Women's Work

From feminine arts to feminist art

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Pub Date 12 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 12 Jan 2023

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This powerful and insightful work offers a bold celebration of the innovative, brilliant artists reclaiming the idea of ‘women’s work’.
In the history of western art, decorative and applied arts – including textiles and ceramics – have been separated from the ‘high arts’ of painting and sculpture and deemed to be more suitable for women. Artists began to reclaim and redefine these materials and methods, energizing them with expressions of identity and imagination. 

Women’s Work tells the story of this radical change, highlighting some of the modern and contemporary artists who dared to defy this hierarchy and who, through, experimentation and invention, transformed their medium.

The work of these women has helped underscore the ongoing value of these art forms within the history of art, championing ‘women’s work’ as powerful mediums worthy of celebration.

With biographical entries on each artist featured, as well as beautiful images of their artworksWomen's Work raises up the work of these visionary and groundbreaking artists, telling their stories and examining their artistic legacies.
This powerful and insightful work offers a bold celebration of the innovative, brilliant artists reclaiming the idea of ‘women’s work’.
In the history of western art, decorative and applied arts –...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780711264656
PRICE $38.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 22 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you, Quarto Publishing Group - White Lion, for the advance review copy.

This book is such an eye opener for me. I wouldn't have known anything about all this important information on women pioneers about their creativity, hard work and the unique distinct art they produced.

The pictures are so rare I feel. It's a privilege to read this book. Feeling empowered.

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What wonderful creations by amazing women! I found this really interesting and inspiring! I visited the Tate modern a couple of years back and some of the work in this book reminded me of my visit, absolutely fascinating!

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This art history book introduces readers to over 30 women artist who specialize in what the world considers to be women's crafts. Their mediums are things like quilting, weaving, ceramics, embroidery, soft sculpture, etc. The book focuses on women from the 20th century through today. I have heard of several of these artist and recognize the work of of several more, but the majority are women who I had never heard of, which makes me sad. I also liked that at the back of the book there were additional women listed who can be researched by the reader.

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“Women’s Work’ by Ferren Gipson is an impactful book focused on showing how ‘women’s work’ such as textiles and ceramics is as important to the arts, and as expressions of identity and imagination, as ‘high arts’.

The book demonstrates, through artwork from around the world, and from diverse artists how meaningful, thought-provoking and beautiful art made from these unexpected mediums can be. Art tells a story and takes the viewer on a journey, it makes a point and can shift a mindset. The works included, and their accompanying write-ups, do just that. Elegantly compiled, it is easy to read and the photos of the art are large making them visually enjoyable.

If you appreciate art and expanding your understanding of it, this is for you! It’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale and highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Quarto Publishing Group through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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In recent years, I have become more and more of a non-fiction reader. Sign of getting older? Fluke? Seasonal shift? Who knows. But I adore it. I love how she is talking a lot about art forms that have been more tightly associated with female artists, I love how it spans across the world, how it encompasses women from varied backgrounds. Total plus: most of them I have never heard of. The only gripe I have with the book is the subtitle since the author makes no distinction between feminist or feminine art as such and I don’t like the connotation of this type of progression anyway.

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Lovely book!
Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this title in exchange for my feedback.

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This book was fascinating! I loved learning all about how women's work, such as knitting and other fiber work, has turned into an art form. Getting to read about women from all over the world was so fascinating as well. Seeing what other places and cultures consider art vs. women's work was so interesting.

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Excellent volume on women's artists, their lives and their work.
Women's work features famous as well as lesser know artist who have made an impact in the art world.
I found the book incredibly inspiring and was pleased to see works from global artists.

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