Fanny Adams Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Collection of newscuttings, press releases and leaflets relating to the Fanny Adams campaign, including floor plan of the National Gallery showing the whereabouts of the 7 works of art on show by women artists.

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 Jan1992 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).[Corporate history by The Women's Library in cataloguing 6FYA Fanny Adams Archive]

Conditions Governing Access

Access for visitors is by appointment only.

Other Finding Aids

List available at the Library (database)

Archivist's Note

Description by Althea Greenan, MAKE 2002. Submitted to the Archives Hub as part of Genesis 2009 Project.

Related Material

Further material relating to Fanny Adams is held by The Women's Library, 6FYA Records of Fanny Adams. The Women's Library also holds a large Zine Collection many of which are by alternative / art feminists.