Sixth book in Modern Women Artists collection announced

Following the success of the first five books in the series Modern Women Artists (available to buy here) Eiderdown Books is delighted to announce the sixth title in the collection, publishing February 2021.


EILEEN AGAR written by London based curator Laura Smith, introduces another remarkable female artist whose name and work has too often been overlooked in the history of modern British art.

The Modern Women Artists series, now comprising six books

Eileen Forrester Agar RA (1 December 1899 – 17 November 1991) was a painter and photographer and is associated with the Surrealist movement. Somewhat surprised by this (Agar is quoted as saying “They declared me surrealist … so I became a surrealist almost overnight!”) it is nevertheless her work from this period which is best recognized today.


Agar achieved initial critical success as an artist following her inclusion in the first International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936. She had studied at the Slade, worked in England and France and was part of the artistic circle which included Paul Nash, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, Lee Miller, Henry Moore and many others.


In this new, engaging and easy-to-digest text, Laura Smith introduces some of Agar's best-known surrealist works - such as the wonderful (and wonderfully named) 'Ceremonial hat for eating Bouillabaisse' (1936; V&A) - but also reveals Agar's early experiments with collage and assemblage, her life-long fascination with shells, stones, marine objects and other natural forms which proliferated her works throughout her long career, and her later use of acrylic paints, as illustrated through an illuminating and not-often-reproduced series of rock studies painted in the 1970s.


Smith's text is punctuated with 26 full-colour, full-page examples of the artist's work from throughout her career, illustrating important works from public museums as well as privately held (and rarely seen) collections, offering an accessible and essential guide to an artist whose work and name we should all be more familiar with today.



EILEEN AGAR by Laura Smith is published by Eiderdown Books, the sixth book in the Modern Women Artists series. The publication is available for pre-order here.