Records of Fanny Adams

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of copies of information pieces that appeared in art magazines during their media campaign to draw attention to discrimination and inequality in the art world. It also includes an article about Fanny Adams, a bibliography of 'Fanny's moments in the press' and video footage of events, including 'Fanny's Big Ball', 28 Oct 1992.

Administrative / Biographical History

Fanny Adams (1992-1993) was an anonymous pressure group that was active from around Feb 1992 to Jun 1993. Based on the American 'Guerilla Girls', the group of women art practitioners from diverse backgrounds campaigned to publicly expose inequality and discrimination within the art world and to give women a stronger and more prominent role. Their key protest concerned the low representation of women artists in major London commercial galleries and in magazine reviews. Using the slogan 'Fanny Adams puts you in the picture' they ran a media campaign in the form of flyering, stickering and placing adverts or 'information pieces' in magazines including Art Monthly, Women's Art, Frieze and The Artist's Newsletter. They used statistical evidence to point out women's under-representation in art galleries, as well as 'naming and shaming' key figures in the art world responsible for showing and purchasing artists' work, including Nicholas Serota and Norman Rosenthal. The anonymity of the group allowed them to target individuals and galleries alike, for example: the posters for the 'Gravity and Grace' exhibition of sculpture at the Hayward Gallery was targeted with the text '95% female-free', and in Jan 1992 a thousand greeting cards with the proclamation 'Fanny Adams invites you to reconsider' was sent to key representatives in the visual arts. The Barbican Art Gallery reproduced the Fanny Adams advertisement 'Anthony D'Offay showed less than 15% women artists, or none at all, in 1991', in the exhibition Cutting Edge (Aug to Oct 1992).

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Anonymous donation [the anonymity of the donation was in keeping with the ethos of Fanny Adams which was made up of anonymous members].

Other Finding Aids

The Women's Library Catalogue

Related Material

Further material relating to Fanny Adams is held by The Women's Art Library (MAKE) at Goldsmiths University Library Special Collections.