Perpich News

Books About Women Artists

March 17, 2021

Women artists have been creating art for millennia but their contributions have historically been overlooked and undervalued. This selection of books aims to highlight the accomplishments of women artists, giving them their rightful place in art history. All books on this list, curated by our Perpich librarian, Anne Dennison, are available at the Perpich Library.

1. 50 Women Artists You Should Know by Melanie Klier
A comprehensive survey of fifty influential women artists from the Renaissance to the Postmodern era details their vast contributions to the art world.

2. The Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality, 1857-2017 by Helena Reckitt, consulting editor; written by Lucinda Gosling, Hilary Robinson, and Amy Tobin
An international survey of feminist art: From highlighting the posters of the Suffrage Atelier, through the radical art of Judy Chicago and Carrie Mae Weems, to the cutting-edge work of Sethembile Msezane and Andrea Bowers, The Art of Feminism traces the way feminists have shaped visual arts and media throughout history.

3. Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls: By the Guerrilla Girls (Whoever They Really Are) by Guerrilla Girls, Whitney Chadwick
A raucous, colorful showcase of the nationwide poster campaign waged against discrimination and inequalities in the art world–by a collective of female artists, graphic designers, and art-world professionals whose identities have never been revealed.

4. Family Legacies: The Art of Betye, Lezley, and Alison Saar by Jessica Dallow
Celebrates the remarkable art of Betye Saar and her daughters, Lezley and Alison Saar. It explores the sharing of artistic and spiritual traditions within a family and shows how two generations of women use art to express changing ideas about gender, race, and ethnicity.

5. Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt edited by Paul Arnett, Joanne Cubbs, Eugene W. Metcalf
A book and exhibition that are a part of an ongoing series of research projects about the African American community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and its quilts. Featuring essays by scholars and by the artists themselves, this volume considers the way that materials influence the creative process and have played a central role in the evolution of the quilts. It also tells the story of a quiltmaking heritage of five generations of women descended from a single matriarch.

6. Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art edited by Maura Reilly
This celebration of contemporary feminist art brings together works by over eighty women artists from around the world. Contributions by a multinational team of authors focus particular attention on socio-cultural, racial, and gender identities.

7. Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz
Celebrating the contributions of women to contemporary graffiti and street art, this exhaustive volume places them front and center featuring 1,000 full-color illustrations from some of the world’s most prominent artists.

8. A History of Women Photographers by Naomi Rosenblum
Explores the work of some 250 women photographers, providing an invitingly readable chronicle both of the women’s creativity and of the challenging contexts within which they worked.

9. Italian Women Artists of the Renaissance to Baroque by Claudio Strinati, Doriana Comerlati
The first survey of women professionally active as painters, engravers, and sculptors in 16th and 17th century Italy. This book documents the sociocultural context that contributed to shape their lives and oeuvres.

10. She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World by Kristen Gresh
Introduces the pioneering work of 12 leading women photographers from Iran and the Arab world. Their provocative images, which range in style from photojournalism to staged and manipulated visions, explore themes of gender stereotypes, war and peace, and personal life, all the while confronting nostalgic Western notions about women of the Orient and exploring the complex political and social landscapes of their home regions.

All items are available at the Perpich Library.