What to Read: Picture Books About Women Artists

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We love studying art in our homeschool, but one of the things we’ve noticed over time is that we don’t often encounter many women artists in our studies. That’s why I’m happy to share this awesome list of picture books with you today!

What to Read: Picture Books About Women Artists

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These are the children’s books I’ve found in our own efforts to explore work from the many incredible women artists. The women in these books represent nearly any art genre you can think of: impressionist, surrealist, photography, abstract, folk art, and more.

Also, some of these books are inspired by trained artists, some by self-taught artists, and some even share the stories of women who never expected to wear the artist label.

Regardless of what you’re looking for today, I hope you’ll dive in and celebrate these women artists and their work on display in galleries all over the world.

Children’s Books About Women Artists

1. Suzette and the Puppy

Joan Sweeney’s Suzette and the Puppy is one of my favorite books about Mary Cassatt. It tells the story of how Cassatt’s Little Girl in the Blue Armchair came to be and includes discussion prompts.

2. Georgia Rises

Kathryn Lasky’s Georgia Rises is one of my favorite books about Georgia O’Keeffe. It follows Georgia through a typical day of painting the beauty she saw in the barren scenes of the New Mexico desert.

3. Dancing Through Fields of Color

My daughter and I loved this picture book biography about abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler. Not only is it inspirational, it’s also loaded with gorgeous watercolor illustrations and even includes instructions for a fun art project at the end.

4. Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World

This book from the Anholt’s Artists Books for Children series is probably my favorite picture book about Frida Kahlo. It tells the story of Frida and her Portrait of Mariana Morillo Safa. It also includes reproductions of some of her most famous pieces. 

5. Out of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington

Out of This World is a beautifully illustrated picture book about surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. It shares about her childhood, teen years, and her imaginative artwork.

6. The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the First Book of Photographs

The Bluest of Blues is such a cool way to learn about cyanotype photography (blueprints) and why Anna Atkins is often considered the first female photographer. This is also a great excuse to add some art fun to your learning by making sun prints!

7. Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire

I love books like Pocket Full of Color. They’re such a great way to introduce children to different kinds of artists, like artist and animator Mary Blair.

If you can’t find Pocket Full of Colors, look for Mary Blair’s Unique Flair: The Girl Who Became One of the Disney Legends. It’s another great picture book option about Mary Blair.

8. Nature’s Friend: the Gwen Frostic Story

Another example of art and nature coming together beautifully, Nature’s Friend is a lovely picture book about Gwen Frostic and her lovely prints.

9. Stichin’ and Pullin: A Gee’s Bend Quilt

I love this book about the Gee’s Bend quilters and I love learning about them with my kids! (A framed square from one of their quilts hangs above my daughters bed!) 

You see, despite the fact that their quilts hang in museums all over the world, their art comes from a place quite different than most on this list. Rather than creating for the sake of beauty alone, these incredible ladies created out of necessity.

Want to learn more about the ladies of Gee’s Bend and how they impacted history? Don’t miss Belle, The Last Mule at Gee’s Bend. It’s a great one to read as you study civil rights and modern history.

10. A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

This beautiful book is a great way to introduce your children to Japanese-American sculptor Ruth Asawa. Also worth noting, it includes a detailed biography and project idea.

If you can’t find this one, look for Ruth Asawa: A Sculpting Life. It’s another good way to learn about Ruth and her art.

11. Art from Her Heart

Art from Her Heart is a beautifully touching celebration of folk artist Clementine Hunter and her thought-provoking work.

12. Painting Dreams: Minnie Evans, Visionary Artist

Not familiar with folk artist Minnie Evans? It’s my pleasure to introduce you to her by including Painting Dreams on this list. Minnie is from my corner of the world and I consider myself blessed to see her fingerprints all over many of the places that are a part of my day-to-day life.

That said, Painting Dreams isn’t a picture book in the same sense as the others on this list, but it’s an interesting read and it’s full of Minnie’s color filled paintings. It’s also a great reminder that there are impactful, but lesser known women artists all over.

13. Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity

Got a kiddo who loves dots? You’ll want to add Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity to your reading list ASAP. This picture book explores this contemporary artist — known for her dots — and her work.

14. In Mary’s Garden

In Mary’s Garden is an especially fun read if you want to encourage an out-of-the-box artist. It tells the story of Mary Nohl and how she kept creating, even when her house could no longer contain her artwork.

15. Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World

This one’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s a lovely one to add to your collection! It features bios on famous artists like Mary Cassatt and Frida Kahlo, but also spotlights lesser-known artists.


Looking for more books about women artists? Be sure to check out these posts:

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