Lots of Lovely (Ladies in) Art

The LoLA boxes and booklets all contain inspiration about artists to encourage children to look at art in a variety of different contexts. These artists are carefully chosen to form a diverse range – from old masters to newcomers, from the known to the unknown, from racially and culturally diverse to what we are focusing on this week – gender diversity, and being inclusive of female artists. 

Meet some of our favourite inspiring female artists that we have looked at and referred to in boxes present and past, as well as in our activity booklets!

Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe is best known for her depiction of flowers and desert landscapes. In the 1920s, she became the first female artist to gain respect in New York’s art world. Her unique and new way of painting nature, simplifying its shapes and forms, played an important part in the development of modern art. Her painting of a jimson weed fetched more than any other female artist’s work in history. She died at the age of 98 in her home in New Mexico, where she was endlessly inspired by the rugged surrounding terrain. 

(Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the inspiring artists in our Noble Nature art box and project booklet)

Gee’s Bend

The women of Gee’s Bend—a small, remote black community in Alabama—have been creating beautiful quilts since the early 20th century. Their patchwork masterpieces are made from anything that comes to hand, from old blue jeans, strips of cloth, and even from corn-meal sacks. The quilts are vividly colourful and strikingly abstract, an interesting chapter in the history of American art.

(Gee’s bend are one of the inspiring artists in our Fabulous Fabric box and project booklet)

Niki de Saint Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle was a French-American sculptor, painter and film-maker, and the author of colourful hand-illustrated books. Widely noted as one of the few female monumental sculptors, Saint Phalle was also known for her social commitment.

She first received worldwide attention for angry, violent assemblages – but these soon evolved into ‘Nanas’, light-hearted, colourful, large-scale sculptures of animals, monsters and female figures especially. Her most extensive work was The Tarot Garden, a large public garden in Italy containing numerous works ranging up to house-sized creations.

(Niki de Saint Phalle is one of the inspiring artists in our Street Arts box and project booklet)

Hannah Hoch

Hannah Hoch was a German Dada artist. Dada was an experimental artistic movement that grew as a reaction to the First World War. It rejected tradition and conservatism and looked for new forms of artistic expression. Hoch is best known for her photomontages, a type of collage in which the pasted items are actual photographs.

(Hannah Hoch is one of the inspiring artists in our Playful Portraits box and project booklet)

Sonia Delaunay

Sonia Delaunay was born in Russia, but most of her painting was done in France. Together with her artist husband, Robert, she helped to start the Orphism art movement, defined by its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. What is really special about Delaunay, though, is that she wasn’t caught up in the differences between ‘fine’ art and the so-called ‘minor’ arts, like textile and furniture design. She did them all – even fashion!

(Sonia Delaunay is one of the inspiring artists in our Shape Shifters activity booklet)

Emily Carr

Emily Carr was an artist and writer inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific north-west coast of Canada. One of the first female painters in the country to adopt a Modernist painting style, she did not receive widespread recognition for her work until late in life. As she matured, the subject matter of her painting shifted from aboriginal themes to landscapes – and to tree scenes in particular. She camped in the forest in her caravan when she wanted to paint, and she would observe and create her own version of the tall majestic trees of her homeland, filled with movement, vivid colour and depth.

(Emily Carr is one of the inspiring artists in our Tremendous Trees activity booklet)

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