The Bigger Picture by Sophia Bennett and Manjit Thapp

2018 saw the publication of a large number of books for children celebrating women’s achievements. Most were very general, highlighting accomplishments across a wide range of spheres. However, some focused on particular professions and activities, such as science or sport. See our Women’s History Month booklist to find out more.

These are now joined by this volume from Tate Publishing, subtitled 'Women Who Changed the Art World', introducing young people to a wide range of women artists past and present from across the world. Individual artists each have a double page spread in which the significance of their work is explained in terms that are accessible to young people without ever talking down. Interviews with many of the contemporary artists are included and among the questions are some along the lines of what advice they would give to aspiring young artists or to their twelve-year-old selves. There is a reproduction or photograph of the hugely varied work produced by each of the selected artists but these can only be a glimpse and this whole book is in fact an inspirational starting point for discussion and for further exploration, using the internet, other books and, of course, seeing their work in reality where possible. Art as a means of protest, questioning the status quo and what making art can mean are at the heart of this book.

The arrangement of the book is alphabetical rather than chronological. However, there is a timeline at the end of the book which places the artists according the year they were born and includes significant political and historical landmarks. There is a glossary of art terms. Another feature is the placement of other related matters such as information about famous art schools and galleries and ways of working in the art world in addition to being an artist.

Tate Publishing 9781849766210