Duston Spear Collection
Scope and Contents
The Duston Spears Collection dates from 1993 to 1996 and includes a notebook, journal, description of the 3 Women in Black project, mounted three-part photograph of the project's installation at UNCG, printed material relating to the artist and the project, the three Women in Black dresses, one pair of leather gloves, two mismatched knit gloves, a ski mask, and two veiled headpieces.
The 3 Women in Black project in the United States was designed to show solidarity with the Women in Black of Belgrade, Serbia, who were protesting the rape of women during the conflicts in central Europe. Spear's three black dresses were created for protest performances in opposition to "war, rape as a tool of war, ethnic cleansing, and human rights abuses all over the world," according to art critic Barbara Goldman.
Spear sent the dresses to different groups of women around the world to wear. When the project first began, participants who wore the dresses signed and dated them.These women stood in the rain and the snow, therefore the names are somewhat faded. In 1994 the labels were used for a fundraising drive wherein the donor's name was written in ink on canvas strips which were then sewn into the dresses. According to Spear, when the women in Serbia were shown these signatures they were moved to see other people were concerned about their well-being. In turn, the Serbian women signed the large panel that Spear had sewn into the "Graduation" gown.
Women in Black, sponsored by the Women's Action Coalition, was presented at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery at UNCG on January 31, 1996, under the title Battledress: Three Women in Black.
- 1993 - 2007
- Majority of material found within 1993 - 1996
- Spear, Duston (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.
Biographical or Historical Information
Duston Spear, a native of Virginia, is an artist and activist who lives and works in New York City. She served as a Falk Visiting Artist/Lecturer in the Department of Art at UNCG in the spring of 1996. Spear's work has been shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, and the High Museum of Art.
8.00 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Language of Materials
Duston Spear is an artist and activist who lives and works in New York City. Her 3 Women in Black project was designed to show solidarity with the Women in Black of Belgrade, Serbia, who were protesting the rape of women during the conflicts in central Europe. The Duston Spear Collection dates from 1993 to 1996 and includes a notebook, journal, project description and photograph, and three costumes.
Method of Acquisition
Gifts of the artist, November 1996, September 2002, and October 2008.
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