Women Artists in Interwar France: Framing Femininities illuminates the importance of the Societe des Femmes Artists Modernes, more commonly known as FAM, and returns this group to its proper place in the history of modern art.
In particular, this volume explores how FAM and its most famous members"Suzanne Valadon, Marie Laurencin, and Tamara de Lempicka"brought a new approach to the most prominent themes of female embodiment: the self-portrait, motherhood, and the female nude.
These women reimagined art's conventions and changed the direction of both art history and the politics of their contemporary art world.
FAM has been excluded from histories of modern art despite its prominence during the interwar years.
Paula Birnbaum's study redresses this omission, contextualizing the group's legacy in light of the conservative politics of 1930s France.
The group's artistic response to the reactionary views and images of women at the time is shown to be a key element in the narrative of modernist formalism.
Although many FAM works are missing"one reason for the lack of attention paid to their efforts"Birnbaum's extensive research, through archives, press clippings, and first-hand interviews with artists' families, reclaims FAM as an important chapter in the history of art from the interwar years.