The best books about women artists who broke barriers

Elizabeth Brown Author Of Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler
By Elizabeth Brown

The Books I Picked & Why

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Sarah Green

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression

Why this book?

Dorothea Lange struggled with disease and disability and eventually found her path, becoming one of America’s greatest photographers through her ability to capture the human experience notably through photographs of people in the Great Depression. This book not only helps readers learn about Lange, but it aids them in understanding this difficult time in United States’ history. The illustrations are colorful and engaging, portraying a wide range of emotions that express the essence of Lange and her work. 


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It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way

By Kyo Maclear, Julie Morstad

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way

Why this book?

It Began With a Page is a wonderful book describing the life of Gyo Fujikawa who, through hard work and perseverance, brought diversity to children’s book illustration, ultimately allowing all children to see themselves in books. The text is engaging and the illustrations further help readers to understand the importance of Fujikawa’s work and how it helped change children’s books.  


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Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

By Lindsey McDivitt, Eileen Ryan Ewen

Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

Why this book?

Gwen Frostic overcame disability as a child to become one of the most famous nature artists. Through her engaging art and writing, Frostic reminded people to stop and revel in the wonder and beauty of the natural world which is all around. The colorful illustrations highlight the informative and lyrical text. 


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A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

By Andrea D'Aquino

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

Why this book?

This book tells the fascinating story of Ruth Asawa’s journey to becoming a sculptor and passing on these ideals to the next generation through her work as an advocate for arts education The illustrations are beautifully rendered and colorful. Inspirational for budding artists everywhere, the book also contains teaching tools and an art activity.


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Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

By Monica Brown, John Parra

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

Why this book?

This book, exquisitely written by Monica Brown, tells the story of how Frida Kahlo overcame physical challenges to paint some of the world’s most beloved artwork inspired by her many pets and the magic that lived within her heart. Parra’s illustrations are colorful and capture Frida’s art and the beauty of her home in Mexico. This will inspire all young artists to paint the joy they see in the world around them.


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