Beyond the Battlefield: Women Artists of the Two World Wars

This illustrated book by Catherine Speck has been out a while now but we thought it was worth a mention as it provides a fascinating account of female creativity in America, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand during the turbulent era of twentieth-century conflict. This book looks at women artists’ unique portrayal of war at the front lines, as well as their documentation of everyday life on the home front.

Exploring high-profile artists such as the American photographer Lee Miller and her work with British Vogue, this book also recounts the experiences of the First World War nurses, voluntary aides and ambulance drivers who found time to create astonishing art while working in the middle of war zones.

You can read more here War through the eyes of female artists.

Beautifully illustrated, well-researched, and readable, it sheds light on the role of women near the front lines and on the home front during both World Wars. The reader will find much that is new in this valuable contribution to art and social history. Especially interesting is the authors discovery of many talented but little known artists. Bruce Cole, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center

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About the Author
Catherine Speck is Professor of Art History at the University of Adelaide. She has published widely on women, war and art; modernism, cosmopolitanism and expatriatism; and the relationship between exhibitions and art histories.