50 Women Sculptors


With an introduction by Dr Joanna Sperryn-Jones

How many women sculptors can you name? This book will challenge perceptions that sculpture is a male pursuit and help you to understand the work and lives of dozens of women sculptors – significant artists from the past as well as those working in the exciting and varied world of sculpture today. Dozens of colour photographs are featured alongside the words of the artists themselves.


50 Women Sculptors

Watch book trailer here.

Foreword by Melissa Hamnett

With an introduction by Dr Joanna Sperryn-Jones

  • First book to give overview of women sculptors and insight into a range of contemporary sculptors’ practices.
  • Essential reading for students of the arts, culture and gender studies.
  • With many photos will appeal to all lovers of the arts.


About the book

Full colour with over 200 images.

How many women sculptors can you name? This book will challenge perceptions that sculpture is a male pursuit. In addition, it provides insight into the work and lives of dozens of women sculptors – significant artists from the past, as well as those working in the exciting and varied world of sculpture today.


The pioneers and legends:

Ruth Asawa ◉ Phyllida Barlow ◉ Louise Bourgeois ◉ Judy Chicago ◉ Camille Claudel
◉ Niki de Saint Phalle ◉ Elisabeth Frink ◉ Katharina Fritsch ◉ Anya Gallaccio ◉ Mona Hatoum ◉ Barbara Hepworth ◉ Eva Hesse ◉ Rebecca Horn ◉ Harriet Hosmer ◉ Yayoi Kusama ◉ Edmonia Lewis ◉ Frances Loring ◉ Sarah Lucas ◉ Annette Messager ◉ Senga Nengudi ◉ Cornelia Parker ◉ Sophie Ryder ◉ Doris Salcedo ◉ Alina Szapocznikow ◉ Rachel Whiteread ◉ Florence Wyle

Contemporary women sculptors in their own words featured:

◉ Tabatha Andrews ◉ Rachel Ara ◉ Annie Attridge ◉ Helaine Blumenfeld ◉ Juliana Cerqueira Leite ◉ Silke Dettmers ◉ Laury Dizengremel◉ Jane McAdam Freud ◉ Lucy Glendinning ◉ Maggi Hambling ◉ Kendra Haste ◉ Holly Hendry ◉ Christine Kowal Post ◉ Sophie Marsham ◉ Nnenna Okore ◉ Arundhata Patel  ◉ Maya Ramsay ◉ Marianne Reim ◉ Frances Richardson ◉ Raphaele Shirley ◉ Susan Stockwell ◉ Sinta Tantra ◉ Almuth Tebbenhoff ◉ Patricia Volk ◉ Zhang Yaxi

With an overview of women making sculpture from the 1880s to today, this book explores the work of 50 extraordinary women artists who have forged a name for themselves in a male arena, as well as breaking rules, pushing boundaries and inspiring us with their visionary creations.


About the author

Joanna Sperryn-Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Sculpture Practice at York St John University and she has over 15 years’ experience of teaching in education and in prisons. As a sculptor she has had numerous exhibitions and has written many articles about art and sculpture notably:  ‘Cutting up conference papers: audience participation in breaking as making’ in Artistic Research: Strategies for Embodiment, McGuirk, Tom & Fentz, Christine (eds.) Nordic Summer University Press (2015),‘Breaking as making: A methodology for visual work reflected in writing’ in Art and Destruction, Walden, Jenny (ed.) Cambridge Scholars Press (2013).


Melissa Hamnett

Head of Heritage Collections and Chief Curator at UK Parliament responsible for the Parliamentary Art Collection, the Historic Furniture and Decorative Arts Collection and the Architectural Fabric Collection. Formerly Curator of Sculpture at the V&A.

About the editor

Cheryl is a film-maker, writer and editor who worked at the BBC for several years and then taught film-making at the University of Westminster. Her acclaimed music documentary Rock n Roll Island aired on BBC4 in 2020 and was named a Sunday Times Critics Choice programme.

In addition, she has created a publishing company, publishing over 200 international writers. As a writer, she has won the Croydon Warehouse International Playwriting Competition and as co-editor, published Celluloid Ceiling: women film directors breaking through, the first global overview of women film directors and Silent Women; pioneers of cinema voted best book on silent film in 2017. In 2019 she was a finalist in the ITV National Diversity Awards for Lifetime Achievement.



“There is a need for books to celebrate new thought, new ideas, new people and this is what it achieves.”

–Guy Portelli, sculptor

“50 Women Sculptors is a beautifully illustrated book which presents the world of undervalued and under recognised women sculptors from the past as well as a selection from the present, with in depth interviews on their life, inspirations, working methods and use of all materials mentioned above – an improvement compared with the past but there is still room for full equality to be achieved. For those interested in sculpture, whether practising sculptors or researchers, or those at the start of their careers, this is an extremely valuable book and perfect introduction to encourage further research and interest in sculpture by women.”

–Lorna Green, sculptor and environmentalist


“It shows a wide range of sculptural practice with interesting interviews giving insight into the artist‘s process.” 

— Clare Burnett, president Royal Society of Sculptors

Researcher – Anna Veprinska

Anna is a poet, researcher and educator. She holds a PhD in English from York University, specialising in poetry after trauma. She has published a full-length collection of poetry, Sew with Butterflies. She has taught for York University, the Poetry School and the University for the Creative Arts. In 2016-17 she held a Fellowship at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.


To watch a 26 minute film we made to accompany the book launch in association with the Royal Society of Sculptors go here: