I'm Not Your Muse

Uncovering the Overshadowed Brilliance of Women Artists & Visionaries


By Lori Zimmer

Illustrated by Maria Krasinski

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$38.00 CAD

An illuminating exploration of 31 incredible women—across art, architecture, dance, literature, and more—whose culture-defining contributions have, until now, been overshadowed by their role as "muses" to history's better-known men. 

What does it mean to be someone's "muse"? Historically, to be called a “muse” among artistic circles has been marketed as a flattering title. It is a commendation that most often refers to a woman whose vivacity and beauty are the source of inspiration for a (usually) male artist or creator. Perhaps her inspiring presence is even credited in the story of his success. But the very concept of a muse underestimates these women and their abilities. At its root, muse is a support role, the title a consolation prize that claims to recognize a woman’s greatness—but only in her support of another.

I'm Not Your Muse reclaims the narrative of 31 of these extraordinary women, from "The Mother of the Movies" Alice Guy-Blaché to Modernist designer Eileen Gray, prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, storied Harlem Renaissance editor Jessie Redmon Fauset, and many more. Each of these women advanced the narrative of culture and society, pushing the boundaries of visual arts, dance and movement, commercial architecture, music, journalism, and the performing arts. Whether by historical accident or cruel design, their contributions have historically been overshadowed by those of their male counterparts, and often collaborators.

In this briskly written, incisively researched compendium, author and researched Lori Zimmer repositions these women as the main characters of their own lives. Each profile is accented with original illustrations—including jaunty portraits in playfully constructed frames—by artist Maria Krasinski. Together, they highlight the contemporary accomplishments and historical legacies of a wide-ranging group of revolutionary women.

On Sale
Feb 25, 2025
Page Count
200 pages
Running Press

Lori Zimmer

About the Author

Lori Zimmer is a New York-based author, curator, and amateur historian. She is the author of five books: Art Hiding in Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City of Light (Running Press, 2022),  Art Hiding in New York: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Secret Masterpieces (Running Press, 2020), Logan Hicks: Still New York (Workhorse Press, 2022), The Art of Spray Paint (Rockport, 2017), and The Art of Cardboard (Rockport, 2015).  Zimmer is passionate about travel, food, and artists’ rights- she consults as an artist liaison in copyright infringement cases for Kushnirsky Gerber PLLC.

Maria Krasinski is an illustrator, designer, and aspiring accordionist. She's worked in public diplomacy, media literacy, and arts education in Chicago, Paris, Tbilisi, and Washington, D.C. Recently, she came in second place on Jeopardy!, where she answered a French art history clue wrong.

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