DEAD FEMINISTS combines three of my favorite things - art, history, and feminism. This creative effort uses the art of the letterpress to create gorgeous, vintage-inspired broadsides featuring literal and also figurative portraits of the women contained herein. Sometimes, books about famous feminist figures start to look an awful lot like trivia night at the local bar: you see the same faces, over and over again, and it gets old, fast. Not DEAD FEMINISTS, though! They have a pretty broad interpretation of what makes a feminist, and took care to include a number of women of color, including the former queen of Hawaii and Sadako of the 1,000 paper cranes.
I'd give this a four-star rating for the art work alone. I was at a museum recently that featured a collection of vintage protest and activist posters, and the broadsides of these artists reminded me of that style. They alter each poster so it incorporates symbols of each respective woman's culture, zeitgeist, and ideals, to great effect. All the posters were beautiful and except for one or two that I wasn't really keen on, I'd want copies of each for myself.
Here's a pic I snapped of a vintage poster. The style is reminiscent of what you can expect to see here:
Luckily for me, the explanations of the style choices and the brief biographies of the women were just as engaging. It's so clear that a lot of work was poured into this little book, and it really pays off! Plus, after each project, the authors contributed to a charity that was specific to each woman's cause, that they thought she would appreciate. How cool is that? (Uber.)
Definitely a must for artists and feminists alike!
Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!
4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars