Celebrating Women Artists

Last weekend I picked up a copy of “Originals: American Women Artists” by Eleanor Munro at a local library book sale. I flipped through most of the book and was astonished to realize: I didn’t know as much about American artists – especially WOMEN American artists – as I thought I had… and I have spent the past 5+ years educating myself with as many artists as I could.

There are 41 artists named in the index and of those artists I could only identify 12 of them with any confidence:

Mary Cassatt* Miriam Schapiro*
Georgia O’Keeffe* June Wayne
Hedda Sterne* Mary Frank
Sari Dienes Elise Asher
Lee Krasner* Sheila de Bretteville
Alice Neel Anne Truitt*
Louise Nevelson* Lenore Tawney
Isabel Bishop Sylvia Stone
Louise Bourgeois* Beverly Pepper
Helen Lundeberg Betye Saar
Jeanne Reynal Sheila Hicks
Alma W Thomas Barbara Chase-Riboud
Grace Hartigan* Lee Bontecou
Jane Freilicher Jennifer Bartlett
Fay Lanser Faith Ringgold*
Helen Frankenthaler* Eleanor Antin
Lila Katzen Jackie Winsor
Joan Mitchell* Michelle Stuart
Elaine de Kooning* Connie Zehr
Nell Blaine Betty Klavun
  Patricia Johanson

This got me thinking… ok, obsessing… about this for the past week: is there definitive list of women artists that I can work from to round out my education? And I wasn’t disappointed: between Wikipedia and a couple of online lists, including the 30 Most Influential Women Artists Alive Today, I was able to compile one extensive spreadsheet that has been expanded to include as many women artists, regardless of nationality, that I was able to find.

NOTE: I do have to mention: being a “woman” artist myself, I do have an issue as being identified as such – the goal of any artist is to simply be identified as an Artist – regardless of gender. However, I do have to admit that most people when asked to name an artist will likely name a “male” artist more so then a “woman” artist… and I aim to change that.

So, based on the wealth of artist names I have been able to compile, I thought that it would be a good idea to launch an Artist of the Month on my FaceBook page (www.facebook.com/White-Rooster-Studios) to highlight these amazing women.

Please join me on this journey to learn more about these amazing women: June will be the inaugural month and will highlight Mary Cassatt.


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