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Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order)

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Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art canon. Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in text that's smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete wi Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art canon. Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in text that's smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete with beautiful reproductions of the artists' works and contemporary portraits of each artist by renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon, this is art history from 1600 to the present day for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.


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Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art canon. Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in text that's smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete wi Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art canon. Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in text that's smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete with beautiful reproductions of the artists' works and contemporary portraits of each artist by renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon, this is art history from 1600 to the present day for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.

30 review for Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Hua

    Completely engrossing, deeply moving and inspiring. I learned so much and yet it never felt didactic. It's the kind of book where you want to run out and grab your friend and ask, "Did you know....?!?! Can you believe that....?!?" It's the kind of book that makes you want to go to a museum, a gallery to view art, and then to roll up your sleeves and make art yourself. Do yourself a favor and get this intimate, memorable book, post-haste!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    I had just finished Skila Brown's Stone Mirrors: the Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis and was looking for more information on Edmonia Lewis, when I discovered Broad Strokes. I'd only heard of about a third of the artists discussed in its pages, so I learned a lot. I like Quinn's chatty writing style. It felt as I was reading as if I were sitting at a table across from her in a café and she were telling me all about these women. I have to admit, I was far more interested in the older painte I had just finished Skila Brown's Stone Mirrors: the Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis and was looking for more information on Edmonia Lewis, when I discovered Broad Strokes. I'd only heard of about a third of the artists discussed in its pages, so I learned a lot. I like Quinn's chatty writing style. It felt as I was reading as if I were sitting at a table across from her in a café and she were telling me all about these women. I have to admit, I was far more interested in the older painters like Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Marie Denise Villers, Rosa Bonheur, and, of course, Edmonia Lewis, but I enjoyed reading about them all. Quinn includes pictures of these women as well as samples of some of their artwork, which made me want to Google more. I'm sure there must be more obscure women artists out there, so it would be great if Quinn could write another volume about them. Recommended, especially for art history buffs.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Caterina

    I’m glad I did not allow myself to be put off by the slightly cringe-inducing title, because Bridget Quinn is such a great storyteller that I almost feel as if I’ve known and loved these astonishing artists and their works forever — when in reality I had never heard of several, and had only seen-in-real-life the work of 5. Kara Walker, Ruth Asawa, and Louise Bourgeois Illustrations by Lisa Congdon. At its heart this book is a memoir of Quinn’s own journey from Montana ranch girl to New York “baby I’m glad I did not allow myself to be put off by the slightly cringe-inducing title, because Bridget Quinn is such a great storyteller that I almost feel as if I’ve known and loved these astonishing artists and their works forever — when in reality I had never heard of several, and had only seen-in-real-life the work of 5. Kara Walker, Ruth Asawa, and Louise Bourgeois Illustrations by Lisa Congdon. At its heart this book is a memoir of Quinn’s own journey from Montana ranch girl to New York “baby art historian” to independent writer, and she carried me right along with her enthusiasm, her indignations, her encouragement. Her casual, chatty style and personal anecdotes make it clear from the beginning that this is her own story of discovery -- and she makes it ours as well. Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Self-Portrait with Two Pupils, Mademoiselle Marie Gabrielle Capet (1761-1818) and Mademoiselle Carreaux de Rosemond (died 1788), 1785. Each engaging, sometimes stunning artist profile includes reproductions of some of the artist’s works as well as an original watercolor portrait of the artist by Lisa Congdon. Judith Leyster, The Proposition, 1631. My only complaints: First, the pictures: while the artist portraits by Lisa Congdon are each given a full page, many of the artists' works are given only small vignettes, and the matte printing makes them a bit muddy. Second, Quinn occasionally seemed to sacrifice carefulness and subtlety in favor of a non-pedantic style. But that was only a slight complaint. These artists' stories and work blew me away. Ana Mendieta, Volcano series No. 2 The artists: Artemisia Gentileschi, 1593-1656 Judith Leyster, 1609-1660 Adélaïde Labille-Guiard “des Vertus", 1749-1803 Marie Denise Villers, 1774-1821 Rosa Bonheur, 1822-1899 Edmonia Lewis, 1844-1907 Paula Modersohn-Becker, 1876-1907 Vanessa Bell, 1879-1961 Alice Neel, 1900-1984 Lee Krasner, 1908-1984 Louise Bourgeois, 1911-2010 Ruth Asawa, 1926-2013 Ana Mendieta 1948-1985 Kara Walker 1969 — Susan O’Malley, 1976-2015 Rosa Bonheur, The Horse Fair, 1852-1855.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Carew Kraft

    Broad Strokes is a fabulous re-visioning and revival of 15 notable women artists, diverse in their media, their histories, and their motivations. Yet Quinn finds a through line for all of them anchored in her own discovery of their work at different times and places in her life. I’ve never read this kind of wonderful hybrid of memoir, art history and feminist scholarship and it left me wanting more of all of it from the author. I was especially struck by how Quinn foregrounds the motherhood jour Broad Strokes is a fabulous re-visioning and revival of 15 notable women artists, diverse in their media, their histories, and their motivations. Yet Quinn finds a through line for all of them anchored in her own discovery of their work at different times and places in her life. I’ve never read this kind of wonderful hybrid of memoir, art history and feminist scholarship and it left me wanting more of all of it from the author. I was especially struck by how Quinn foregrounds the motherhood journey of all of these artists, noting that almost all of them suffered the untimely loss of their own mothers, died themselves on the precipice of motherhood (Paula Modersohn-Becker and Susan O’Malley), or managed to keep making art despite houses full of children (Judith Leyster, Ruth Asawa). What art historian does that? Goes digging for the names of the children of a French Revolution-era portrait painter (one of whom tragically died), wonders and muses about what it is like to go on creating art in a roomful of children, or how a mom with 5 kids might make time in 17th century Holland to paint a stunning still life of a single tulip? She’s breaking new ground here herself with an inquisitive, empathic mode of art historical inquiry. Quinn’s own position as a wife and mother balancing her creative time with nurturing time helps us understand the epic struggle of these women artists as they boldly expressed their passions. I also love how Quinn turns the erudite into the approachable. She refers to the Greek sculpture Laocoon and then urges the reader: Google it! Much to love here, and a manageable amount of images that stay with the reader long after the final page is turned.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yukari

    I was privileged to get an early copy, and I devoured it. The book is a gem. It is partly exactly what it says on the cover -- 15 women who made art and history. But the book is also part memoir. These are artists that made a difference to the author in her journey as an art historian, a woman, a writer and a mother. By doing so, she gives us a window into how we too can find our own way to appreciate art. Reading the book made me want to visit an art museum.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Doyle

    Art historian and author Bridget Quinn illuminates the work of 15 brilliant women artists in this highly enjoyable read. The book is full of inspiring paintings and photographs, along with winsome portraits by illustrator Lisa Congdon. One of my favorite chapters focuses on San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa. This book gives long overdue credence to women who broke all kinds of artistic barriers . Highly, highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mattea Gernentz

    Enchanting, witty, and illuminating. I picked up a (signed!) hardback copy of this text from Green Apple Books in San Francisco for only $12 without knowing the blessing it would prove to be. (It had initially caught my eye in the Art Institute of Chicago's gift shop, but I never bought it.) If you want a relatively quick, engaging read that elevates the lives of fifteen women often tragically overlooked in the history of art, please read! It is some of the liveliest non-fiction I've ever read, Enchanting, witty, and illuminating. I picked up a (signed!) hardback copy of this text from Green Apple Books in San Francisco for only $12 without knowing the blessing it would prove to be. (It had initially caught my eye in the Art Institute of Chicago's gift shop, but I never bought it.) If you want a relatively quick, engaging read that elevates the lives of fifteen women often tragically overlooked in the history of art, please read! It is some of the liveliest non-fiction I've ever read, accompanied by beautiful illustrations of each woman. *insert Jo March's passionate speech about women having minds and souls as well as just hearts from Little Women (2019) here*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it (and I'm hoping to buy it.) Here are some quotes from other gr reviewers. "Broad Strokes is a fabulous re-visioning and revival of 15 notable women artists, diverse in their media, their histories, and their motivations. Yet Quinn finds a through line for all of them anchored in her own discovery of their work at different times and places in her life. I’ve never read this kind of wonderful hybrid of memoir, art history and feminist scholarship an I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it (and I'm hoping to buy it.) Here are some quotes from other gr reviewers. "Broad Strokes is a fabulous re-visioning and revival of 15 notable women artists, diverse in their media, their histories, and their motivations. Yet Quinn finds a through line for all of them anchored in her own discovery of their work at different times and places in her life. I’ve never read this kind of wonderful hybrid of memoir, art history and feminist scholarship and it left me wanting more of all of it from the author." --Jessica Carew Kraft "It's not only a feast for the eyes. The always stirring, sometimes stunning, artwork aside, I appreciated how the author weaves the personal and political throughout this rich read. It's an intriguing braid of memoir, biography and history of women's art." -- Ethel Rohan "Derision, ostracism, exile, rape, torture, even murder stunt the lives of the gifted women in these pages. A startling number lost their own mothers before growing up. Over and over they turn their pain into transcendent and often riveting works. Too many of their creations were appropriated, destroyed or lost. But a sufficient number illustrate these pages. Quinn's own gift is to help us understand why these works hold our attention, what they meant to the artist, what they meant to audiences of the day -- and what this art means to Quinn." --Laird "Quinn is an art detective, historian, researcher, journalist, brilliant essayist and, best of all, knows and loves her subject. She decodes and explains the contents of paintings (which I have nearly no education about and could not tell you what I'm looking at or why a painter put it there), but also the lives behind them. And this she does with sweetness, sass, critical thought, and real poignance." --Stephany

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    My love affair with "Broad Strokes" came to an end last night as I read the concluding chapter. This offering is so good that I admit to having rationed each chapter as a delightful treat. Bridget Quinn's writing is exceptionally on point drawing you in and leaving you to wanting to know more about her subjects. She reveals the stories of these talented artists insightfully becoming their voice. Quinns' ability to intertwine their lives with her own journey is beautifully irreverent, raw, though My love affair with "Broad Strokes" came to an end last night as I read the concluding chapter. This offering is so good that I admit to having rationed each chapter as a delightful treat. Bridget Quinn's writing is exceptionally on point drawing you in and leaving you to wanting to know more about her subjects. She reveals the stories of these talented artists insightfully becoming their voice. Quinns' ability to intertwine their lives with her own journey is beautifully irreverent, raw, thought provoking, inspiring and tender. My love of art is revitalized. The timing of "Broad Strokes" could not be more socially and artistically relevant. Thank you Bridget for reminding us upon whose shoulders we stand.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Antonia

    I love my Kindle, but I’m so glad I opted for this gorgeous hardcover book. (Yes, Marie, it sparks joy — even to hold it in my hands, even to look at the cover, knowing now what is within.) I knew of Artemisia Gentileschi, Vanessa Bell, and Louise Bourgeois (though not their whole stories) and had heard of a couple others, but many of the artists in this book were new to me. I learned so much and in such an enjoyable and moving way. (I kept exclaiming, “Wow” and insisting that my husband listen t I love my Kindle, but I’m so glad I opted for this gorgeous hardcover book. (Yes, Marie, it sparks joy — even to hold it in my hands, even to look at the cover, knowing now what is within.) I knew of Artemisia Gentileschi, Vanessa Bell, and Louise Bourgeois (though not their whole stories) and had heard of a couple others, but many of the artists in this book were new to me. I learned so much and in such an enjoyable and moving way. (I kept exclaiming, “Wow” and insisting that my husband listen to me read a couple of paragraphs.) I especially loved the chapters about Artemisia, Judith Leyster, Adelaide Labille-Guiard, and Marie Denise Villers. But they are all engaging and I loved tracing the similarities in all of these lives across the centuries. The work of Kara Walker and the life of Susan O’Malley hit me hard, moved me to tears. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed Quinn’s style — informative but casual, like listening to a friend tell me about amazing women artists. I’d probably read anything by Quinn. Her thoughts on the role of women artists through the ages, her musings about what these women must have felt balancing their roles as wives, mothers, and artists, and her own philosophy about living an artful life (whatever that means to you) are inspiring. I can’t say enough good things about this book. I devoured it. I will return to it again and again, to read, to study the photos, and I’ll look for more books about women artists.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I initially got this book because it's illustrated by Lisa Congdon and I've liked her other books a lot but the portraits in here are so muted and flat, which doesn't fit the cover or the loud-and-proud artists covered by the excellent text so that's why this gets 4 stars instead of 5. Still, it's an awesome (and not overwhelming) chronological look at important women artists written by in a fresh and personal style by a woman who knows her shit.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ethel Rohan

    I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of BROAD STROKES: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order). My interest in the book stemmed from a dormant love of history of art carried over from my distant high school days. I am also fierce about all pursuits that revise history to recover the overlooked and forgotten (and women in particular). So I felt eager for the read, and my expectations were exceeded. It's not only a feast for the eyes. The always stirring, sometimes stunni I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of BROAD STROKES: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order). My interest in the book stemmed from a dormant love of history of art carried over from my distant high school days. I am also fierce about all pursuits that revise history to recover the overlooked and forgotten (and women in particular). So I felt eager for the read, and my expectations were exceeded. It's not only a feast for the eyes. The always stirring, sometimes stunning, artwork aside, I appreciated how the author weaves the personal and political throughout this rich read. It's an intriguing braid of memoir, biography and history of women's art. "Art can be dangerous." I did not expect to feel so deeply throughout this read and visual experience. It's impossible not to rage against the (mis)treatment of these women artists (and women overall down through history and right up to the present day)--rape, torture, internment, abuse, disregard. It is inspiring and instructive that these women channeled all that violence, heartache and rage into making great art. More, they put all their love, spirituality and passion into their work, too. They resisted. They persisted. They triumphed. Alice Neel. Lee Krasner. Louise Bourgeois. Ruth Asawa. Susan O'Malley, and more. Thank you, Bridget Quinn, for returning these women front and center, where they belong. Thanks, also, for reminding us that we can be all that, too.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laird

    Until I picked up Bridget Quinn's Broad Stokes, I had forgotten how much I love art history. The history of art is the history of seeing; the story of human beings constructing meaning from lessons of their eyes. But too often it can feel like a parade of cracked paint in faded gilt frames. My art history professor in college was a showman, who made his lectures come alive with wry exclamations. Quinn's knack is to humanize her subjects with poignant, sometimes heart-wrenching details of their a Until I picked up Bridget Quinn's Broad Stokes, I had forgotten how much I love art history. The history of art is the history of seeing; the story of human beings constructing meaning from lessons of their eyes. But too often it can feel like a parade of cracked paint in faded gilt frames. My art history professor in college was a showman, who made his lectures come alive with wry exclamations. Quinn's knack is to humanize her subjects with poignant, sometimes heart-wrenching details of their amazing lives. To be an artist, it sometimes seems, is to suffer. At least that's the case for Quinn's 15 subjects, all of them women struggling to paint or sculpt in the face of an oppressive patriarchy. Reading these stories feels a bit like reading The People's History of the United States, and Quinn connects her work naturally to other feminist works of revisionism such as Virginia Wolf's A Room of One’s Own. (One of the artists in the book is Virginia's sister, Vanessa Bell.) Derision, ostracism, exile, rape, torture, even murder stunt the lives of the gifted women in these pages. A startling number lost their own mothers before growing up. Over and over they turn their pain into transcendent and often riveting works. Too many of their creations were appropriated, destroyed or lost. But a sufficient number illustrate these pages. Quinn's own gift is to help us understand why these works hold our attention, what they meant to the artist, what they meant to audiences of the day -- and what this art means to Quinn. Her own coming of age story from small-town girl to hip art grad student to teacher, writer and mother is deftly woven into the accounts of her idols. Perhaps that's what makes this book uplifting, despite all the tears wrenched from its subjects. In one fashion or another, they succeeded, and so did Quinn.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I loved this book. I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow from the library the e-book and audiobook at the same time so I listened to the narration as I followed along and looked at the artwork. I found this very beneficial as I could stare at the artwork while hearing it being described. I enjoyed learning about the 15 (16?) artists in this book and appreciated the chronological order of how the artists were introduced. I also learned a lot, taking the time to look up some of the author's I loved this book. I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow from the library the e-book and audiobook at the same time so I listened to the narration as I followed along and looked at the artwork. I found this very beneficial as I could stare at the artwork while hearing it being described. I enjoyed learning about the 15 (16?) artists in this book and appreciated the chronological order of how the artists were introduced. I also learned a lot, taking the time to look up some of the author's reference suggestions. Finally, I enjoyed the illustrations of the artists provided at the start of each chapter. The whole book made me want to go visit a museum really soon. Very well researched and the narrative approach interweaving the author's own artistic journey into the story worked very well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tamara Niemi

    I loved this book, but so desperately wish it was longer. Quinn loves writing and loves art and this was such a smart, joyous, and all too short trip through the lives of 15 women, most of whom I'd not heard of before to my great embarassment. The style is smart, crisp and conspiratorial. It's like hanging out at the museum with your really smart friend after a bit of day drinking. While not likely possible, I'd buy a book on every one of these women if Quinn would write it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily Briano

    Inspiring and challenging and beautifully written. Highly recommended!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book is for anyone who has ever sat in the dark watching slides in Art History 101 and had a light go off: Where are the women artists? The big tome for that class, History of Art, by H.W. Janson, discussed only 16 female artists--and that was in a late edition. What about all the others? What kinds of lives did they lead? How did being a woman affect their art? Is there something particular about "feminine" art. These are all questions that Bridget Quinn explores as she takes us on a retro This book is for anyone who has ever sat in the dark watching slides in Art History 101 and had a light go off: Where are the women artists? The big tome for that class, History of Art, by H.W. Janson, discussed only 16 female artists--and that was in a late edition. What about all the others? What kinds of lives did they lead? How did being a woman affect their art? Is there something particular about "feminine" art. These are all questions that Bridget Quinn explores as she takes us on a retrospective of her 15 favorite female artists. She is a knowledgeable and charming guide, and while she was, at one point, an art historian, she has been a writer long enough to be cleansed of the kind of jargon that pervades that discipline and writes with humor and ease. You couldn't ask for a better docent to learn about these overlooked female artists. After avidly reading about the lives of these artists, I was left asking more questions: What about Helen Frankenthaler? Eva Hesse? Camille Claudel? and so forth. But her book about 15 women artists inspired me to learn about more. Her commentary will stay with during my next museum visit. Like all good artists, and writers, Bridget Quinn has expanded my way of seeing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karyn

    A lively and entertaining introduction to fifteen artists, all women, that history has overlooked or never knew to begin with.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    After finishing Danielle Krysa's A Big Important Art Book, I remembered that I had loaded this book on my Kindle app a while back...and promptly forgot about it under an avalanche of suddenly available library books and Great Course streaming. I found it while decluttering my tablet, and wondered if I really wanted to read two such similar books almost back-to-back. Why, yes, yes I did. Because it turns out this book was what I'd hope for from the other book, a collection of well-written mini-bi After finishing Danielle Krysa's A Big Important Art Book, I remembered that I had loaded this book on my Kindle app a while back...and promptly forgot about it under an avalanche of suddenly available library books and Great Course streaming. I found it while decluttering my tablet, and wondered if I really wanted to read two such similar books almost back-to-back. Why, yes, yes I did. Because it turns out this book was what I'd hope for from the other book, a collection of well-written mini-biographies of damned good artists. I enjoyed both Quinn's writing style and the biographies of these 15 artists, only two of whom I had heard of before this book. Quinn covers the artists' biographies and shows examples of their work, but includes just enough information to whet the appetite and send the reader looking for more art. The book isn't meant to be exhaustive; it is meant to show us a small taste of what we've been withheld in all those cookie-cutter art history classes that focused only on western, white, male artists. Normally, I don't care for non-fic where the writer can't stop inserting herself, but Quinn's experiences and POV as an art history student and teacher are relevant to the material. I hope she'll consider a second volume.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brandon McGuire

    It may have taken me a while to finish, but I really loved this book. I will be the first to say that I don’t know much about art. There are certain artists whose works I enjoy (Van Gogh, Monet, etc.), but I never grew up with it nor really much interest in it until I went to college. Therefore, this book really took me by surprise. It helps that Bridget Quinn is a wonderful author that just really makes you want to continue reading due to the personal elements mixing with the actual histories a It may have taken me a while to finish, but I really loved this book. I will be the first to say that I don’t know much about art. There are certain artists whose works I enjoy (Van Gogh, Monet, etc.), but I never grew up with it nor really much interest in it until I went to college. Therefore, this book really took me by surprise. It helps that Bridget Quinn is a wonderful author that just really makes you want to continue reading due to the personal elements mixing with the actual histories and descriptions of the artists themselves. Art is one topic I would like to learn more about and experience and I appreciate this book introducing me to artists I’ve never heard of even if I don’t get why their art is popular. I’ve never really liked abstract art, nor understood why people enjoy it as much as they do. However, I enjoy learning about new things and I’m glad these women won’t be lost to the passage of time anytime soon. I would highly recommend it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This was a pretty fun read. My undergrad was in art history and I thought that this would be another run through the few women who get mentioned in western art history courses, but I was surprised to find that I hadn't known much about a lot of the women Quinn talks about. Even the women I did know about, there were some really interesting facts that I hadn't considered or explored deeply. While this book is a pretty quick read, it ended up being much longer for me because I stopped and looked u This was a pretty fun read. My undergrad was in art history and I thought that this would be another run through the few women who get mentioned in western art history courses, but I was surprised to find that I hadn't known much about a lot of the women Quinn talks about. Even the women I did know about, there were some really interesting facts that I hadn't considered or explored deeply. While this book is a pretty quick read, it ended up being much longer for me because I stopped and looked up each artist mentioned and tried to find high-def images of their work and really thought about what I had learned. Even though my background is in art history, I found this book to be pretty accessible to those who are willing to learn something new. Quinn's writing is easy to understand and fun to read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephany Wilkes

    I simply ADORE this book. I cannot get enough of it, and wish it were a series. I miraculously chanced to hear Bridget Quinn read one of the essays in this book at a Litquake event, and I thank the stars I did, because I committed to watch for this book's release and now have it in my hot little hands. Quinn is an art detective, historian, researcher, journalist, brilliant essayist and, best of all, knows and loves her subject. She decodes and explains the contents of paintings (which I have nea I simply ADORE this book. I cannot get enough of it, and wish it were a series. I miraculously chanced to hear Bridget Quinn read one of the essays in this book at a Litquake event, and I thank the stars I did, because I committed to watch for this book's release and now have it in my hot little hands. Quinn is an art detective, historian, researcher, journalist, brilliant essayist and, best of all, knows and loves her subject. She decodes and explains the contents of paintings (which I have nearly no education about and could not tell you what I'm looking at or why a painter put it there), but also the lives behind them. And this she does with sweetness, sass, critical thought, and real poignance. I could not put it down, and did not want to do anything except read this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Reed

    Two things I rarely do: give five stars and write a review. I bought this book on a whim, thinking it might read a little like a textbook, but then "Why not? I should know more about artists in general and women artists specifically." By the time I finished chapter two I was tweeting the author and telling all my friends they should read this book. Textbook it is not! While it is extremely educational, the stories are also captivating and inspiring. The author's passion for art is contagious. He Two things I rarely do: give five stars and write a review. I bought this book on a whim, thinking it might read a little like a textbook, but then "Why not? I should know more about artists in general and women artists specifically." By the time I finished chapter two I was tweeting the author and telling all my friends they should read this book. Textbook it is not! While it is extremely educational, the stories are also captivating and inspiring. The author's passion for art is contagious. Her penchant for brilliant storytelling is delightful. This book is to women artists what Hidden Figures is to African American NASA women. (Full disclosure, I only saw the movie.) At the end of this book I was moved to tears and inspired to do more in my own lighting design career.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I loved this book. I too noticed the lack of female artists in my art history textbook (which I still have, nerdy, I know). The author does a great job of highlighting women artists from all different time periods and genres. The author provided backstory of the artist's lives and descriptions and analysis of several works. Her writing style was approachable for both those well versed in the art world and those with a passing interest in art - and it has quite a bit of humor in it! I will defini I loved this book. I too noticed the lack of female artists in my art history textbook (which I still have, nerdy, I know). The author does a great job of highlighting women artists from all different time periods and genres. The author provided backstory of the artist's lives and descriptions and analysis of several works. Her writing style was approachable for both those well versed in the art world and those with a passing interest in art - and it has quite a bit of humor in it! I will definitely look further into some of the artists she discussed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I am not an artist or an art history student. I took one survey course in college. So I appreciate art from the novice perspective - when I find something I like, I enjoy learning more about the artist or the piece. For a novice like me, Quinn's book is lovely. I really liked the mix of art history, biography, and studio art. I knew only two of the artists she profiles (Artemisia Gentileschi and Lee Krasner) but am now a fan of several of the others.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jolly Jess

    I enjoyed the conversational narrative of the book. It was fun to read even though art history can be quite a dry subject, the author infused her book with pithy enthusiasm. I found the pictures of the art she was referring to well placed (imbedded in the chapter rather than clumped together in a section at the center of the book). At one point I might have tried to pinch the picture bigger as though I was looking at it on a tablet ☺️.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Hasty

    I loved Loved LOVED this book - and not just because I'm a woman or because I love art, but because the stories in this book made me love LIFE even more. Heartwarming, inspiring, educational, and freaking hilarious at times. You'll want to read this book. For more about this book, visit: https://www.hastybooklist.com/home/br... I loved Loved LOVED this book - and not just because I'm a woman or because I love art, but because the stories in this book made me love LIFE even more. Heartwarming, inspiring, educational, and freaking hilarious at times. You'll want to read this book. For more about this book, visit: https://www.hastybooklist.com/home/br...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara Thompson

    This is all about women artists. The chapters are short but informative. The stories are heartbreaking, inspiring, and discussion making. I can't say enough good things and keep trying to read sections to my family (who seem a little less excited than I am). So many unsung artists. I am excited to explore their work even more.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Loved this book and her writing. It felt good to spend time getting to know the women I studied in school on a more personal level. Art lover or not, it’s worth the read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie W

    All the stars, ALL OF THEM. Do yourself a favour and read this one.

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