Special Collections

The Women’s Studio Workshop Library is home to a wide range of archival materials that trace the organization’s history and mission. For chronological documentation of organizational activities please visit WSW’s Historical Timeline, which outlines public events, film screenings, exhibitions, and fundraisers. Additionally, a chronological listing of all artist alumnx can be found here.

Visits to the library are by appointment only. If you’re interested in working with our collections, please review WSW’s Reading Room Policies and complete a research request form here. For more information, contact our Archivist, Faythe Levine ([email protected]).

Collections Overview

Artist Files

The WSW Artist Files are a repository of primary documents relative to each artist that has been in residence at the studio. These folders include correspondence, exhibition records, exhibition announcements, personal notes, small artworks, clippings, emails, contracts, and other unique material to each individual artist. A chronological listing of all artists-in-residence is linked here.

Images L-R: A drawer of Artists’ Files in our archive, Zarina Hashmi’s Artist File including correspondence with founder Tana Kellner

Silkscreen Poster Collection

The Poster Collection includes over 300 silkscreen posters promoting various events within the span of WSW’s history; including workshop advertisements, film screenings, lectures, and exhibitions. 

Posters from Film and Video Series 1979 – 1990

Photographs, Slides, and Negatives

Documentation has always been a part of daily life in the studios at WSW. This collection features images of resident artists working in the studio, office life including staff and intern experience, potluck lunches, promotional photos, documentation of exhibitions, workshops, performances and events. Materials include photographic prints, negatives, contact sheets, and slides.

Artist’s Book Collection

WSW has published over 230 artists’ books since the imprint was started in 1979. The WSW Library is a full repository of the organization’s publishing catalog and includes handling copies of each book. A small collection of technical materials including physical mock-ups specific to individual projects is also available.

Organizational Papers and Ephemera

This collection holds all organizational records, including historical documents relating to WSW properties, administration, and finances. Ephemera includes newsletters, direct mailings, grants, contracts, budgets, and campaigns. This collection includes many programmatic promotional materials created onsite printed by silkscreen, letterpress, and offset.

Artist Alumnx Collection

Upon the completion of some residencies at WSW, many artists will donate  work. This collection includes about 250 pieces of works on paper crossing the studio disciplines at WSW, including silkscreen, letterpress, papermaking, relief, and intaglio processes. Additionally, there are some clay and sculptural pieces.

Papermaking Samples and Production Logs

Used to record the production process for every handmade paper created in the studio, these charts detail fiber preparation and sheeting instructions for hundreds of paper-based artist projects. 

Anita Wetzel Collection

This collection features over 250 works of art; including drawings, paintings, handmade paper, clay sculpture, and prints by WSW co-founder Anita Wetzel. Anita was the founding spirit of Women’s Studio Workshop. In honor of Anita’s legacy, her friends and WSW are establishing the Anita Wetzel Fellowship for Visual Artists at Women’s Studio Workshop. The Anita Wetzel Fellowship for Visual Artists at Women’s Studio Workshop is funded with the generous support of the Anita Wetzel Memorial Fund.