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.
Nina Hamnett: Life or Art? The Challenge of Writing about Women Artists by Alicia Foster
Nina Hamnett (1890–1956) was an artist, illustrator and writer who was associated with the bohemian and avant-garde circles of the London and Parisian art scenes in the first decades of the twentieth century.
Hamnett’s career included designs for the Bloomsbury Group’s Omega Workshops; she was also an artist’s model for her friend Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, and published her life-story in two autobiographies. But it was her sensitive and formal still life paintings, her striking, often acerbic drawings, and her perceptive portraits of poets, dancers and friends which defined her achievements as an artist.
Alicia Foster brings together works from public and private collections to foreground the accomplishments of a talented and ambitious woman who wasn’t afraid to do things differently. In this book, for the first time, Nina Hamnett is celebrated as an artist in her own right.
Dr Alicia Foster is an art historian, curator and novelist. She curated the first ever museum show of Jessica Dismorr’s work in the exhibition ‘Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contempories’ (2019) at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester and wrote the accompanying book. Previous publications include ‘Gwen John’ (Tate, 2015) and the first complete survey of women artists in in Tate collections ‘Tate Women Artists’ (2004). Her first novel ‘Warpaint’ (2013) tells the story of four women artists who were employed by the British government in 1942-3, making offical war art and black propaganda. She is a regular contributor to ArtUK and is currently working on her second novel.
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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