Rowan University Art Gallery



The Sylvia Sleigh Collection is comprised of nearly one hundred paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs by women artists. It was amassed by Sylvia Sleigh (1916–2010), a pioneering feminist and tireless supporter of women artists. She became well-known in the 1970s for her paintings of nude men. She unashamedly reveled in the beauty of the human body while challenging the tradition in which male artists depicted anonymous, idealized, and often eroticized female models. Sleigh was among the founding members of SOHO 20 Gallery (est. 1973), an important women’s cooperative. She subsequently joined A.I.R. Gallery (est. 1972), the first artist-run exhibition space for women in the United States.

It was Sylvia Sleigh’s intention to donate her collection to an institution that would preserve the work and make it accessible through periodic exhibitions. She acquired the works of other women as a way of supporting them and honoring their achievements, regardless of whether they were critically acclaimed or financially successful. With the Sylvia Sleigh Collection as its foundation, the permanent collection of The Galleries at Rowan University will be supplemented in the same spirit, with particular emphasis on the works of women who were active in the pivotal period of the 1970s and 1980s.

Contact Professor Andrew Hottle or gallery director, Mary Salvante with questions regarding the Slyvia Sleigh Collection.

Dr. Andrew Hottle, Associate Professor of Art History:

Mary Salvante, Gallery Director:




Catalogue of Groundbreaking: The Women of the Sylvia Sleigh Collection


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