Women Artists of the American West

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About the Book

This book presents the work of more than 150 women artists of the 19th and 20th centuries from west of the Mississippi River. The first half of the book consists of fifteen interpretive essays examining artists in a broad range of media (photography, quiltmaking, painting, printmaking, clay art, sculpture, digital art and more). Concepts of community, identity, spirituality, and locality are explored in interdisciplinary contexts.
The second half of the book is an alphabetical directory of the artists discussed in the essays, with biographical information, notes on exhibitions and collections, and the artists’ own statements about their work and their visions. The text is lavishly illustrated with 342 reproductions, including 62 in color.
The essays were written by Dorothy R. Zopf, Kate M. O’Neill, Susan R. Ressler, Margaret D. Jacobs, Susan Peterson, Tee A. Corinne, Gail E. Tremblay, Tiska Blankenship, Peter E. Palmquist, Martha A. Sandweiss, Joan M. Jensen, Terri Cohn, Corinne Whitaker, and Betty LaDuke. There is an afterword by Phoebe Farris.

About the Author(s)

Susan R. Ressler is a professor emerita of art at Purdue University and an interdisciplinary scholar and artist.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Susan R. Ressler
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 397
Bibliographic Info: 342 photos (62 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [2003]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6438-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction      3

The Essays

Section I: Community      17

1 Surviving the Winter: The Evolution of Quiltmaking Among Two Cultures in New Mexico      20

Dorothy R. Zopf

2 Barbara Zaring and Alyce Frank: The Confluence of Creativity and Relationships      37

Kate M. O’Neill

3 Asian American Women Artists: Community Networks and Cultural Autonomy      50

Susan R. Ressler



Section II: Identity      81

4 Shaping a New Way: White Women and the Movement to Promote Pueblo Indian      83

Arts and Crafts, 1900–1935

Margaret D. Jacobs

5 The Legacy of Generations: Pottery by Contemporary American Indian Women      97

Susan Peterson

6 Lesbian Photography on the U.S. West Coast, 1970–2000      117

Tee A. Corinne

7 Indigenous Identities: Diverse Visions      136

Gail E. Tremblay

Between pages 150 and 151 are 32 color plates (A–FF) containing 62 photographs

Section III: Spirituality      151

8 Agnes Pelton and Florence Miller Pierce: The Two Women Artists in the Transcendental Painting Group, 1938–1945      153

Tiska Blankenship

9 It’s All About the Apple, or Is It? Spirituality and Contemporary Women’s Art of the American West      166

Susan R. Ressler

Section IV: Locality      199

10 100 Years of California Photography: Women Innovators and Their Contributions, 1850–1950      201

Peter E. Palmquist

11 The Historical Landscape: Laura Gilpin and the Tradition of American Landscape Photography      224

Martha A. Sandweiss

12 Women on the Pacific Rim: Cultural Border Crossings      236

Joan M. Jensen

13 In Which It Stands: Nature, Culture, Public Space      252

Terri Cohn

Section V: Telling Visions      267

14 Unfolding: A Memoir      269

Corinne Whitaker

15 An Artist’s Journey: From Oregon to Timbuktu      281

Betty LaDuke



Afterword: Coming Together: Women Artists and Writers      299

Phoebe Farris

The Biographies

Artists’ Biographies      301

About the Contributors      343

Bibliography      345

Index      351

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Library Journal; “excellent…recommended”—Catholic Library World; “an important resource…very informative…recommended”—Choice; “an invaluable biographical dictionary…recommended”—ARBA.