Professor Coco Fusco Receives 2021 Anonymous Was A Woman Award

POSTED ON: November 9, 2021

Fusco_Your Eyes Will be an Empty Word

Still from Coco Fusco's video "Your Eyes Will be an Empty Word" (2021)

Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) announced its 2021 awards winners including Coco Fusco, professor in the School of Art. The annual award recognizes women-identifying artists over 40 years of age who have made significant contributions, while continuing to create new work, and who are each at a critical juncture in their practice. Professor Fusco is one of 14 award winners who will receive an unrestricted award of $25,000.

Anonymous Was a Woman was founded by artist Susan Unterberg in 1996, partly in response to the decision of the National Endowment for the Arts to cease support of individual artists. The name of the award program, Anonymous Was A Woman, refers to a line in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Each year, an outstanding group of distinguished women—art historians, curators, writers, and previous winners from across the country—serve as nominators. To date, over 600 notable women have participated as nominators and panelists, and the award has been given to 250 artists.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.