Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating story of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting – not as muses but as artists.
From their cold-water lofts, where they painted, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and groundbreaking artists to come. They include Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning, whose careers were at times overshadowed by the fame of their husbands, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, but who emerged as stunning talents in their own right, as well as a younger generation: the bold Grace Hartigan, the visionary Helen Frankenthaler, and the fierce Joan Mitchell.
Despite being ostracized by much of the official art world, these women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation. In Ninth Street Women, Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping a postwar America.