Joanne LeonardA Tribute by Carol Jacobsen

Colleague and Professor

at the University of Michigan School of Art



The following tribute was read at the retirement party for Joanne given by University of Michigan colleagues and friends, Abby Stewart and Carol Jacobsen.









A Tribute...

We're here to honor Joanne and all her contributions to colleagues, friends, students as she retires from teaching - though she will not be gone from the University.


Now that she has that long sought after resource - time - she promises to attend all of our campus lectures, panels and events!   Actually, Joanne has always been the best of all colleagues: we could always count on her to show up for our events, support us, cheer us on in so many warm and thoughtful ways.  We all count on you, Joanne, and so appreciate your boundless generosity - and that you're there for so many people.

I want to take this moment to recall for all of us some of the cultural politics and events of 1978 - the year that you moved across the U.S. from San Francisco to teach at Michigan with your 3 year old Julia in tow, built your darkroom, exhibited work at the Marcuse Pfeifer Gallery in New York, The Whitney Museum in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, Galleries at U Mass and MIT- and were working toward an upcoming solo show at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas.


As you left San Francisco that year -
     - The first Take Back the Night march was organized there
     - Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone were assassinated
     - And Diane Feinstein became the first woman mayor of the city


And as you headed across the country -
     - The feminist art movement was gaining momentum, Lucy Lippard's groundbreaking book, From the Center, which included Joanne's work, was all the rage, and women artists were organizing their own coop galleries in Soho, Chicago, Minneapolis, etc. - come to think of it, we're still fighting for our shows, as the Guerrilla Girls remind us!

But back to 1978 - It was the year
     - Heresies: Feminist Journal on Art & Politics had just begun publishing
     - Annie Hall won the Oscar for Best Movie that year
     - Volkswagen Rabbit appeared in the U.S.
     - Elsa Honig Fine published her groundbreaking book, Woman and Art
     - The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed
     - Judy Chicago was creating the Dinner Party
     - The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action In U of Calif v Bakke
     - Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize
     - Margaret Thatcher was campaigning for Prime Minister in the UK
     - Indira Ghandi was re-elected in India
     - Abortion was legalized in Italy
     - Hannah Hoch died in Berlin
     - The Cold war was still on
     - The Susan B. Anthony Dollar was minted and circulated in the U.S.
     - Artists Adrian Piper, Carolee Schneeman, Eleanor Antin & Hannah Wilke were    combining performance with photography; and Miriam Shapiro, Joyce Kozloff were    gaining recognition for pattern painting.
     - Germaine Greer was finishing her book, The Obstacle Race'
     - Linda Nochlin and Ann Sutherland Harris curated the first historical survey of art and it    was touring museums across the U.S.
     -  Photography was not yet fully accepted as "Art" in the Art World
     - Joanne Leonard, through her pioneering photocollage and her teaching, made an important contribution to the changing World of Art on behalf of both women and photography, and at the University of Michigan!


We honor her tonight as she embarks on the next phase of her career and her life's work.


Joanne Leonard photo by Eleanor Rubin, 1990s

© 2007 Joanne Leonard
site design: Catherine M.


Joanne Leonard - Being in Pictures