We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2016 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.
May these women inspire you to pursue what you love to do!
The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys
Written by Amy Novesky
Illustrated by Lisa Congdon
Published by Cameron + Company (2012)
Named after the daughter of a king in a Shakespearean play called Cymbeline, Imogen Cunningham was one of the first female photographers of the twentieth century. Growing up, Imogen’s father taught her to read and draw. It wasn’t until a few years later, when Imogen was a teenager, that she decided to pursue photography, a career that her father described as “messy.”
Nevertheless, Imogen’s parents supported her in her endeavor. Her father even improvised and built her a darkroom in the woodshed, with only a single candle inside a red box. Imogen was a diligent student and she was the only one in her family to graduate from a university. Imogen did not waste any time and opened a portrait studio with what little money she had saved throughout her school days.
Imogen married an etcher named Roi Partridge, and they had three boys. Because Imogen worked from home, she focused on her family and her beloved plants as her subjects. She is best known for her botanical photography, most notably her signature magnolia blossoms. ♥♥♥
Photos taken from the Immogen Cunningham Trust site.
“You can’t expect things to be smooth and easy and beautiful. You just have to work, find your way out, and do anything you can yourself.”
— Imogen Cunningham
Art from Her Heart:
Folk Artist Clementine Hunter
Written by Kathy Whitehead
Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons (2008)
Art from Her Heart is a stunning picture book biography of artist Clementine Hunter. Kathy Whitehead, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), was inspired by Clementine Hunter’s paintings so she decided to write a book about the artist. Clementine Hunter’s vibrant works are well represented in the illustrations of Shane W. Evans. The texture and line art are exceptional!
Clementine Hunter was a self-taught folk artist from Louisiana. She worked at the Melrose Plantation where she cooked and cleaned. After work, Clementine would paint using “leftovers” that other artists have given her. She used window shades, glass bottles, iron skillets, and whatever else she could find. Indeed, Clementine Hunter created art from her art. She was creative, resourceful, and full of ideas.
Clementine Hunter was the first African-American artist to have her own art exhibit in what is known today as New Orleans Museum of Art. Sadly, because of the color of her skin, Clementine was not allowed to view her own works when the museum was open to the public. She had to sneak in after hours to look at her paintings up on the wall. Clementine’s subjects ranged from special occasions to simple everyday life at the plantation. In a way, American history was etched and preserved in Clementine’s work. She is truly an inspiration to every artist. ♥♥♥♥
Photos taken from Gilley’s Gallery.
“I tell my stories by marking pictures.”
— Clementine Hunter