American's Women's Artists, 1935-75:
Gender, Culture, and Politics.
Edited by Helen Langa and Paula Wisotzki
Numerous American women artists built successful professional careers in the mid-twentieth century while confronting challenging cultural transitions: shifts in stylistic avant-gardism, harsh political transformations, and changing gender expectations for both women and men. These social and political upheavals provoked complex intellectual and aesthetic tensions. Critical discourses about style and expressive value were also renegotiated, while still privileging masculinist concepts of aesthetic authenticity. In these contexts, women artists developed their careers by adopting innovative approaches to contemporary subjects, techniques, and media. However, while a few women working during these decades have gained significant recognition, many others are still consigned to historical obscurity. The essays in this volume take varied approaches to revising this historical silence. Two focus on evidence of gender biases in several exhibitions and contemporary critical writings; the rest discuss individual artists' complex relationships to mainstream developments, with attention to gender and political biases, cultural innovations, and the influence of racial/ethnic diversity. Several also explore new interpretative directions to open alternative possibilities for evaluating women's aesthetic and formal choices. Through its complex, nuanced approach to issues of gender and female agency, this volume offers valuable and exciting new scholarship in twentieth-century American art history and feminist studies.
Modernism on Stage:
The Ballets Russes and the Parisian Avant-Garde
by Juliet Bellow
"Modernism on Stage restores Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes to its central role in the Parisian art world of the 1910s and 1920s. During those years, the Ballets Russes’ stage served as a dynamic forum for the interaction of artistic genres — dance, music, and painting — in a mixed-media form inspired by Richard Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art). This interdisciplinary study combines a broad history of Diaghilev’s troupe with close readings of four ballets designed by canonical modernist artists: Picasso, Delaunay, Matisse, and Chirico. — from the publisher" (see more about Modernism on Stage and related article: The Art of Ballet Russes)
Radical Art by Helen Langa
"Radical Art is a landmark study, both in the history of printmaking and in the history of American art of the thirties. There is no better explicator of the graphic arts of this era and their cultural context than Helen Langa. Her thoroughly researched and compellingly written volume is a major scholarly contribution." — Betsy Fahlman, author of John Ferguson Weir: The Labor of Art (see more about Radical Art)
Reclaiming Female Agency:
Feminist Art History After Postmodernism
edited by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard
"This is an excellent cross section of current feminist theory. These essays will prove invaluable not simply for students of art history, but for readers interested in the fields of cultural studies, gender theory, sociology, and others. Broude and Garrard have produced another exceptionally important and well-thought-out text!" — Linda Nochlin, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (see more about Reclaiming Female Agency)
The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact
by Norma Broude, Mary D. Garrard
"The Power of Feminist Art is not a book: it's a milestone… Until Power, feminist art has been conspicuously absent from standard academic narratives; it's as if the 70s never happened. Now, no critic or historian, conservative or not, can argue that feminist art is insignificant." — Elizabeth Hess, Village Voice
Artemisia Gentileschi Around 1622:
The Shaping and Reshaping of an Artistic Identity
by Mary D. Garrard
"In this admirable work, at once passionately argued and lucidly written, Professor Garrard effectively considers the social, psychological, and formal complexity of the shaping and reshaping not only of the artist's feminine and feminist identity in the misogynist society of the seventeenth century but also of that identity in the disciple of art history today." — Steven Z. Levine, author of Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: The Modernist Myth of the Self
Gustave Caillebotte and the Fashioning of Identity in Impressionist Paris edited by Norma Broude
"This provocative collection's strength resides in its rich and diverse interpretations of Caillebotte's enigmatic paintings in the contexts of individual personality, social class, sexuality, and artistic style. The volume bears not only on the deeply intriguing art of Caillebotte but also on current debates concerning the cultural purposes we find at work in the museum and the university today." — Steven Z. Levine, the Leslie Clark Professor in the Humanities and director of the Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr College
Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany edited by Norma Broude and Mary Garrard
"...These essays represent a series of specific corrections to traditional art historical interpretations. Collectively, however, they point to a new reading of history itself, and a new definition of the cultural and social uses of art." — from the introduction
Envisioning Gender in Burgundian Devotional Art, 1350-1530: Experience, Authority, Resistance by Andrea Pearson
Envisioning Gender demonstrates how books of hours and devotional portrait diptychs, two of the most consequential forms of visual representation in the Burgundian Netherlands, were manipulated by patrons and spectators of both sexes to negotiate the boundaries and hierarchies of gender: marginalized individuals and groups appropriated the types within court, urban, and monastic contexts to resist authority and to advance their own status. Awarded the Honorable Mention for Best First Book by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship.
Women and Portraits in Early Modern Europe: Gender, Agency, Identity edited by Andrea Pearson
Women and Portraits in Early Modern Europe considers the possibilities and limits of agency for women in history and as an analytical tool. Portraits of women, the essays reveal, explored transvestism and same-sex eroticism, and appropriated aspects of male portraiture to claim those values for their sitters. As sites for gender negotiation, resistance, and debate, such works invoked considerable relational anxiety. The book also demonstrates agency’s compatibility with relational gender analysis, especially when alternative agencies such as spectatorship are taken into account.