Beyond the Battlefield
Women Artists of the Two World Wars
Distributed for Reaktion Books
In addition to following high-profile artists such as American photographer Lee Miller, Speck recounts the experiences of nurses, voluntary aides, and ambulance drivers who found the time to create astonishing artworks in the midst of war zones. She also describes the feelings of disempowerment revealed in the work done by women distant from the conflict. As Speck shows, women artists created highly charged emotional responses to the threats, sufferings, and horrors of war—the constant fear of attack, the sorrow of innocent lives destroyed, the mass murders of people in concentration camps, and the unimaginable aftermath of the atomic bombs. The first book to explore female creativity during these periods, Beyond the Battlefield delivers an insightful and meditative examination of this art that will appeal to readers of art history, war history, and cultural studies.
“Catherine Speck’s new book is a gem. 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.”