Grant Recipients Grants to Artists Visual Arts 2012

Kate Millett

Kate Millett
Photo by Sophie Keir.
  • Visual Artist, Writer, Teacher
  • Born St. Paul, MN, 1934
  • Died 2017, Paris, France

The FCA grant has allowed me the time and provided the resource to begin to consolidate, restore, digitize images, catalog, and create proper storage for over 50 years of my work in sculpture, serigraphs, film, photography, and works on paper. I was also able, for the first time in the 35-year history of The Farm, an Art Colony for Women, to… work with an archivist to detail and create an archive to protect the unique history of the Women's Art Colony...

- Kate Millett, December 12, 2012


Kate Millett is a visual artist, writer, and leader of the feminist movement. Her writings serve as statements on the feminist, human rights, peace, civil rights, and anti-psychiatry movements. In 1978, she founded the Women's Art Colony in LaGrange, New York as an institution for women's art and activism. Her books include Sexual Politics (1970), The Prostitution Papers (1973), Flying (1974), Sita (1977), The Basement (1979), Going to Iran (1982), a book about being arrested in Iran; The Loony-Bin Trip (1990), about being involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility; The Politics of Cruelty (1994); and Mother Millett (2001).

Millett is also a visual artist and sculptor. Her works have been shown in solo exhibitions at Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, Massachussets; NOHO Gallery, New York; the University of Baltimore, Maryland; Hunter College, CUNY; Smith College, Massachussets; Galerie DeVille, New Orleans; Galerie Andere Zeichen, Berlin; Galerie Amazone, Amsterdam; Galerie des Femmes, Paris; Judson Gallery, New York; and Minami Gallery in Tokyo.

Following her FCA support, Millet received a 2013 Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Minnesota, and in 2013 she was also inducted into The National Women's Hall of Fame. Prior to her 2012 Grants to Artists, Millet was the recipient of a Maison des Femmes Award (1980) from the French Government, a New York State Foundation for the Arts Grant (1992), an Uncommon Legacy Foundation Award (1994), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Veteran Feminists of America (2011), a LAMBDA Pioneer Award (2012), a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award (2012).

Millet received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota (1956), a 1st Class Degree from St. Hilda's College, Oxford University (1958), a Ph.D. from Columbia University (1970), and a Post-Doctorate Degree from Hunter College, CUNY (2002). Millett has taught English in Japan and was an instructor at Barnard College and director of the Barnard and Columbia Experimental College from 1964 to 1970.

Artist Statement

My early work was very happy––rather Mozartian––a suite of furniture. I was living on The Bowery in New York City with the sculptor, Fumio Yoshimura.

Then one day I read about the murder of fourteen-year-old Sylvia Likens in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was tortured and confined in a basement. Thereafter, my sculpture was all about entrapment, impotence, and incarceration. They are about people and things in cages. It is how I view Capital, our treatment of the aged and the poor. I've lived on the old New York Bowery—skid row—all my adult life. In other countries, that in itself speaks volumes.

I am trying to get out of cages now and into happier things like "Bureaucracy."

- December 2011

Kate Millett
Love Seat, 1965. Photo by Diane Yamaguchi.
Kate Millett
Terminal Piece, 1972. Photo by Chie Nishio.
Kate Millett
Waiting for Godot, Flux Sculpture, 1995. Photo by Kate Millett.