No. 7. 


1985 – Approximately 15,000 people die of AIDS; in 1986 Womenʼs AIDS Project is formed in Los Angeles. 


1986 – Unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court finds that sexual harassment is illegal job discrimination. 


1986 – The space shuttle Challenger explodes, killing all seven crew-members including school teacher Christa McAuliffe and astronaut Judith Resnik. 


1986 – Full-time working women make only about 64 cents to a manʼs dollar. 


1986 – Educator Pleasant Rowland founds Pleasant Company in Middleton, Wisconsin and launches ʻAmerican Girlʼ dolls, books and accessories. 


1986 – Berenice Abbott receives honorary degree from The Ohio State University. 


1986 – Tom DeFanti hires Maxine Brown to write grants to help support the future growth of EVL, foster interdisciplinary collaboration and ultimately the Internet Revolution with high-speed networked supercomputers.   


1986 – National Center for Supercomputing (NCSA) is established at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign as one of the original sites of the National Science Foundationʼs Supercomputer Program Centers, with Larry Smarr as its first Director. 


1986 – NCSA (Larry Smarr, Donna Cox, George Francis, Ray Idazik) and Electronic Visualization Lab / UIC-Chicago (Dan Sandin, Tom DeFanti) collaborate with Ellen Sandor and (art)n, resulting in the first scientific visualization PHSColograms of four dimensional mathematical models with Etruscan Venus, developed at NCSA as the subject of their first piece, shown at Feature and Fermilab Gallery. 


1987 – Barbara Sykes-Dietze curates landmark international traveling exhibition, ʻVideo and Computer Art: Chicago Style.ʼ 


1987 – Donna Cox and Ellen Sandor co-organize international symposium,  

ʻSimulations/Dissimulationsʼ at SAIC. 


1987 -- Phscalograms: (art)n, Fermilab, Batavia, IL. November 11, 1987 - January 6, 1988. 


1987 – Martyl curates ʻPHSCologramsʼ exhibition at Fermilab Gallery, featuring collaborations between (art)n, EVL, and NCSA. 


1987 – Dr. Mae Jemison becomes NASAʼs first black woman astronaut. 


1987 – The Illimath Collective forms.  It is a group of students, scholars, artists, technologists, and scientists based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Chicago who create computer mathematical artworks.  


1987 -- University of Illinois Alumnus Larry F. Weber (BSEE'69 MSEE'71 PhD'75) founds Plasmaco, which acquired from IBM what was then the worldʼs largest plant for manufacturing plasma displays.   


1987 -- (November 5-7)  Simulations/Dissimulations was an early international symposium focused on "the interchange between artistic and technological modes of thinking and methods of production,”  School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  


1987 -  (October 23, 1987 - February 10, 1988) UIC produced The Interactive Image, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL. This benchmark exhibition showed interactive, computer art and kiosk. More than four million people per year visit this museum. 


1989 -- The Arnold O. and Mabel M. Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology opens.  Among the Beckman Institute's four research themes are Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction and Integrative Imaging. 


1989 -- Formal dedication of the Renaissance Experimental Laboratory April 20, 1989 at the Beckman Institute, NCSA.  Jim Clark, co-founder and leader of Silicon Graphics Inc., donated 20 personal Irisʼs to the REL for education and research .  Donna Cox is REL principal investigator, director and project lead. 


1989 – Donna Cox publishes ʻThe Tao of Postmodernism: Computer Art, Scientific Visualization and Other Paradoxesʼ in LEONARDO, Computer Art in Context Supplemental Issue. 


1989 – Televisualization, SIGgraph, Boston, Larry Smarr, Donna Cox, Michael Norman, and [live video recording of] Senator Al Gore introduce the look and feel of the Internet at the Boston Science Center during SIGGRAPH, sponsored by AT&T. 

A 3D photograph of Cindy Sherman, captured by Richard Prince in NYC’s Chinatown.  In 1983, Ellen Sandor formed (art)n and created PHSCologram ’83, the first immersive 3D environment that was a precursor to Virtual Reality.  Sandor’s first 3D installation was completed in 1981 that lead to the development of the PHSCologram medium that became all digital by 1989. 

Cindy Sherman, 1983, Richard Prince 

10”x8” Vintage Nimslo lenticular print 

From the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection, Digital photograph by James Prinz Photography


Katherine Johnson, former NASA "human computer," is pictured in a close-up on the right, and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, seated second from the right, are gathered for a reception to honor NASA's hidden women figures known as "human computers" on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, VA.  

Afterward, the guests attended a premiere of "Hidden Figures" an historic feature film starring Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, the brilliant African American mathematician, physicist, and space scientist, who calculated flight trajectories for John Glenn's first orbital flight in 1962. Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson, are also featured in the film, portraying Johnson’s esteemed colleagues in the segregated West Area Computers division of NASA Langley Research Center. 

Katherine Johnson, former NASA Human Computer, 2016 

From Wikimedia Commons

1989 – Mary Rasmussen has her EVL MFA exhibition at Maximʼs on Oak Street in Chicago, featuring a live interactive performance with students dressed in lab coats who worked with people who came into the salon to have their faces “morphed” into the likeness of an animal in real-time for their personalized, printed digital portrait.   


1990 – Donna Cox publishes ʻScientific Visualization: Collaborating to Predict the Futureʼ in EDUCOM Review, describing her work with ʻRenaissance Teamsʼ at NCSA. 


1990 – Human Genome Project begins, initially headed by Dr. James D. Watson at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. 


1990 – Women hold 25 seats (4.7%) in the U.S. Congress; 23 are in the House of Representatives and 2 are in the Senate. 


1990 – Act for Better Child Care (ABC) becomes law, enacting comprehensive childcare legislation. 


1990 – A record 3.1 million women hold two jobs at once. 


1990 – With the appointment of Justice Sandra Gardebring, the Minnesota Supreme Court becomes the first powerful legal institution to employ a majority of women. 

1991 – First visualization of the NSFnet, non-military and non-commercial internet, by Donna Cox and Bob Patterson 

1992 – The CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) premiers at SIGGRAPH. Its inventors at the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago are Thomas A. DeFanti, Daniel J. Sandin, and Carolina Cruz-Neira. NCSA at the Beckman Institute clones the CAVE. First MFA exhibition of women artists featured in the VR CAVE, co-invented by Carolina Cruz-Neira with Tom DeFanti and Dan Sandin. 


1992 – Mosaic web browser is developed at NCSA by Mark Andreesen with its graphical user interface designed by Colleen Bushell.   


1992 – Copper Giloth is the only woman, and the only artist and educator on the jury for the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater from which she begins creating a reel of collected clips that show how women have been represented in computer graphics by the industry. 


1992 – Women hold only 4.5 percent of all seats on the boards of Fortune 500 Companies. 


1992 – Illinois native Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the first presidentʼs wife to hold a professional degree when William Jefferson Clinton is elected to office. 


1992 – Seventy percent of all wives outlive their husbands. 


1992 -- University of Illinois Alumnus Eric Bain (BS86) in mathematics, computer science co-creates Mortal Kombat, the video game, which becomes an international phenomenon. 


1993 – Brenda Laurel becomes the first woman in the field to receive her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University that was widely published as Computers as Theater. 


1993 – NCSA launches Mosaic web browser, an extremely popular visual graphical browser credited with popularizing the World Wide Web.  Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina led software development, later founding  Netscape™ with Jim Clarrk.  Designer/artist Colleen Bushell designed Mosaic interface which is still used today as the basic browser paradigm. 


1993 – Carol Moseley Braun becomes the first and only African American woman elected to U.S. senate and the only female senator elected to office in Illinois. 


1994 – Donna Cox, Robert Patterson and Marcus Thiebaux begin development of Virtual Director™ using the CAVE.  On-going development continues today. 


1994 – Mark Andreessen and Jim Clark form Netscape Communications Corporation and release Netscape Navigator web browser. 


1995 – Ellen Sandor and (art)n collaborate with Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation on a PHSCologram series based upon drawings of a barracks made by a concentration camp survivor from Auschwitz-Birkenau. 


1995 –ACM@UIUC Student Chapter initiates Reflections | Projections, an annual student computing conference that draws national speakers, some working in digital arts media, and hosts the MechMania programming contest and a job fair. 


1997 – Cyberfest at the University of Illinois, March 10-15. Arthur C. Clarke wrote in his novel 2001: Space Odessey, that HAL 9000 computer was born 12 January 1997.  The University of Illinois held a birthday party for HAL in Urbana. The CyberGala was hosted by film critic and native son Roger Ebert. 


1997  -- Members of a scientific visualization team at NCSA, led by Donna Cox, are nominated for an Academy Award for their work on the science documentary Cosmic Voyage (1996). The team will become AVL. 


1997 – Ellen Sandor and (art)n are commissioned by A Living Memorial to the Holocaust - Museum of Jewish Heritage and Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History to create site-specific PHSCologram installations. 


1998 – Ellen Sandor and (art)n are commissioned by CameraWorks for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Out of Science: Imaging/Imaging Science, the first contemporary art exhibition of art and science works since the museum's collaboration in 1967 with John Szarkowski, Museum of Modern Art and University of California Berkeley that represented hundreds of images that "exist in the world but cannot be seen by the human eye without the aid of photography," focusing on form rather than function, "that is, scientific or artistic" in purpose.
  PET Study/Reconstructing Rodin is included on the cover of Your Future Self by Hank Whittemore 


1999 -- RiverWeb funded by a major NSF grant, is developed by NCSA in partnership with three Midwestern science museums.   


2000 -- University of Illinois Donna Cox, Bob Patterson, and Marcus Thiebaux receive a patent for the technologies behind Virtual Director™, a virtual choreography and navigation system that also provides capabilities to collaborate and interact over the Internet from remote locations. 


2000 – Copper Giloth and Tom DeFanti receive SIGGRAPH  Outstanding Service Award. 


2001 – Ellen Sandor and (art)n receive an honorary commission by City of Chicago, Public Art Program and Department of Aviation to create Battle of Midway Memorial for Midway Airport, Chicago. 

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