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The Story of Art without Men


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About the Author

Katy Hessel is an art historian, presenter and curator dedicated to celebrating female artists. The founder of @thegreatwomenartists and the podcast of the same name, she has collaborated with Tate Modern and Dior, lectured at Cambridge University and the National Gallery and presented programmes for the BBC.


Katy Hessel is a brilliant chronicler of the overlooked. I am so thrilled this book exists as an empowering, enlightening guide to the unforgettable vision of these brilliant artists. Essential reading -- Elizabeth Day
An inspiring, beautifully written corrective -- Bidisha Mamata * Guardian *
Will change the history of art... thank God. -- Tracey Emin
Excellent, authoritative, exuberant and elegantly written -- Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR
I was not aware how hungry I was for this book until I dropped everything and ate it from cover to cover. I was not aware how angry I was that this book did not exist until it existed. It's an urgently needed, un-put-downable, joyful, insightful, glorious, perspective-shifting revision of the Story of Art. -- Es Devlin
A book for every aspiring art historian - whatever their sex -- '10 best art books of 2022' * The Times *
A long overdue, revisionist history of art by the brilliant Katy Hessel ... Never stuffy or supercilious, Hessel's book is a revelation and an important first step towards redressing the balance of an art world in which women have been sidelined, stepped over and trampled upon for far too long * Refinery29 *
An extraordinary achievement that will have a disruptive cultural legacy and help deter mine the landscape for years to come. -- Helena Lee * Harper's Bazaar *
Well-researched and enlightening * Daily Express *
Unapologetically revisionist * Financial Times *
In this astounding, generous book, Katy Hessel has given us such a gift. Her research is profound, scholarly and wide-ranging, her writing authoritative yet accessible. I found so much to surprise and delight in these pages, so many works of art pulsating with life and intelligence, beauty and power. This book is a long-overdue corrective, and Hessel has executed it to perfection, echoing the passion and skill of the very artists she writes about. An astonishing achievement. -- Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist
Via chronological chapters focusing on periods of change, Hessel leads the reader back through this story, reinstating the countless women whose contributions were missed. * RA Magazine *
Vital... has firmly cracked open the canon -- Chloe Ashby, author of WET PAINT * Spectator *
A spirited, inspiring, brilliantly illustrated history of female artistic endeavour... The Story of Art Without
Men should be on the reading list of every A-level and university art history course and on the front table of every museum and gallery shop. -- Laura Freeman * The Times *
A magnificent read and a beautiful book -- David Walliams
Exhilarating ... a dazzling array marshalled by a talented young art historian who grinds her axe sharply and with skill ... [Hessel's] scholarship, enthusiasm and humour make this lavish book a must for any woman who loves art * Daily Mail *
An illuminating celebration of female artists and their often overlooked place in history * Stylist *
Passionate, enthusiastic and witty... I wish I had had this book as a teenager * The i *
A touchpoint for a new generation who will go on to define the future of those exhibitions, collections, and auctions * Dazed Digital *
This eye-opening read is an overdue revisionist history of art - ignoring the pale, male canon to celebrate female artists who have been overlooked for centuries -- Best non-fiction books of 2022 * iPaper *
The early centuries are thin simply due to the paucity of surviving work by talented women painters but her story becomes fuller and more persuasive the closer it gets to today. Hessel is clear-sighted and impartial enough not to over-claim for her subjects but show that they are full of interest and every bit as worthy of attention as their male peers. -- Michael Prodger * New Statesmen *
Katy Hessel's first book The Story of Art without Men is a necessary and urgent book. A truly empowering title, the volume celebrates the rise of women artists and recentres them within art, political and social history. Many of these artists have been presented at Serpentine and their visions are getting the visibility they deserve through the fantastic visuals and Katy's thorough research -- Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine
When women are literally written out of history, Hessel conveys how radical, powerful and vulnerable their lives and art were - and still are. Through moments of rage and celebration, this story fundamentally centres creative freedom: the stifling of it, and the lengths endured to claim it. -- Tiarney Miekus * The Sydney Morning Herald *
This passionate and personal telling of what has been an invisible history will bring revelation to anyone entering the world of art and its histories. -- Iwona Blazwick, Director, The Whitechapel Gallery
Although women have always made art, for far too long, art history has been told as the story of male achievement. Katy Hessel's The Story of Art without Men is a brilliantly readable and lively corrective. Outraged and celebratory, it's chock-full of female trail-blazers - from the Renaissance until the present day - who forged their way, despite facing the kind of hurdles that would stump most mortals -- Jennifer Higgie, author of The Mirror and the Palette
Compiled with zip and wit, even the informed reader will learn something new on every page - we really cannot recommend it enough * The Fence *
This eye-opening read is an overdue revisionist history of art - ignoring the pale, male canon to celebrate female artists who have been overlooked for centuries -- The best non-fiction books of 2022 * i paper *
A sumptuously illustrated history... at once broad in scope and meticulously researched -- Breeze Barrington * TLS *
This book has blown my mind. Really passionately recommend -- India Knight * Sunday Times *
An extraordinary eye-opener, and very readable ... we badly need books like Hessel's * Evening Standard *

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