Shifra Goldman was the first academic to take a scholarly look at the emergent Chicano art movement, publishing some of the most important works on Chicano art as well as initiating the movement to restore David Alfaro Siqueiros' mural, America Tropical at the Placita Olvera.
She was a regular visitor to the Chicano art centers, including the Centro de Arte Popular on Figueroa, and was also a contributor to Chisme Arte. Her essays and photographs documented the early era of Chicano art history. She wrote "The Intense Realism of Frida Kahlo," for Chisme Arte's special issue on "la mujer" in 1977, quite early for the trajectory of the Chicana/o/Frida connection. Among her notable works are: Arte Chicano: An Annotated Bibliography of Chicano Art 1965-85 and Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States.
Her many articles about Chicano art were grounded in her discourse in leftist, socialist critical analysis. She wrote on muralism, graphic art and art exhibitions. She curated exhibits and was involved with CARA exhibit at UCLA in 1990 and a number of Chicana feminist exhibitions as well. Although others emerged over time, Shifra remains the preeminent scholar in the field of Chicana/o art.