The Modern Women Artists series

The Modern Women Artists series of collectable books reveals an alternative history of art, telling the story of important female artists whose art might otherwise be overlooked, overshadowed or forgotten. Working across a range of disciplines and artistic styles in the first half of the twentieth century, all of the women included in this series were modern. Read together, these books begin to redress the untold history of modern art, connecting stories of female creativity which the history books have all too often left out.

“Man, woman or vegetable growth?” Lucy Howarth on Rediscovering Marlow Moss

Marlow Moss (1889–1958) was a British Constructivist artist and a central figure in the development of European non-figurative art.

Moss’s importance to the history of modern art is arguably equal to that of her contemporary and friend Piet Mondrian, and yet her name has been relegated to obscurity. A pupil of Ferdinand Léger in Paris and one of the few women within the circle of influential artists in Paris in the late 1920s, Moss’s grid-like paintings, geometric sculptures and abstract reliefs sought to create a universal language of colour and form.

Today Moss’s work is beginning to be re-examined as a new generation of artists and art historians consider her contribution to modern art. Examples of this important artist’s work can be found in museums across Europe including at the Hague, and Tate, London.


Lucy Howarth completed her PhD thesis on Marlow Moss in 2008 and, after a period in the Tate Research Department, co-curated the Moss display, which toured from Tate St Ives, to Leeds Art Gallery, the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings (now Hastings Contemporary) and Tate Britain (2013-15). Lucy was consultant curator for the 2017 Moss exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich. She has taught in Fine Art and Art History departments at UK universities, run a contemporary art project space in Margate, and worked for various artists directly. Lucy currently teaches at the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury, and continues to research Marlow Moss amongst other things.

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Harriet Olsen is the founder of Eiderdown Books. She established the independent publishing house specialising in books about women artists after more than a decade in museum publishing (and having lost count of the number of books she’d produced about male artists). Harriet is also Head of Publishing at Pallant House Gallery in Sussex.

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