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Lynn Hershman-Leeson Papers M1452
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  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections
  • Biographical Note
  • Access to Collection
  • Publication Rights

  • Title: Lynn Hershman-Leeson Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M1452
    Contributing Institution: Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 200.0 Linear feet 100 manuscript boxes, 90 record storage containers
    Date: 1976-2004
    Abstract: A collection of archival papers, audio-visual media, publications, artifacts, photographs, letters, and other documents connected to Hershman-Leeson's art works and projects created since the 1970s and through 2003.
    creator: Hershman-Leeson, Lynn, 1941-

    Related Collections

    Women art revolution : videotape interviews by Lynn Hershman-Leeson for film, 1990-2008, M1639. A digital collection containing the video interviews, as well as transcripts, is available online at http://lib.stanford.edu/women-art-revolution.

    Biographical Note

    Lynn Hershman Leeson (b. 1941) is a performance artist and filmmaker who, in various media, has investigated the idea of selfhood and what establishes an individual as a sentient, gendered, unique person. Between the years of 1974 and 1978, Hershman Leeson spent much of her time performing as an alter ego, the character Roberta Breitmore. Much of the work--drawings, photographs, clothing, medical records, letters, etc.--Hershman Leeson produced during the Breitmore years related to the character's emotional and practical existences. Hershman Leeson seemed to be demonstrating that the two existences could and should not be easily separated--nor should the artist herself be easily separated from the character she created. Hershman Leeson's work in film, video, and new media has been equally focused toward exploring the ways that bodies interact and define themselves. Lorna (1983-84), described by the artist as "the first interactive video art disc," allowed the viewer to experience the emotions of the title character while also, at key points, making important decisions for her. The viewer was both entwined with and removed from Lorna's life. In the 1980s and 90s, Hershman continued to focus on new media, expanding her work in video and creating online environments that incorporated artificial intelligence. Concurrently, she began to direct feature films; her first film, Conceiving Ada (1997), situated the nineteenth-century computer science innovator Ada Lovelace in juxtaposition with the twentieth-century computer reality that she helped to create. A winner of numerous awards and honors for her contributions to art practice, Hershman Leeson is currently Chair of the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Davis, and an A.D. White Professor at large at Cornell University. !Women Art Revolution reflects years of interviews that Hershman Leeson has compiled in order to tell the story of the feminist art movement in the artists' own words.

    Access to Collection

    Open for research. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Hershman-Leeson, Lynn, 1941-