I’ve spent the past few nights reading Nathalia Holt’s fascinating Queens of Animation. Holt’s examination of the women who shaped Disney’s history made me think of my other favorite books about women and art!* So here, in no particular order, are my current top five favorites…
Parker Looks Up by Parker and Jessica Curry, with illustrations by Brittany Jackson | This picture book captures the awe of two-year-old Parker Curry when she sees First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait in DC. The illustrations are so adorable and the message is so vital. It will melt your heart, I swear.
The Queens of Animation by Nathalia Holt | I’ve already waxed poetic about this book, which is a Hidden Figures-esque look at women who worked in the Story and Animation departments at Walt Disney Studios. Holt profiles the artists Bianca Majolie, Grace Huntington, Sylvia Holland, Mary Blair, and Retta Scott, among others.
Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World by Rachel Ignotofsky | I love this book so, so much. Ignotofsky highlights 50 international artists from throughout history, compiling a collection of both famous and underrated creators. Her illustrations are playful and enhance the great research; the book is a beautiful reference even for those who don’t practice art! (Ignotofsky’s website is also great. It has free Frida Kahlo coloring sheets! We love Frida!)
A Big Important Art Book (Now With Women) by Danielle Krysa | The Jealous Curator is a fantastic blog, highlighting lots of cool artwork and artists you’re probably unfamiliar with. Danielle Krysa’s accompanying book is also a worthy read. So much art! So much learning!
Mary Blair’s Unique Flair by Amy Novesky, with illustrations by Brittney Lee | This one is such a fun followup to The Queens of Animation; it’s a picture book following the life and career of artist Mary Blair (who designed the concept for “It’s A Small World”). Lee’s paper cut illustrations are amazing, and Novesky’s prose is delightful for all ages.
what are you currently reading?
*It also made me think about how sexist the AP Art History curriculum is. We study 250 pieces of art and less than forty are from identified women artists. smh.