Iris Kaufman has done so much work in support of women, we are honored to feature her here. Iris is an artist whose work has been shown in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Six of her critically acclaimed works were shown at the Washington Women’s Art Center show, “Women as Myth and Archetype.” She has designed several, and sold thousands of, message-bearing cards for the Montgomery County National Organization for Women in Maryland, where she was on the Board of Directors. Iris also designed a t-shirt that was worn in protest of a Miss Teenage America Contest.
What do you do, or did you do, for work?
Long after I was 50 years old my husband and I self-published a book of my art called “Off the Wall.” The book was in an exhibit of the Marblehead, Massachusetts Art Association in 2017. Most recently, June 2022, my work was featured in Art Fluent’s international online exhibition in a show called Wabi Sabi, which had just 80 selections from over 650 submissions. I have had over 75 letters to editors published covering a wide variety of subjects and in a wide variety of newspapers, including several in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
I look at my calendar to find out how many plans have already been made for the day and then get ready for the first date.
What would you do if you had the whole day to yourself?
I am very good at doing nothing. (I never mind sitting and waiting for someone in an interesting spot.) I have a very creative imagination and, when sitting quietly by myself, I think of art projects to make, exhibitions I might try to enter, letters to editors I might compose, or friends and family I should contact.
What is the best thing about being a woman?
Because I am 88 years old, I grew up before women were “liberated.” I correctly assumed I would get married and have children. I married at 19, had a son at 22, a daughter at 24, and adopted another daughter at 35. My husband supported our family and I was free to be a homemaker as well as an artist and writer. All of our children are open-hearted, of an open-mind, kind, and work in helping professions. We have a loving family.
What is the one piece of clothing you cannot live without?
I cannot live without a pretty and comfortable top. I have a favorite knit top to wear with slacks in cool seasons and a favorite machine washable top (in several colors) to wear with lightweight slacks in warm seasons.