The Women in Black Art Project at Smithsonian Institution Print E-mail
The Women in Black Art Project is now in the permanent archives of the Smithsonian Institution,

National Museum of American History, Behring Center, Division of Politics and Reform. Harry Rubenstein is the Curator of that Division. Should you wish to access the Women in Black Art Project archives, please contact Mr. Rubenstein for instructions on how to do that. The address is 14th and Constitution Avenues, NW, Washington, DC 20560.


The Women in Black Art Project archive at the Smithsonian contains the three costumes made by a collective of artists in West Palm Beach, FL in the winter of 2001-2002. The first performance with the costumes took place on the Mall in Washington, DC on March 8, 2002, International Women's Day. Subsequently the costumes were used in peace demonstrations at the UN in New York City, on Memorial Bridge in Washington, DC on the first anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, in a procession honoring the murdered and abducted young women of Juarez and Chihuahua in Mexice (2002) in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Maine and twice in Florida. The costumes were withdrawn from circulation when a dispute emerged in the collective regarding whether or not to allow the costumes to be used in Israel to protest the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories, and at the biennial conference of Women in Black in Italy in opposition to the Iraq war. To see the costumes, please go to The archives also contain original photographs of the vigils and performances in which the costumes were used, press clippings, initial design drawings, videotapes of the artists' process in deciding on the costumes' design and decoration, videotapes and CDs of events in which the costumes appeared and an email colloquy between artist members of the collective that made the art and Women in Black activists regarding the reluctance on the part of some of the artists to allow the costumes to be used in Israel and at the Women in Black conference in Italy in 2003.