Discover Her Art
Women Artists and Their Masterpieces
By Jean Leibowitz and Lisa LaBanca Rogers
Learn about art by looking at art by women!
It’s that simple. Classic art history books tell the story of painting through art by men. We wrote Discover Her Art to offer a different story: a history of painting using 24 works by women. We want these works and their artists to become as inspiring and familiar as Degas and Da Vinci. The book is designed for readers age 9 and up.
Each chapter of Discover Her Art focuses on a single masterwork and the artist who created it. Through paintings that range from 16th century portraiture to 20th century abstraction, readers learn how artists use composition, color, value, shape, and line. Through brief biographies, readers gain insight into the 24 artists’ inspiring achievements and the difficult challenges they faced. Ten hands-on exercises inspired by the artworks round out the book.
How many women artists from before 1960 can you name? Click here to discover who is in the book!
- Lavinia Fontana
- Artemisia Gentileschi
- Rachel Ruysch
- Adelaide Labille Guillard
- Rosa Bonheur
- Berthe Morisot
- Mary Cassatt
- Cecilia Beaux
- Luisa Vidal
- Angel DeCora
- Suzanne Valadon
- Paula Modersohn-Becker
- Tarsila do Amaral
- Laura Wheeler Waring
- Amrita Sher Gil
- Yuki Ogura
- Angelina Beloff
- Lois Mailou Jones
- Maria Izquierdo
- Amelia Pelaez
- Maria Leontina
- Pan Yuliang
- Alma Woodsey Thomas
- Joan Mitchell
That’s me—I’m an artist and writer and I focus on landscape and portrait painting.
Lisa LaBanca Rogers
Lisa is an award-winning children’s book author and has also written many magazine articles about artists. www.lisarogerswrites.com
“A must for art history curriculum and to diversify biography shelves.”
“Discover her Art is a brilliant guide to understanding how a painting does what it does…All the activities achieve that rarity: a fun deep dive into how an image is made, and a creative moment of learning by doing. Fabulous for both the experienced professional…and the young artist just starting out.”
“This book triggers the desire to see, the joy of discovery, and the thirst for action! The careful selection of images conveys to the reader the diversity of the great achievements of women artists over the centuries up to the modern age…With the wonderful works of art, the valuable hints on perception, and the thoughtful instructions for do-it-yourself, the authors encourage the reader to dive deep into the world of images and image-making.”
“Imagine exploring an exhibit of women’s paintings with the most captivating guide who brings to life the story of each artist and their artwork. Each chapter will transport you to a different time and place, encourage you to spend time absorbing and understanding the work and the woman behind it, and possibly even inspire you to create your own artwork.”
The Back Story
Like most artists, when I need help I often turn to historical masterpieces for inspiration and solutions. A few years ago I realized I was getting all my help from paintings by men. When I tried to think of historical role models that were women, the timeline of art history seemed to go blank.
I decided to educate myself about women in art history. Though at the outset I couldn’t name 5 women painters from before 1960, I found them in large numbers pretty quickly. If only I’d known about these artists when I was young! I could have learned so much from them. I approached writer Lisa LaBanca Rogers about collaborating on a book for young readers on women in art history that would really dig into the art of painting. Lisa jumped right in.
We spent many months developing an enormous library of paintings by women. From this research several intentions evolved: select the best work we could find, cover major art periods from the Renaissance to 1960, and strive for diversity. While Lisa researched and wrote the wonderful biographies, I wrote about the paintings and developed the activities.
Now that Discover Her Art is done, I can’t believe how much I learned from this project. I now feel grounded by a historical community of fantastic women artists. Every time I pick up my brush, they are all right there with me.