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Sabra Moore NYC Women's Art Movement Collection

Identifier: SC16

Collection Scope and Content Summary

This collection consists of the artwork, photographs, posters, clippings, correspondence, flyers, newspapers, newsletters, publications, t-shirts, ribbons, and cards that document the work and life of artist and activist Sabra Moore in New York City from 1969-1996. Letters about decisions regarding exhibitions, demonstrations, and magazine/newsletter content related to art and feminist organizations compose the bulk of Moore's correspondence.

Photographs of Moore and the artists with whom she most often collaborated, as well as the artist activist groups that she participated in make up the majority of the photograph collection. Many of the people and places in the photographs have been identified and labeled by Moore. This inventory can be made accessible to researchers. Moore was very actively involved in the Heresies Collective, thus the collection has an extensive number of Heresies Magazines and other documents related to the organization. The collection also includes newspaper clippings announcing exhibition openings and mentioning various demonstrations that Moore helped organize and lead.

The collection contains pieces of original art created by Moore in collaboration with other artists and artifacts from Moore's demonstration at MoMA in 1984. For example, the following artists contributed to the Reconstructed Codex: Emma Amos, Frances Buschke, Camille Billops, Josely Carvalho, Catherine, Correa, Christine Costan, Colleen Cutschall, Sharon Gilbert, Kathy Grove, Marina Gutierrez, Virginia Jaramillo, Kazuko, Sabra Moore, Helen Oji, Catalina Parra, Linda Peer, Liliana Porter, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Nancy Spero, Holly Zox. Moore made color Xerox copies of the Codex, which are now in the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA collections. The Archives also has a xeroxed copy of the Codex.

The ephemera that document the 1984 demonstration against MoMA consists of ribbons, badges, cards, photographs and a wooden Model MoMA. The ribbons were worn as sashes and cards--on which artists names and gender representation statistics were written--were stapled to the sashes. This part of the collection also contains over 600 cards with women artist names written or printed on them that were put into the Model MoMA as part of the demonstration against MoMA in 1984.


  • Creation: 1969 - 1996
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 - 1992


With the exception of the Reconstructed Codex, this collection has no restrictions. The Codex is restricted due to its fragility. The Reconstructed Codex xeroxed book serves as an access copy.

Reproduction Restrictions

Barnard Archives may permit scholarly, non-commercial use of the materials, including allowing individuals to quote from the materials. The responsibility to secure conent to reproduce materials in this collection rests with the patron.

Publication Rights

Sabra Moore and the individual artists who works are represented in the collection reserve all rights in such intellectual property as they may own.


Sabra Moore, artist, activist and curator, was born on January 25, 1943 in Texas. After moving to New York City, Moore became deeply involved in several art organizations, including the New York City/Women's Caucus for Art (NYC/WCA), of which she was President from 1980-1982. In 1982, Moore coordinated a series of 16 independently curated women's shows, "Views By Women Artists." She organized other large-scale women's collaborative exhibitions, including the Reconstruction Project (1984), which was shown at Artists Space in New York City as part of Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America (1984). The Reconstruction Project traveled to Powerhouse Gallery in Montreal and Eye Level Gallery in Halifax in 1987. The Reconstructed Codex was the art that came out of the Reconstruction Project, done in response to the 1562 burning of the Mayan codices by Fray Diego de Landa and the ongoing massacres of Mayans during 1984. Moore invited 19 women artists from diverse backgrounds to re-create a codex in the format of the Dresden Codex. Moore also co-organized and co-created the Connections Project/Conexus (1986), with artist Josely Carvalho, which was exhibited in 1987 at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art located in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. Moore was an organizer of the Demonstration at MoMA (1984) due to their lack of inclusion of women artists. She was a member of Women Arts in Revolution (WAR) in the early 1970s and a counselor at Women's Services, the first legal abortion clinic in NY.

Moore was a member of the Heresies Collective from 1970-1991, which produced Heresies Magazine. The Heresies Collective was a feminist art collective at the heart of the 1970's art world based in lower Manhattan. She also worked with Women's Action Coalition (WAC) and Repo History. During this same period, Moore exhibited frequently in solo and group shows, but only those projects & shows connected to the women's art movement are included in this collection. Moore's artwork is based on her translation of the quiltmaking traditions of her family in East Texas into large-scale sculptures, wall works, and artist books. Several of Moore's artist books are in the Brooklyn Museum's collection.

Moore currently lives in New Mexico and continues working as a committed artist and activist.


13.78 Linear Feet (17 doc boxes, 2 oversize custom boxes, 1 records carton, 1 poster box)




This collection documents Sabra Moore’s involvement in the Women’s Art Movement, Women’s Caucus for Art, Women Artists in Revolution, Heresies Collective, and other feminist artist groups based in New York City from the 1970s to the mid-1990s. The collection consists of flyers, publications, artwork, t-shirts, correspondence, photographs, and protest ephemera conceived of, and created by, Moore and her artist colleagues.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged in five series, four of which have further subseries. This collection is in the original order in which it was received by the Archives. The series and subseries arrangement of the records are as follows:

Series 1, Art Organizations, 1969-1995

Subseries 1.1, Women Artists in Revolution (W.A.R.), Women's Interart Center, and Related Activism, 1969-1976
Subseries 1.2, Anti-War Leaflets Designed by Sabra, Demonstration Against Harlem on My Mind, Articles for RAT, 1969
Subseries 1.3, Atlantic Gallery, 1976-1992
Subseries 1.4, New York City/Women's Caucus for Art (NYC/WCA), 1978-1991
Subseries 1.5, Heresies, 1979-1995

Series 2, Women's Collaborative Exhibitions, 1980-1989

Subseries 2.1, Views by Women Artists, 1980-1983
Subseries 2.2, Protective Devices, 1982-1983
Subseries 2.3, Reconstruction Project, 1984-1989
Subseries 2.4, 150 Artists' Book/Connections Project/Conexus, 1986

Series 3, Feminist Organizations, 1970-1996

Subseries 3.1, Women's Services, 1970-1972
Subseries 3.2, Women's Action Coalition, 1992-1996

Series 4, Art Exhibitions and Publications, 1969-1992

Subseries 4.1, Magazines, Anthologies, Handbooks, and Journals, 1969-1972
Subseries 4.2, Show Cards/Announcements/Flyers/Posters, 1972-1992

Series 5, Demonstration at MoMA, 1984

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 2016.


No additions are expected.

Related Collections

Barnard Archives and Special Collections SC 22 Connections/Conexus Collection

Other Forms of Material

Online versions of Heresies Magazine can be found at the Heresies PDF Archive:


The 604 cards with names that went into the Model MoMA have been scrubbed for mold and placed into Mylar sleeves for preservation purposes. The Model MoMA and Reconstructed Codex have been rehoused in archival boxes and packed with archival tissue.

Processing History

This collection was processed by Amy Lau in May 2016.

This finding aid was written by Amy Lau, with help from Sabra Moore's inventory, in May 2016.

Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.

Encoding: Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002.

Guide to the Sabra Moore NYC Women's Art Movement Collection
In Progress
Amy Lau
© 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States