From Library Journal
This highly readable and engagingly illustrated exhibition catalog fulfills a dual purpose?to retrieve lost talent from among the largely unknown and strikingly diverse group of Western women painters and to probe their emergence as professionals in the previously male-dominated U.S. art world. Ten essays by female curators and academicians examine the social, economic, intellectual, and political forces affecting this period of profound change. One-third of the book focuses on California, with additional individual essays on the Northwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains. The inclusion of Native, Mexican, African, and Asian American painters adds balance and breadth. As the first comprehensive scholarly survey to single out Western women artists, the work makes an important contribution to studies of the West, U.S. cultural history, and women's history.?Russell T. Clement, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Can you name three women painters of the American West working between 1890 and 1945? We could only come up with one, Georgia O'Keeffe, so we're thrilled with this gorgeous and surprising volume. Editor Trenton and her contributors, a group as meticulous in their research as they are passionate and articulate in their prose, have reclaimed the neglected work of a great number of women artists who lived in and drew inspiration from the spectacular and demanding beauty of California, the Northwest, the Great Plains, the Rockies, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. These women artists were, indeed, "independent spirits," bucking traditional gender roles to devote themselves to their highly original art. Their ranks included the impressionist Donna Schuster as well as more startling talents such as Z. Vanessa Helder, who painted dams and quarries; Louise Crow and Tonita Pena, who interpreted Pueblo life; Mabel Frazer, who captured the drama and hard labor of life in the Rockies; and mystics such as Agnes Pelton, who painted ravishing, spiritually motivated abstractions. An exceptional blend of biography and art history, this fine volume belongs in all American art collections. Donna Seaman
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