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Live On Stage
Tuesday September 17 2024, 7pm BST

Katy Hessel on The Story of Art Without Men, with Pandora Sykes

Art &

“I’ll show you what a woman can do.” – Artemisia Gentileschi, 1649

How many women artists do you know? Visit any gallery of note and you would be forgiven for coming up blank. Despite the work of activist groups and scholars alike, women are still remarkably absent from the history of art.

Historian and broadcaster Katy Hessel wants to change that. On September 17 she comes to the Intelligence Squared stage in conversation with Pandora Sykes to write women back into art history. Discussing her bestselling book The Story of Art Without Men, she will pay homage to the greats such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo, Hilma af Klint, Tracey Emin and Kara Walker while also shining a light on lesser known figures such as Lavinia Fontana, thought to be one of the first women in Western art to paint female nudes in 1595.

Spanning over five centuries from the Cornish coast to Manhattan, Nigeria to Japan, this is the story of art for our times – one with women at its heart.

Join us at Union Chapel for an evening of discussion and ask your questions in the Q&A. 

Praise for The Story of Art Without Men

‘[A] positive, beautifully written corrective, […] should become a founding text in the history of art by women.’ Guardian

‘Will change the history of art.’ Tracey Emin

‘Katy Hessel is a brilliant chronicler of the overlooked. I am so thrilled this book exists as an empowering, enlightening guide to the unforgettable vision of these brilliant artists. Essential reading.’ Elizabeth Day

The Story of Art without Men
by Katy Hessel

Event Name

Katy Hessel on The Story of Art Without Men, with Pandora Sykes

  • Katy Hessel

    Art historian and podcaster

  • Pandora Sykes

    Writer and broadcaster

  • Union Chapel
  • Compton Terrace
  • London
  • N1 2UN
  • Tuesday 17 September 2024
  • 7pm to 8:30pm BST



Katy Hessel

Art historian and podcaster

Art historian, broadcaster and curator dedicated to celebrating women artists from all over the world. She runs @thegreatwomenartists Instagram and The Great Women Artists Podcast, where she has interviewed the likes of Tracey Emin, Marina Abramovic and authors Ali Smith and Deborah Levy. She has lectured at Tate and National Gallery, presented films for the BBC, and is a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. She is also a columnist for the Guardian, and the author of The Story of Art without Men – a Sunday Times Bestseller and winner of Waterstones Book of the Year 2022.

Pandora Sykes

Writer and broadcaster

Writer, broadcaster and former editor at The Sunday Times Style magazine. She has written for The Guardian, GQ, ELLE, The Cut, House & Garden, Vogue and Grazia, and in 2022 she was a judge on the Women’s Prize for Fiction Awards. She is also the co-creator and co-host of the No.1 women’s culture podcast, The High Low, and the host of an interview series, Doing It Right, about the trends, myths and anxieties of modern life. Her 2020 essay collection How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? was a Sunday Times bestseller, and her subsequent edited anthology What Writers Read: 35 Writers On Their Favourite Book was selected as the Waterstones non-fiction book of the month.