Megan Butcher


Original document was submitted as an honors thesis requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

Document Type



The Fluxus movement of the 1960s and early 1970s laid the groundwork for future female artists and performance art as a medium. However, throughout my research, I have found that while there is evidence that female artists played an important role in this art movement, they were often not written about or credited for their contributions. Literature on the subject is also quite limited. Many books and journals only mention the more prominent female artists of Fluxus, leaving the lesser-known female artists difficult to research. The lack of scholarly discussion has led to the inaccurate documentation of the development of Fluxus art and how it influenced later movements. Additionally, the absence of research suggests that female artists’ work was less important and, consequently, keeps their efforts and achievements unknown. It can be demonstrated that works of art created by little-known female artists later influenced more prominent artists, but the original works have gone unacknowledged. If recognition and credit is not given to innovative artists without bias, then the subsequent literature on this material will be skewed.

To address my research question, I conducted my research through traditional methods used in the field of art history. I gathered information about each artist that I studied, their works of art, and the contexts in which they worked in relation to both the Fluxus movement and future art movements. I carried out my research using scholarly journals, books on Fluxus, relevant artworks, primary sources relevant to the Fluxus movement, and catalogues of subsequent retrospective exhibitions. I found that the likely explanation for the absence of scholarly literature about the female artists was due to either their exclusion by George Maciunas from the movement, lack of collaborative participation, or association with other art movements that hindered their perceived presence in Fluxus. I also found that the performative works of female Fluxus artists were pivotal in the development of performance art as a medium and the feminist art movement. These artists’ notable absence from the scholarly literature has been a topic that art historians are just beginning to address.