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"a big, deep, feisty book of essays, several years in the making" --Holland Cotter, The New York Times, May 27, 2010
...A big, deep, feisty book of essays, several years in the making... --The New York Times --Holland Cotter
Monumental in scope and buttressed by authoritative essays... --Elle Decor Magazine, Jul/Aug 2010
Five years of research have brought forth a richly illustrated book with 48 scholarly essays about women artists (both famous and lesser known) within the Museum of Modern Art's collections. Readers not familiar with the broad range of media that the museum collects will be astonished at the variety of international artistic expressions. Arranged chronologically, the first innovator into modernism we meet is the 19th-century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. The museum also frankly discusses its history, when feminists demonstrated against it because of its lack of equitable representation. An informative section at the end contains short biographies of influential women behind the scenes at the museum: the three founders, as well as other donors, curators, and administrators. VERDICT This is an important study on two levels: how an institution openly addresses gender issues, and how instrumental women have been in advancing the arts to where they are today. --Library Journal
I am male, and although I consider myself a femminist, I was suprised at the artistic genius that graced the pages of this book. I have not read the essays yet; I prefer to let the images envelop me first. "Modern Women" contains an impressive number of obscure female artists. The print quality is good and it has as many images of art as you'd expect from an art book. I couldn't believe it; artists that I had never heard of (although different in style) struck me with the same stick as Rauschenberg (one of my favorite artists). The only reason I can imagine for why these artists are not as well known is intentional sexism!
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The right book if you are seeking a catalogue of women artists with dishwater academic "art analysis". This is The Wrong Book if you are seeking the art itself -it has only thumbnail reproductions of the art.
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Don't we all somehow wish that our grievances towards an institution would be addressed? We express our grievances, make work that we can only hope at the very least could be a small nick of a push towards the direction of the kind of world that we want (a fair one). We fan a hope, despite unabashed displays (Skin Fruit) of what Clement Greenberg calls "the umbilical cord of gold" until boom there is beautifully conceived evidence (this important book) that an institution (one whose history is inextricable to the history of Modern Art) can not only be capable of change but also a reexamination and then ultimately, a correction of itself. And so with renewed motive force, we keep moving, and push on.