The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art

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Overview

We were Guerillas before we were Gorillas. From the beginning, the press wanted publicity photos. We needed a disguise. No one remembers, for sure, how we got our fur, but one story is that at an early meeting, an original Girl, a bad speller, wrote 'Gorilla' instead of 'Guerilla.' It was an enlightening mistake. It gave us our mask-ulinity. Ever wonder about the abundance of naked male statues in the Classical section of your favorite museum? Did you know medieval convents were hotbeds of female artistic ...
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Overview

We were Guerillas before we were Gorillas. From the beginning, the press wanted publicity photos. We needed a disguise. No one remembers, for sure, how we got our fur, but one story is that at an early meeting, an original Girl, a bad speller, wrote 'Gorilla' instead of 'Guerilla.' It was an enlightening mistake. It gave us our mask-ulinity. Ever wonder about the abundance of naked male statues in the Classical section of your favorite museum? Did you know medieval convents were hotbeds of female artistic expression? And how did those "bad boy" artists of the twentieth century make it even harder for a girl to get a break? Thanks to the Guerrilla Girls, those masked feminists whose mission it is to break the white male stronghold over the art world, art history-as we know it-is history. Taking you back through the ages, the Guerrilla Girls demonstrate how males (particularly white males) have dominated the art scene, and discouraged, belittled, or obscured women's involvement. Their skeptical and hilarious interpretations of "popular" theory are augmented by the newest research and the expertise of prominent feminist art historians. "Believe-it-or-not" quotations from some of the "experts" are sprinkled throughout, as are the Guerrilla Girls' signature masterpieces: reproductions of famous art works, slightly "altered" for historic accuracy and vindication. This colorful reinterpretation of classic and modern art, as outrageous as it is visually arresting, is a much-needed corrective to traditional art history, and an unabashed celebration of female artists.
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Editorial Reviews

BUST Magazine
[A] tart, funny, lurid little bomb of a book. It's all p.c., of course, but not at all predictable, and a lot of righteous information gets dispersed in record time.
School Library Journal
YA-The Guerrilla Girls are a group of anonymous artists and art professionals whose mission is to expose racism, sexism, and homophobia in the art world. The introduction presents an overview and critique of traditional art history, and following chapters highlight various time periods and the female artists who were at work during those eras. From classical Greece to the present, the group introduces many "mistresspieces" that have been overlooked by traditional male critics. This irreverent and sometimes angry review of art history makes use of humor and satire to illuminate the issues and to exact a small revenge on a field that has dismissed many gifted individuals on the basis of gender and/or ethnicity. A chronology of general women's history entitled, "Guerrillas in the Midst of History" opens the book. Lively text and a creative adaptation and interpretation of famous works will hold the interest of teens while introducing them to a revisionist and more inclusive history of art in the Western world.-Debra Shumate, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140259971
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 423,648
  • Product dimensions: 7.85 (w) x 9.83 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

The Guerrilla Girls are a collective of female artists and art-world professionals. Their largest contingent is in New York City, but they have been sighted all over the United States, Europe, and wherever truth, justice, and the American way of discrimination still prevail.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Classi Babes
2 Hot Flashes from the Middle Ages
3 The Renaissance: Lives of the Girl Artists
4 The 17th and 18th Centuries: Engendered Species
5 The 19th Century: Girls Going Places
6 The 20th Century: Women of the “Isms”

Further Reading

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2008

    A Quick Look at Feminism in Art History

    The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside companion to the History of Western Art is a fun read for art history lovers. With biting wit and humor this book gives a brief history of women in art, challenges they faced (and still face today), and the roles of women from classical times through the present time. The book itself is a visual treasure, with graphics that draw you in immediately. The text, which is simultaneously informative and humorous, keeps you lauging with it's modern presentation. With the cartoons, and the collages, you'll be constantly entertained while simultaneously being outraged by outdated, demeaning quotes about women from well-known men. You'll learns a lot about some female artists that have been ignored in your art history classes and gain a new depth of knowledge that goes beyond the commonly accepted masters of art. <BR/>The book succeeds as an extension of the Guerrilla Girls performance art, but gives a very feminist point of view that is more than biased and slightly questionable in it's presentation of facts.It's great for its to the point presentation of fact and stories,while retaining it's academic nature, perfect for those with a short attention span. <BR/>For me this book brought up many questions that hopefully more people will begin to ask and look into why most of the nudes in museums are women, while so few artists in museums are of that same gender.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    art lovers and feminist

    an awesome eye opening experence. you ladies rock!

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