Fantastically great women artists and their stories by Kate Pankhurst

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The Fantastically Great series by Kate Pankhurst is further enhanced by this new addition about eight diverse women artists and their stories. This interesting and extremely readable book looks at the lives of Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun, Frida Kahlo, Amrita Sher-Gil, Kathe Kollwitz, Dame Laura Knight, Faith Ringgold, Peggy Guggenheim and Australian First Nations artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, the artist who never stopped Dreaming, was a proud Anmatyerre elder. Her early life was spent in service to white families in an area called Utopia by the white settlers but known to Emily and her clan as Alhalkere. Emily began painting later in her life and at the age of 80 her paintings became renowned both nationally and internationally. Her remarkable story is one of great belief in her clan country and her people. A truly amazing woman.

Each artist’s story is written in accessible language and includes bold and highlighted words, speech bubbles, humour, and graphic-designed images throughout. There is a contents page, an introductory chapter about Women in Art, a double page gallery of the artists, a detailed glossary and Further Reading pages. This book would be a wonderful addition to a school library, in particular for Years 6-9, who may research famous artists. As I was reading about each of the women artists, I was searching the internet for their work so I was able to understand their style. A very worthwhile activity for all readers.

Themes: Women, Artists, Biography, History, Facts.

Kathryn Beilby