Read Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman Online


Who hasn't wondered where--aside from Georgia O'Keeffe and Frida Kahlo--all the women artists are? In many art books, they've been marginalized with cold efficiency, summarily dismissed in the captions of group photographs with the phrase "identity unknown" while each male is named.Donna Seaman brings to dazzling life seven of these forgotten artists, among the best of theWho hasn't wondered where--aside from Georgia O'Keeffe and Frida Kahlo--all the women artists are? In many art books, they've been marginalized with cold efficiency, summarily dismissed in the captions of group photographs with the phrase "identity unknown" while each male is named.Donna Seaman brings to dazzling life seven of these forgotten artists, among the best of their day: Gertrude Abercrombie, with her dark, surreal paintings and friendships with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins; Bay Area self-portraitist Joan Brown; Ree Morton, with her witty, oddly beautiful constructions; Lois Mailou Jones of the Harlem Renaissance; Lenore Tawney, who combined weaving and sculpture when art and craft were considered mutually exclusive; Christina Ramberg, whose unsettling works drew on pop culture and advertising; and Louise Nevelson, an art-world superstar in her heyday but omitted from most recent surveys of her era.These women fought to be treated the same as male artists, to be judged by their work, not their gender or appearance. In brilliant, compassionate prose, Seaman reveals what drove them, how they worked, and how they were perceived by others in a world where women were subjects--not makers--of art. Featuring stunning examples of the artists' work, Identity Unknown speaks to all women about their neglected place in history and the challenges they face to be taken as seriously as men no matter what their chosen field....

Title : Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781620407585
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists Reviews

  • Jen
    2018-10-01 14:50

    My thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.I think this is a case of, it's not the book, it's me. I just didn't gel with the writing style at ALL. Which is very sad, as this is a very important topic. It is important to not discount any group of people, in this case women, from the contributions they made and make to the world, in this case, art.The women were all amazingly interesting. The creative process, their history, how what they lived through shaped their lives and their art. It was fascinating to read.What wasn't so fascinating? The copious overuse of adjectives and nouns to describe the artwork and influence on the artists. Seriously, 34 adjectives in a row in one sentence is a bit much. And it happens every other page or so. Editor, where were you? What I found to be ironic, given the title of the book, was that many of the pictures in the book (of which there were too few for a book discussing artists and their works), had photographer unidentified. To piggy back off of the pictures thing, I hope the finished copy has more pictures. Because the constant describing of the artwork or photographs was kind of annoying. This is a book about artists and their art. I want to actually SEE what is being discussed in the writing of the book. My imagination isn't bad, but it isn't equal to what was being discussed. And the last artist was evil. After I got to her saying she used old, rare, beautiful books by ripping the pages out for her own artwork, I skipped past her section and have vowed to never read about her or look at her artwork EVER. Lenore Tawney. Book lovers, be warned.So, the positives. This book discusses a very important topic, the fact that many women in the art world have been overlooked and forgotten. It makes one think about where others have been dismissed because they weren't white men. No offense white men, but you have been rather hoggish of the spotlight for most things in the past and maybe a smidge nowadays too.When the author isn't just showing that she knows how to use a thesaurus and isn't attempting to describe a piece of art, the writing grabs the reader. It could be because the subject matter is so engrossing, but six of one, half-a-dozen of the other, it all gets and keeps the reader's attention. I just couldn't ignore the endless lists of words and the describing of artwork I couldn't see unless I got off of my butt from my comfy reading chair and went into the room with the computer to look up what she was talking about. I just couldn't be bothered. It's COLD where I am right now, and getting up from my cocoon of warm blanket to go through two colder rooms, just to look up a piece of art, wasn't going to happen. So one star deducted for the endless lists and one deducted due to describing what there were no pictures for. There may be pictures in the finished copy. This was an advanced read. Hopefully the finished copy will have more pictures. The artwork all sounded stunning. I will look it up, just not right now. Three stars total. Not a bad book, but it didn't really grab me. I think it would probably be more interesting to those who have a serious interest in contemporary/modern female artists. I'm more into Renaissance art myself, so not quite my focus. Not bad, but not in my personal wheelhouse.

  • Kristine
    2018-09-29 21:03

    Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late December (Boxing Day).Seaman's writing style is rather a lot like a long-form biographical article than an art critique, social humanities book, a work that upholds American feminism, or woman's non-fiction. Her seven female artists of choice are Louise Nevelson (procurer and constructor of urban driftwood), Gertrude Abercrombie (jazzy, declarative, eclectic horizontal Surrealist), Lois Maillou Jones (multicultural muralist and creator of colorful, angular portraits), Ree Morton (visual artist fond of banners, dioramas, and ladders), Joan Brown (post-Impressionist portraits and monuments informed by world travel), Christina Ramberg (the female form and adornment), and Lenore Tawney (earthly celestial geometric weaver).

  • Dan Downing
    2018-09-19 18:02

    These seven essays on the life and work of artists are the sort of thing we usually find in exhibition catalogs or books featuring the work of a particular artist. The chapters here are a step above the run of the mill product of this type, and with good reason. Ms. Seaman has an agenda and follows it well; she is a fine writer and sensitive critic. What makes reading this book a two-week effort vs. the usual time for a 400 odd page volume is that we now have a supplement to art books: the world wide web.As unknown as an artist may be---and the seven being discussed here are not very obscure---one can be sure of finding something about them on the internet, barring a search for the summer dauber on the beach. Before, after and during each chapter I had the pleasure of pulling up dozens, maybe hundreds, of pictures of the art being discussed. Painting, sculpture, fiber work, and the work of the many artists mention in passing require shifting gears frequently. Highly Recommended** Assuming access to the Net. Subtract a Star for refusing to go to the library.

  • Anne
    2018-10-16 19:48

    This is the third book I have read in recent months where the author has tackled a really interesting topic, but doesn't have the writing chops to pull off an interesting book. It's so frustrating.

  • Raven
    2018-10-09 21:00

    fun to learn about women artists previous unknown to me, but not in love with writing style

  • Mills College Library
    2018-10-10 13:47

    709.22 S4388 2017

  • Sara
    2018-10-05 13:48

    I received this book for free in the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. I was not otherwise compensated for my review.

  • Kathy Dickman
    2018-09-23 15:03

    A great asset for our Art Department and helpful when they need research on artists.

  • Beverly
    2018-10-13 20:56

    This was a great idea-brief bios and critiques of seven recently working women artists who are under recognized and appreciated. But what a balls-up it turned out to be. Donna Seaman compulsively overwrites, never using one adjective or noun when seven would do, and purpling up her prose at every turn. But that's not all. Seaman insists on following every irrelevant tangent such as describing the grand parentage of one artist's teacher or discussing Frida Kahlo for three pages because both Kahlo and Joan Brown (the subject) painted self portraits. And there's more. The illustrations rarely match the discussion, so you are left with only Seaman's fulsome descriptions to imagine the paintings for yourself. The best I could do was skim most of this, and I ended up with little insight into the lives and works of these seven women.

  • Paula
    2018-09-17 19:58

    Thanks to Goodreads and Bloomsbury Publishing for a free copy of this book.Identity Unknown shares the stories of seven female artists, acclaimed in their day but virtually forgotten now:Louise Nevelson, Gertrude Abercrombie, Lois Mailou Jones, Ree Morton, Joan Brown, Christina Ramberg, and Lenore Tawney.Their stories are fascinating and inspirational as, not only were they original and daring, they also had to overcome many obstacles due to sexism. Lois Mailou Jones further became adept at "turning adversity into opportunity" as she also had to deal with racial discrimination. Donna Seaman presents their stories in an interesting manner complementing them with a wealth of information about the culture of the time and significant people in their lives. I only wish that there could have been more photos and illustrations of their art included. I found myself skimming over the detailed descriptions, especially if I couldn't find a visual copy online.

  • Ruth Feathers
    2018-10-07 12:52

    Fills in some of the gaps in our history.

  • Emily
    2018-10-09 19:03

    A perfectly good book that just didn't stand a chance against all the great novels I happened to pick up while reading it. I like the author's approach of writing informally, not trying to do a rigorous art history/critique or a straight biography. She's done her research but she's not afraid to speculate and tell you when she's going out on a limb. For an art book, though, not nearly enough illustrations.