Carolee Schneemann (born October 12, 1939) is an American visual artist, known for her discourses on the body, sexuality and gender. Her works have been associated with a variety of art classifications including Fluxus, Neo-Dada, the Beat Generation, and happenings. She received a B.A. from Bard College where she received a full scholarship. While at Bard, Schneemann began to realize the differences between male and female perceptions of each other's bodies while serving as a nude model for her boyfriend's portraits and while painting nude self-portraits. On leave from Bard and on a separate scholarship to Columbia University, she met musician James Tenney, who was attending The Juilliard School. Her first experience with experimental film was through Stan Brakhage. After graduating from Bard, Schneemann attended the University of Illinois for her graduate degree. Her work is primarily characterized by research into visual traditions, taboos, and the body of the individual in relationship to social bodies.
Her works have been shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the New York Museum of Modern Art, and the London National Film Theatre. Schneemann has taught at several universities, including the California Institute of the Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hunter College, and Rutgers University, where she was the first female art professor hired. Additionally, she has published works such as Cézanne, She Was a Great Painter (1976) and More than Meat Joy: Performance Works and Selected Writings (1997). It was not until the 1990s when Schneemann's work began to become recognized as important works of feminist art. The first prominent exhibition of her work was the 1996 retrospective Up To and Including Her Limits, named for her 1973 work of the same title. It was held at New York City's New Museum of Contemporary Art and was organized by senior curator Dan Cameron. Previously, these works were dismissed as narcissism or otherwise overly sexualized forms of expression. Awards include the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow for Visual Arts in 2011, The Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and the Courage Awards for the Arts from Yoko Ono in 2012.