Another in this author’s series of titles about Western topics, here she profiles 13 little-known female artists.
A good reproduction of a painting or sculpture on one page faces text opposite beginning with a handful of simple questions that are then answered. Georgia O’Keeffe leads off, of course, with her “Cow’s Skull” painting. The author asks, “Why would a skull stand for the West?” Jessie Benton Evans’ “Granite Mountain near Phoenix” highlights impressionism and perspective. Malvina Hoffman’s bust of a Jicarilla Apache includes the query “Would you like to meet this person? Why or why not?”(a good question to consider when examining this very powerful visage). There is no index or bibliography, although both the introduction and the concluding “Fascinating Facts” note the paucity of information about these artists—a situation she could have helped to remedy by including sources. She also notes the difficulties these women faced in learning and practicing their art. The writing is simple and occasionally awkward; Osmundson is a docent by profession, and she strives primarily to teach in these pages.
Though imperfect, nevertheless a worthwhile gathering of mostly otherwise-unsung artists. (Collective biography. 7-13)