Filter This collection: Women Artists Action Group Archive

  • Title: Women Artists Action Group Archive
  • Reference Code: IE/NIVAL WAAG
  • Level of Description: Collection
  • Creation Dates: 1987-1991
  • Extent And Medium: 1 slide library box containing 892 slides within 111 individual artist a-z files, 135 slides from exhibitions and events. 1 archive box containing administrative documents, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, exhibition ephemera, 2 audio tapes. 1 ephemera file containing administrative documents, correspondence, newsletters, other ephemera.
  • Creators:
  • Repository: NIVAL

Scope and Content

The Women Artists Action Group (WAAG) was a nationwide group founded in the Spring of 1987 by Pauline Cummins (Chairwoman). Other founder members included Breeda Mooney, Veronica Bolay, Jenny Haughton, Patricia Hurl, and Patricia McKenna. WAAG was made up of professional women artists, art historians, critics, and curators. It was founded in the hope "that by having a multi-disciplinary membership - which is drawn from the Art World, that WAAG would be better able to effect necessary changes in the art world and the public perception of women artists' work". They set out to achieve this through research, conferences, exhibitions and publications.

During the Third International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women in July 1987 WAAG organised a photo slide exhibition at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin, featuring 91 women artists. The show had an open submission format, which artists could participate in by sending photo slides of their works—a strategy of exhibition-making much ahead of its time. The database quickly evolved into the WAAG Slide Library with more than one hundred women artists, constituting the most extensive visual archive of women artists in Ireland. 1987 also saw their first inaugural exhibition held at the Guinness Hop Store. The group formed links with the International Association of Women in the Arts (IAWA) and a European network enabling members works to be shown in Germany, Austria, Spain, and the Netherlands. In 1988 WAAG collaborated with Orchard Art Gallery to hold a symposium in Derry at Foyle Arts Centre which included speakers May Stevens, art historian and curator Fionna Barber, art historian and critic Moira Roth, filmmaker, Derry Film and Video Collective member Anne Crilly, and artists Pauline Cummins, Helen Chadwick, and Aileen McKeogh. When Dublin was officially inaugurated as the European City of Culture in 1991, WAAG, in collaboration with IAWA, organised an international symposium at the newly opened Irish Museum of Modern Art and a site-specific outdoor exhibition around Moss Street, Upper Exchange Street, Heuston Station, George’s Quay, and the Customs House Quay, Dublin. The project, titled “Women Artists and the Environment,” focused on the harmony between the city and the river. The symposium was opened by President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, with key speakers, the art activists, Guerrilla Girls.


Arranged to item level.