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Marilyn Schwartz- ART CART Oral Histories

Schwartz, Marilyn; Jeffri, Joan; Research Center for Arts and Culture

Marilyn Schwartz, a photographer and collagist was born in the Bronx. She has always lived and worked in New York City and for many years at Westbeth Artist Residence in Greenwich Village. Schwartz was selected in 1978 by the Cultural Council Foundation to work on the CETA Artist Project. She was stationed in Staten Island, and with the S. I. Museum archived buildings for the Landmarks Commission. She also photographed a dance troop’s productions, and worked with the S.I. Children’s Museum. Her photographs were shown in all of these venues. Schwartz has documented feminist artists picketing Museum of Modern Art for greater representation, students at NYU for pro-choice, anti-racist marches in So. Boston and religious groups for peace. She has often worked in series in black and white and is noted for her portraits as well. Schwartz now works with collage and in color of events such as Tango on the Hudson Piers, and a Celebration of New York City Gardens, and people and events around town. Her photographs are in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, The Staten Island Museum, Museum of Modern Art archives and the New York Historical Society. She has been published in many magazines and exhibited widely around NYC and in Puerto Rico. Marilyn Schwartz discusses her media, the main one being photography, and also collage and poetry and how they relate to each other, as well as insights about how photography has changed over the last half century. She discusses the important CETA movement – the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973, a federal program created for the public, of which artists took great advantage, and her part in it. She describes the early years of the artists’ housing complex, Westbeth, where she lives, and which was created around the same time, and how it became a hub for a very productive time in all art forms in American artistic history as well as her connections to feminism and women’s rights.

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For more information about the ART CART project, please visit their website: http://artsandcultureresearch.org/artcart.

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