I recently visited New York City with my BFF, and we spent a good 4 hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the last hour was futilely trying to leave, as we kept discovering new rooms full of stuff we hadn’t seen). I’ve got a BA in history, and took a lot of art history classes in high school and college. I was super proud of myself wandering through the Met as I consistently recognized art by various artists that I had studied — apparently some of that knowledge had stuck around! I’m telling you this because I just finished this fantastic book about 15 female artists through history, and I didn’t know a single one of them.
Bridget Quinn realized during an art class in college that female artists just have not been recognized throughout history. So she did a lot of research and selected 15 to discuss here. Some were the daughters or wives of famous artists; some just knew from birth what they were meant to do. Most were not recognized in their time, or even now. A couple spent decades unknown, their art mistaken for someone else’s (a man’s, of course).
The research in this book astounded me — Quinn took her time! It’s well-written, and passionate — not a dry textbook at all. I would definitely recommend reading it with internet access as hand. She makes a lot of references that she follows with “look it up”. So I did, and learned even more!