First Things First
I read a blog posting titled Excuse Me Sir: Did You Forget Something? by writer Jacqueline Davies. Despite the fact that I knew that women artists are overlooked and uncelebrated by the mainstream, I saw red.
How can you talk about picture book art and not show the groundbreaking work of Emily Gravett ,
the work of Lois Ehlert,
And Shadra Strickland?
Jacqueline Davies wrote on her blog about her experience attending a workshop on Children’s Book Art at a writers conference “that was billed as a ‘two-hour crash course in art school.’ Awesome! I thought. That’s about as much time as I have to devote to art school at the moment.”
Please read the whole post and then come back
She noted that “Over the course of the two-hour lecture, 26 names were referenced in total; 25 of them were men. The only woman who was referenced at all during the two hours was mentioned in the last ten minutes and only in passing. I don’t even remember what was said about her, the reference was so brief. Her name was spoken once by the lecturer, and none of her work was shown on the screen. Male references: 96%. Female references: 4%.”
Who is Jacqueline Davies?
She is one of my favorite writers for that middle aged child sweet spot. Those nine to eleven year olds, those 4th, 5th and 6th graders. AND she has that gift of voice. The Lemonade War was a gift for our Mock Newbery discussions. I recall a student saying that this book had to win because it was “true.” People know that I have a weakness for the laugh-out-loud funny. That too.
AND picture book biography, The Boy Who Drew Birds:A Story of John James Audubon is a masterpiece and a gift for teachers and librarians looking to integrate STEM into their practice
Grace Lin, Writer and Artist Pointed Out
on her Facebook page that “I went to an elite art school, too. All students had to take art history using Janson’s “History of Art” a 572 pg-textbook included NO women until 1987.” Grace Lin
and quoted Jacqueline’s blog “He went to an elite art school…the knowledge he absorbed down to his cellular level—is that male artists matter and female artists hardly exist at all.” http://www.jacquelinedavies.net/blog/2018/6/2/excuse-me-sir-did-you-forget-something
Attention Must Be Paid
At the Children’s Literature Research Collections we created an open access digital resource for learning about children’s book art. Please use it and comment if helps your teaching and learning.
The artists presented in this digital exhibit, Children’s Book Art: Techniques and Media
15/65=24% people of color /diverse
these only include artists that we hold in the Kerlan Collection. As our collection diversifies so will the on-line materials reflect that.
And I start thinking about artists like Susan Gabor (Bit By Bit) and why aren’t there more books illustrated by her.
Let’s Start the Celebration Now
I’ll go first
Holly Meade Small Green Snake
Diane Goode Book of Silly Stories and Songs
Denise Fleming Mama Cat Had Three Kittens
Join the discussion 4 Comments
Patricia Polacco and Jan Brett – fabulous stories and fantastic art!
Barbara Cooney and Ilon Wikland, both beautiful artists.
I 2nd the Barbara Cooney comment.
I have been a children’s librarian for many years and am embarrassed to admit I am not familiar with the work of many of these female artists. Thank you for highlighting them and bringing much needed attention to the underexposed female artists.