“James Baldwin was born for truth. It called upon him to tell it on the mountains, to preach it in Harlem, to sing it on the Left Bank in Paris. His honesty and courage would lead him to see truth and to write truth in poetry, drama, fiction, and essay. He was a giant.“- Maya Angelou
i read a lot about art as well as women’s places in sub-movements and what not so i wanted to compile a little list of notable books i’ve read about the intersection of those things, in case it interests you at all cause it does me. some of these take on an explicitly feminist perspective while others are more objective and “historical”/ devoid of political introspection- both narratives interest me. (if this seems at all crude or without nuance it’s because i’m just a book store clerk and not an academic, lol) :
Danger! Women Artists at Workby Debra N. Mancoff - fun and full of color photos, nice for a coffee table reader or for a broad look at the canon of female work, doesn’t going into the specific histories. Mancoff is an accomplished author of art though- a body of work worth looking through.
Women of the Left Bank and Paris Was a Woman are a little less focused on a visual art historical perspective but are both some of my favorites because i adore portraits of the paris scene in the early 20th century- the women in these groups were incredible, the second takes on a bit of a lesbian/ non het women angle which is great
(i told you there were a lot of books about surrealist women) Surrealism and Women- i like the format of this one, 16 collected essays, i’m including it because it contains Rudolf Kuenzli (author of Marcel Duchamp: Artist of the Century, a book i love) essay “surrealism and misogyny” which is an interesting as it is truly wild. ahaha
An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West - about as comprehensive and informative as you can get, literally a compiled dictionary of over a thousand female artists from around the 1840s to 1980- amazing and a must have. so much research involved with this project. such an essential resource.
Art and Feminism by Helena Reckitt - valuable resource which spans around four decades of the works and artists informed by feminist theory and perspective.
Women Artists: An Illustrated History by Nancy G. Heller - like some others i have listed, this one is sweeping and more of an encyclopedia/ coffee table of female artists, would be ideal as an entry point
Japanese Women Artists, 1600-1900 by Patricia Fister - i don’t know a lot about the history of female art narratives in japan, so this one might be a broad- but i really enjoyed it as an introduction into these histories
i’m surely forgetting some- but i hope this was at least a little of interest!