Beuys, Lichtenstein, Zeisler, and Indian Jewelry: The First Store
The Women’s Board opens the museum's first store: a cabinet on wheels.
The Board of Trustees decided that they needed to have some kind of dialogue with the public and since there was only an employee at the front desk and the Woman's Board couldn't keep manning the front desk—which we did for the longest time, it wasn't very smart. They decided that perhaps if there was a store with, manned by—organized by the Woman's Board and manned by the Woman's Board, that people would go over there to look at stuff to buy and get into conversation, which is what happened. But their confidence in the Women's Board was such that they insisted that Walter Netsch create a cabinet on wheels, a black formica box, which could open like a safe and get bigger so that when, not if, but when we failed it could be moved into the closet nearby and stored. Nonetheless, Helyn [Goldenberg] and I decided we would do this, we would start this store. And since we weren't being paid to do this, we traveled wherever we wanted to and bought whatever we wanted.
So, including Joseph Beuys multiples, we had Roy Lichtenstein plates for $17.95 [per] place setting. Yes. We got Claire Zeisler to give us stuff to sell. Wolfgang Felix was a person in Germany who made multiples of really well-known German artists. We had jewelry and we'd go to New York, and I think we were the first people to sell American Indian jewelry. We were selling acres of turquoise, conch belts, necklaces, beads. And when we found something that was absolutely fabulous but too expensive for the store, we'd say, "Oh, Ruth Horwich will buy it or Muriel Newman will buy it and if they don't buy it, one of us will buy it."