Joan Jonas's interest in the arts began at a young age and was cultivated by several significant artists and noteworthy institutions. She received a BFA from Mount Holyoke College, where she studied sculpture and art history. She also studied sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and traveled throughout Europe, ultimately receiving her MFA in 1964 from Columbia University. Following this rigorous education, Jonas worked with choreographer Trisha Brown for two years, likely informing the performance and video-based work for which Jonas is most well-known. Explorations of female identity, autobiography, and memory are realized not only in her video-work and performances but also in her two dimensional works.