Martha Nilsson Edelheit (also known as Martha Edelheit and Martha Ross Edelheit) (born Martha Ross, September 3, 1931, New York City) is an American-born artist currently living in Sweden.
Martha Edelheit studied at the University of Chicago 1949 to 1951, New York University in 1954 at the same time as studying art with Michael Loew in 1954 to 1956 and studies in art history for Meyer Schapiro 1955 to 1956, and at Columbia University (Teachers College) in 1956.
She has since 1961 participated in numerous group exhibitions, such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York (1965), Women Choose Women (1973) and Three Centuries of the American Nude (1975) at the New York Cultural Center, exhibitions at The New School art center in New York, Campbell Gallery at the University of Houston in Texas, Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minnesota, Works on Paper at the Brooklyn Museum (1975), Sons and Others at the Queens Museum of Art (1975), BLAM! at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1984), Kunsthalle Helsinki (1996) and several years with the artist group at SOHO20 Chelsea gallery for women artists in New York from 1998.
Edelheit has also done production design for smaller theaters in New York from 1971 to 1974, a number of own experimental art films in the 1970s, demonstrated in a number of contexts in the U.S. and Europe over the years, such as Hats, Bottles & Bones: A Portrait of Sari Dienes (1977) an artist portrait on Sari Dienes, shown including the Museum of Modern Art and is included in collections at the Anthology Film Archives. She has taught in filmmaking 1976 to 1980 and has been invited as artist in residence at Wilson College located in Chambersburg, Philadelphia in 1973, Art Institute of Chicago in 1975, the University of Cincinnati in 1975 and the California Institute of the Arts.
Martha Edelheit was a member of Fight Censorship (est. 1973), founded by Anita Steckel. Fight Censorship was composed of several women artists whose work focused on eroticism, including Joan Semmel, Judith Bernstein, Hannah Wilke, Juanita McNeely, Barbara Nessim, Eunice Golden, and Joan Glueckman. They lectured and educated the public about erotic art and the negative effects of censorship.
Edelheit was a member of Women/Artist/Filmakers, Inc, the WCA and an associate member of Soho20 Chelsea Gallery.
Since 1993 Martha Edelheit is a resident of Sweden on a farm in Svartsjölandet outside Stockholm after her marriage to her childhood sweetheart Sam Nilsson.
Before moving to Sweden, she painted a lot of people and mysterious landscapes of quite own style, but after leaving New York and come to the Swedish nature-oriented way of life, her work has shifted towards painting animal motifs; something she sees as a manifestation of hope to a wounded world.
- The Wonderful Adventures of Tyl, Jonathan Levy, Triangle Theatre, 1971
- Message from Garcia + Was I Good?, two-act play by Rosalyn Drexler, New Dramatists Workshop, 1971
- The Whore and the Poet, by Sandra Hochman + Break A Leg, by Ira Levin, Urgent Theater, 1974