Opening reception Thursday, February 19, 2015, 5-7pm

Martha Wilson posing as the Mona Lisa with a Marge Simpson bouffant.
Work by Martha Wilson

New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections presents “Martha Wilson: Downtown” on view from February 20-April 30, 2015 at the Fales Library, 70 Washington Square South, Third Floor, New York, NY 10012. [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street].

Martha Wilson is downtown. Over the past four decades, Martha Wilson has created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformations and invasions of male and female personas. Wilson further developed her performative and video-based practice after moving in 1974 to New York City from Halifax in Nova Scotia. Two years later she founded and then directed Franklin Furnace, an artist-run center in Tribeca dedicated to the exploration and promotion of artist’s books, installation art, and video and performance art.

  • WHAT: Opening of the exhibition, “Martha Wilson: Downtown”
  • WHERE & WHEN: The opening reception, Thursday, February 19, 2015,
    5-7pm, at Fales Library, 3rd floor, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South (at LaGuardia Place). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street]. Space is limited; the public should please, specifying the event.

“Martha Wilson: Downtown,” is presented in tandem with the exhibition “Martha Wilson’s Franklin Furnace” at Pratt Manhattan Gallery from February 20 – April 30, 2015, and the performance series Performing Franklin Furnace at Participant Inc. from February 26 – March 1, 2015.

About Fales Library and Special Collections:
The Fales Library, comprising nearly 355,000 volumes and over 10,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection and the general special collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection, founded in 1993, documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video. The goal of the Downtown Collection is to comprehensively collect the full range of artistic practices and output of the Downtown scene, regardless of format. This research collection, built on a documentary strategy, supports the research of students and scholars who are interested in the intersection of the contemporary arts with other forms of cultural and artistic expression.

The NYU Division of Libraries comprises five libraries in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, houses more than four million volumes and receives 2.6 million visits annually. Around the world the Libraries offers access to more than 1.2 million electronic journals, books, and databases. For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit

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