Hundreds of Unrecognized Women Artists Working in California from
1860 to 1960 Receive Proper Art History Scholarship in New Book Series
Atglen, PA—Lady in a Cage, a painting by Sylvia Fein, sits adjacent to the table of contents in the first volume of Emerging from the Shadows, a new four-volume series on women artists working in California from 1860 to 1960. This first image offers a practical starting point to navigating through the works of 320 women artists represented in the four volumes, but also a symbolic one: Emerging from the Shadows releases the works and lives of these artists from the confinement of being lost in history.
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., is proud to announce the release of the four-volumes of Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860–1960. In more than 2,000 color images these four books trace the 100-year history of 320 women artists working in California as well as throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe. Within these volumes are works in a variety of media, including: painting, sculpture, drawing, illustration, and printmaking. And the works presented reflect the styles and movements that have influenced generations of artists, including: the Hudson River School, realism, plein-air, transcendentalism, surrealism, regionalism or American scene painting, abstract expressionism, and art created under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), as well as during the golden age of Disney animation.
In her preface for Emerging from the Shadows, author Maurine St. Gaudens writes:
“The individuals within these pages are all artists, in many cases powerful, competent, and thoughtful; their work encompasses a broad range, spanning the realism of the nineteenth century to twentieth-century modernism. The unrecognized artists are presented here standing alongside their well-acknowledged peers. It is time for them to emerge and for their own personal shadow to fade. This book is a first step.”
She further writes:
“Are the works within this book the masterpieces of these artists? Yes and no. I sought freshness and originality, wherever possible. I also purposely chose to exclude major, important works that are frequently overexposed and become the only familiar image associated with the artist. My goal was to give examples of both the best and the average. Each artist may create a handful of masterpieces during her life span, but most created hundreds of works that are good and some even great. These are what we most often find on our walls, in attics, basements, storage, trunks, and sales.”
This groundbreaking work of scholarship is a must for collectors, academics, curators, and educators as it brings to life the depth and richness of a largely forgotten yet vibrant community of artists—namely the women artists who flourished in the creative world of California art. The volumes offer rare historical photographs, close-up views of artists’ signatures, biographies of previously unknown artists, and artwork, rediscovered and published for the first time.
Sylvia Fein, Lady in a Cage. Courtesy of Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Endorsements for Emerging from the Shadows
“Almost since the Gold Rush, California women played a vital role in the state’s artistic scene, contributing mightily not only through their own production, but through their roles as teachers, jurors, and cultural leaders…Yet today, few of these artists are known, even within California itself, and rare is the woman whose art is known beyond the boundaries of the state. The abundance of biographies and illustrations in Emerging from the Shadows: a Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860–1960, beautifully helps rectify this, renewing our appreciation of those few artists who are known, and providing long-overdue acknowledgement of the many who are not.” —Scott A. Shields, PhD, Associate Director and Chief Curator, Crocker Art Museum
“Emerging from the Shadows is a treasure-trove of information that will impress scholars and collectors as well as the general public. It has long been acknowledged that the female population has been as significant a force in the advancement of civilization as her male counterpart, but that historical accounts have usually omitted her from even passing references. Now there is a book, more of an encyclopedia, with coverage of 320 artists that will bring the women of California to the fore.” —Dr. Ilene Susan Fort, author of In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States (2012), and The Gail and John Liebes Senior Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
“The California art community is truly fortunate to have California native Maurine St. Gaudens as one of its active members. Maurine has dedicated most of her life to the promotion of the fine arts and her determination to introduce the public to individual artists, particularly to deserving women in the field…This publication will only serve to elevate Maurine’s reputation in the art world and those of the women artists profiled.” —Phil Kovinick, Historian and Co-Author with Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick of An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West
About the Author
Maurine St. Gaudens grew up surrounded by art and creativity. She is the granddaughter of noted San Francisco jeweler Maurice Saint-Gaudens, and the third-cousin of the esteemed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Maurine’s artistic background led to her career as a respected fine arts conservator and the establishment of the Maurine St. Gaudens Studio in Pasadena, California. In conjunction with her professional work as a conservator, Maurine has served as guest curator for numerous art exhibitions throughout Southern California and as a consultant and manager to the estates of various artists.
Through years of experience Maurine has established a reputation for recognizing and including unknown artists, particularly women artists, in her exhibitions. Her work as a historian, and her perseverance in researching unknown artists, has brought Maurine to her most recent publication, Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860-1960.
Maurine has previously edited Sam Hyde Harris, 1889–1977, A Retrospective: A Pictorial Biography of His Life and Work—a comprehensive presentation on the influential California artist, Sam Hyde Harris. In addition, Maurine has been a frequent contributor to numerous art publications and articles.
Author Maurine St. Gaudens is available for interviews and Q&A pieces. For more information on the project behind Emerging from the Shadows, please visit the author’s website: emergingfromtheshadows.com.
About the Publisher
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., is a family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality books. Since 1974, Schiffer has published thousands of titles on the diverse subjects that fuel our readers’ passions. From our traditional subjects of antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts, and military history, Schiffer has expanded its catalog to publish books on a vast array of topics including contemporary art and artists, and architecture and design.
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