|Field||Painting, Printmaking, Collage|
|Training||BA, University of Iowa (1945), MA, University of Iowa (1946), MFA, University of Iowa (1949)|
|Movement||Abstract Expressionism, Feminist art, Pattern and Decoration|
|Awards||College Art Association Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement (2002)|
- Not to be confused with Miriam Shapira-Luria, a Talmud scholar in the Late Middle Ages
Miriam Schapiro (or Shapiro) (born 1923) is a Canadian-born artist based in America. She is a painter, femmagist, sculptor, and printmaker. She is a pioneer of feminist art. She is also considered a leader of the Pattern and Decoration art movement.
She was born in Toronto, Canada and studied at the State University of Iowa, where she met the artist Paul Brach, whom she married in 1946. By 1951 they moved to New York City and befriended many of the Abstract expressionist artists of the New York School, including Joan Mitchell, Larry Rivers, Knox Martin and Michael Goldberg. Shapiro and Brach lived in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. During this period Shapiro had a successful career as an abstract expressionist painter in the hard-edge style.
Her father was an industrial design artist who fostered her desire to be an artist and served as her role model and mentor. Her mother was a stay at home mother who worked part time during the depression.  Early in her career, Schapiro started looking for maternal symbols to unify her own roles as a woman. Her series, Shrines (1963), was her first artistically successful attempt at compartmentalizing her life roles. Her painting, Big Ox No. 1, from 1968, references Shrines, however no longer compartmentalized. The center O takes on the symbol of the egg which exists as the window into the maternal structure with outstretched limbs. 
In the 1970s, Schapiro and Brach moved to California so that both could teach in the art department at the University of California. Subsequently, she was able to establish the Feminist Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts with Judy Chicago. The program set out to address the problems in the arts from an institutional position. They wanted the creation of art to be less of a private, introspective adventure and more of a public process through consciousness raising sessions, personal confessions, and technical training.  She participated in the Womanhouse exhibition in 1972. Schapiro's smaller piece within Womanhouse, called "Dollhouse", was constructed using various scrap pieces to create all the furniture and accessories in the house. Each room signified a particular role a woman plays in society and depicted the conflicts between them.
Schapiro's work from the 1970s onwards consists primarily of collages assembled from fabrics, which she calls "femmages". Her 1977 - 1978 essay Waste Not Want Not: An Inquiry into What Women Saved and Assembled - FEMMAGE (written with Melissa Meyer) describes femmage as the activities of collage, assemblage, découpage and photomontage practised by women using "traditional women's techniques - sewing, piercing, hooking, cutting, appliquéing, cooking and the like..."
List of Major Works
- Cotter, Holland (2008-01-15), "Scaling a Minimalist Wall With Bright, Shiny Colors", New York Times, retrieved 2009-09-12
- Avital H. Bloch, Lauri Umansky, Impossible to Hold: Women and Culture in the 1960s, NYU Press, 2005, p319. ISBN 0-8147-9910-8
- Fred S. Kleiner, Christin J. Mamiya, Helen Gardner, Gardner's Art Through the Ages, Thomson Wadsworth, 2005, p1073. ISBN 0-15-505090-7
- Gouma-Peterson, Thalia. Miriam Schapiro: An Art of Becoming. American Art 11.1 (1997) : 10-45.
- Arnason, H.H.; Mansfield, E.C. History of Modern Art. Prentice Hall. 2010. pp604. ISBN 0-205-67367-8
- 3. Schapiro, Miriam. The Education of Women as Artists: Project Womanhouse. Art Journal 31.3 (1972) : 268-270.
- Kristine Stiles, Peter Selz, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings, University of California Press, 1996, pp151-4. ISBN 0-520-20253-8
- "Flomenhaft Gallery- Miriam Schapiro
- Miriam Schapiro, feminist artist and Pattern & Decoration painter, received the distinguished artist award for lifetime achievement - People - Brief Article, Art in America, August 2002.
- "Miriam Schapiro". Fellows. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Marika Herskovic, New York School Abstract Expressionists Artists Choice by Artists, (New York School Press, 2000.) ISBN 0-9677994-0-6