An art historian profiles women artists who overcame adversity in order to achieve professional success.
Some of the most accomplished women in the art world of the past five centuries faced difficulties, great and small, in the pursuit of their crafts. Despite their hardships, the women profiled in this book used their talents and left their marks. Each profile begins with a dramatic moment in the artist’s life: meeting a queen, narrowly escaping the guillotine, surviving sexual assault by a teacher, and attending the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The role of this seminal experience in the artist’s life is then explained as the lens widens to describe the artist’s family life, training, style, and impact on the art world. The artists’ personal and professional lives are seamlessly entwined, and the personal fortitude of each woman is evident in the details of her story. Images of the artist and her work are included as well. While not everyone covered here triumphed during their lifetime—Augusta Savage stopped making art and lived in poverty, for example—their contributions to the world of art and culture and their examples as daring, passionate creatives are fascinating. The artists portrayed are diverse in ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and their chosen media.
Well-chosen and well-told, these artists’ stories will inspire artists and nonartists alike. (bibliography, image credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)