Bidisha Mamata in The Guardian:
The Royal Academy of Art has never hosted a solo exhibition by a woman in their main space. The National Gallery was founded in 1824 and held its first major solo exhibition by a female artist, Artemisia Gentileschi, in 2020. The first edition of EH Gombrich’s supposedly definitive The Story of Art featured no female artists in its first edition in 1950 – and one woman in its 16th edition. In 2015, the curator and art historian Katy Hessel “walked into an art fair and realised that, out of the thousands of artworks before me, not a single one was by a woman”.
And so she created this positive, beautifully written corrective, which should become a founding text in the history of art by women. Starting in 1500 and shooting through to artists born in the 1990s, The Story of Art Without Men brings centuries-old figures to life while giving form and gravitas to emergent voices and covering every substantial movement from dadaism to civil-rights-era antiracist art along the way.