Book Review: Making Their Mark: Art By Women -Shah Collection

Making Their Mark: Art By Women -Shah Collection

edited by Mark Godfrey and Katie Siegel


In my continuing effort to broaden my understanding of how women have played critical roles in the development of historical and contemporary art movements.

My most recent purchase is Making Their Mark: Art By Women In The Shah Garg Collection.

Collection Website

This is a massive catalog of 140+ women artist from this important art collection. The collection was inspired by the work of women abstract painters at the 2014 Whitney biennial.

As stated in the book’s preface, “…initially surprised by the gender inequities that remain in the study, presentation, and acquisition of works of art, Shah has resolved to illuminate the depth and breadth of women’s contributions to the history of visual culture, from the modern era to the current moment. Collecting has LED organically to active advocacy, especially in support of those artists who are still unacknowledged, or under acknowledged in the prevailing narratives.”

The book consists of a series of essays and a section with full page illustrations.  The essays are on topics including abstraction, women curators, craft making, queer art, and African American artists, among other topics while some of the essays are a bit more grounded in art theory, I think you will find that most of the writing is understandable by the average reader. Occasionally an essay and the illustrations that accompany it, might send you to Wikipedia to understand some particular terminology. But that’s OK too we should follow our curiosity wherever it takes us

In addition to looking at work by painters, the book also covers textile work multimedia printmaking and other forms of art.

I must confess that there were many, many names that were new to me. It was also exciting to see unfamiliar (new to me) work by familiar names such as Faith Ringgold, Joyce Scott,  Joan Mitchell, Miriam Shapiro, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Howardena Pindell among others.

This is a book that I keep at the top of my reading pile. And whenever I have 15 or 20 minutes, I will dip into an essay or peruse the full page color reproductions. I always come away inspired by the complex and

This book is an investment. However, it is well produced with very accurate color reproductions on beautiful paper.  It is a reminder that a book itself can be a work of art. I especially love the SIZE of the book—each page measures almost 10 x 12 inches. For me, it was worth every penny.

Look for this book at, local book shops or online.

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