The items in this online exhibition evoke the stories of American women through the ages.
Click on any image to begin.

Candida Royalle’s ballet shoes, 1965, and diary, 1971–1974

Photos by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute

Photos by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute


Candice Vadala (1950–2015) courted the spotlight amid the turmoil of the sexual revolution. In early life, she was a student of music, art, and dance; graduating to toe shoes like these marked an important achievement. She was also a committed diarist. At the end of her 1971–1974 journal (below), she practiced variations of the stage name she would eventually adopt, first in underground theater and then in pornographic films. In 1984, she founded Femme Productions to produce what she called feminist pornography. Royalle was also a member of Feminists for Free Expression, an organization opposed to censorship of sexually explicit material.

Candida Royalle Papers, Schlesinger Library

Catalog record:


Learn more:

Read Candida Royalle’s obituary to learn more about her life.

Explore the Schlesinger Library's exhibit Altered Gazes.

See the Schlesinger Library's research guide on pornography and sex work.

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Heather Min