1st Edition

Creative Women of the “Lost Generation” Women in the Arts in the Wake of the Great War

Edited By Kimberly Francis, Margot Irvine Copyright 2024
    264 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the creative women of the "Lost Generation" including painters, sculptors, film makers, writers, singers, composers, dancers, and impresarios who all pursued artistic careers in the years leading up to, during, and following World War I. These women’s stories, and the art they created, commissioned, mobilized as propaganda, and performed shed light on the shifting nature of gender norms during this period.


    With the combined knowledge and expertise from different contributors, chapters in this book consider how modernist practices continued their development in women’s hands during the war through networks forged by and for women artists in the absence of their male colleagues. These chapters also reflect on how, in many cases, the dissolution of these structures after the November 1918 armistice had detrimental consequences for their professional trajectories. This book challenges the place creative women currently hold in the historical record while also clarifying how these artists and impresarios contributed to wartime and post-war culture.


    This collection of essays will be of great value to scholars interested in social and gender history of the twentieth century, as well as historians of the arts through offering nuanced understanding of the essential work of female creative professionals, highlighting artistic women’s experiences of resistance, mourning, and reinvention in the shadow of the Great War.

    Introduction Part 1. Survivors 1. Madame Stichel: A Trailblazing Ballet Choreographer Before and After the War 2. Nadia Boulanger and Louise Cruppi: Triumphs and Tragedy in the Shadow of the First World War 3. Marie Laurencin:  Transformed by war - from Apollinaire and His Friends to the Ballets Russes Part 2. Propagandists 4.Lalla Vandervelde: A Patriotic Belgian Heroine's "Journey out of War" 5. Lena Ashwell: Advocate, Leader, and Theatre Manager 6. Emma Calvé: A Diva’s campagne de propagande Part 3. Witnesses 7. Claire Croiza: Post-war Muse/Performing Mourning 8. Mabel Gardner: Shaped by War, Les Ateliers d'art sacré 9. Clara Longworth de Chambrun: Writing about War Part 4. Pioneers 10. Germaine Dulac, Lotte Reiniger and Esfir Shub: How Well-Bred Girls Turned Film into Women’s Business  11. Anne Dike and Anne Morgan: Recreating France through Public Cinema  Afterword


    Kimberly Francis is Professor of Music and Director of Interdisciplinary Programs at the University of Guelph. She works on French modernist women composers and is the author of Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys (2018); and Nadia Boulanger: Thoughts on Music (with Jeanice Brooks, 2020).


    Margot Irvine is an Associate Professor of French and European Studies at the University of Guelph. She researches women writers’ relationships to literary and cultural institutions at the turn of the 20th century.