AB: Davidson – Women’s Worlds

(This is an entry in the Annotated Bibliography.)

Davidson, Caroline. Women’s Worlds: The Art and Life of Mary Ellen Best 1809-1891. With a foreword by Howard Rutkowski. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1985.

This is a beautiful, biographical art book, about 19th century European painter Mary Ellen Best, who painted many ordinary scenes and people, with exquisite attention to detail. As such, it is a great resource for detailed imagery, particularly for the early nineteenth century into the early Victorian period, when no or few photographs exist and there is very limited evidence about the dress of ordinary people. Her attention to detail is excellent for examining, for example, caps. A very helpful resource for studying clothing and daily life of the Romantic Period, particularly the 1830s. It was recommended on the mid 19th century sewing forum, http://www.thesewingacademy.org. It is a pictorial biography of an artist, and is not intended as a source focusing on costume, but the images are excellent resources for the study of clothing. It is not instructional. It contains many color photographs of paintings. It contains a bibliography related to art and this artist.


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