22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!


We are today focusing on International Women's Day, but as we know, the date has much more to it than only chocolates and flowers. It has an important historic reason to be celebrated. Historically, International Women's Day was first celebrated in the United States, more specifically on February 28th 1909, being followed by Europe who also started celebrating in different dates after this, focusing on feminist and socialist movements in it's countries. In the 1970s, the year 1975 was designated by the UN as the International Year of Women, and March 8th was adopted as International Women's Day by the United Nations, with the purpose of remembering the social, political, regardless of nationality, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political divisions amongst women worldwide.

22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!

We thought about paying a tribute to 22 (because of our current year) important women who have inspired the world through their art, intelligence, creativity, and knowledge. We support and embrace equal rights and the participation of women in all of society and its unfolding opportunities.


(Some texts were taken from Wikipedia)


22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!

1. Edmonia Lewis - SCULPTOR (c. July 4, 1844 – September 17, 1907)


An American sculptor, of mixed African-American and Native American (Mississauga Ojibwe) heritage. Born free in Upstate New York, she worked for most of her career in Rome, Italy. She was the first African-American and Native American sculptor to achieve national and then international prominence. She began to gain prominence in the United States during the Civil War; at the end of the 19th century, she remained the only Black woman artist who had participated in and been recognized to any extent by the American artistic mainstream. Her work is known for incorporating themes relating to Black people and indigenous peoples of the Americas into Neoclassical-style sculpture. (from Wikipedia)



22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!

2. Coco Chanel - Fashion Designer (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971)


Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a French fashion designer and businesswoman. She founded the world-known brand under her name and created the iconic Chanel No.5 perfume. She was a strong-minded woman who popularized and changed women's wardrobe after World War I bringing new silhouettes, shapes that were simpler but chic. Who doesn't have a little black dress in the closet? It's all because of her! She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.


22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!

3. Anaïs Nin - Writer (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977)


Anaïs was a French-Cuban-American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica. Born to Cuban parents in France, Nin was the daughter of the composer Joaquín Nin and the classically trained singer Rosa Culmell. Nin spent her early years in Spain and Cuba, about sixteen years in Paris (1924–1940), and the remaining half of her life in the United States, where she became an established author. (from Wikipedia)


22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!

4. Frida Khalo - Painter (6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954)


Frida Khalo was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naive folk art style to explore questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist. She is known for painting about her experience of chronic pain. (from Wikipedia)


22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!
Photo: Alfred Stieglitz.The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © The J. Paul Getty Trust

5. Georgia O'Keefe - Modernist Artist (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986)


Georgia was an American modernist artist. She was known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes. O'Keeffe has been called the "Mother of American modernism". She moved to New York in 1918 and married photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz. They developed a professional and personal relationship that led to their marriage in 1924. O'Keeffe created many forms of abstract art, including close-ups of flowers, such as the Red Canna paintings, that many found to represent female genitalia,[5] though O'Keeffe consistently denied that intention. (from Wikipedia)

6. Mata Hari - Dancer (7 August 1876 – 15 October 1917)


Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I. By 1904, Mata Hari began to rise to prominence as an exotic dancer. She was a contemporary of dancers Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, leaders in the early modern dance movement, which around the turn of the 20th century looked to Asia and Egypt for artistic inspiration. Gabriel Astruc became her personal booking agent. Professor Shipman, a noted scholar stated "he believed she was innocent" and condemned only because the French Army needed a scapegoat. She was executed by firing squad in France. (from Wikipedia)


7. Eileen Gray - Architect (9 August 1878 – 31 October 1976)


Eileen Gray (born Kathleen Eileen Moray Smith) was an Irish architect and furniture designer who became a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. Over her career, she was associated with many notable European artists of her era, including Kathleen Scott, Adrienne Gorska, Le Corbusier, and Jean Badovici, with whom she was romantically involved. Her most famous work is the house known as E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France. (from Wikipedia)


8. Jeanne Lanvin - Fashion Designer and Perfumist (1 January 1867 – 6 July 1946)


Lanvin was a French haute couture fashion designer. She founded the Lanvin fashion house and the beauty and perfume company Lanvin Parfums. The clothing Lanvin made for her daughter began to attract the attention of a number of wealthy people who requested copies for their own children. Soon, Lanvin was making dresses for their mothers, and some of the most famous names in Europe were included in the clientele of her new boutique on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris. (from Wikipedia)


9. Jane Austen - Writer (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817)


With the publication of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), in her lifetime she achieved modest success and, as the books were published anonymously, little fame. Austen gained far more status after her death, and her six full-length novels have rarely been out of print. (from Wikipedia)


22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!

10. Gwendolyn Brooks - Poet (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000)


Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was an American poet, author, and teacher. Her work often dealt with the personal celebrations and struggles of ordinary people in her community. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on May 1, 1950, for Annie Allen, making her the first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize. (from Wikipedia)


11. Carmen Miranda - Singer, Dancer and Actress (9 February 1909 – 5 August 1955)


Miranda made fourteen Hollywood films between 1940 and 1953. Although she was hailed as a talented performer, her popularity waned by the end of World War II. Miranda came to resent the stereotypical "Brazilian Bombshell" image she had cultivated and attempted to free herself of it with limited success. She focused on nightclub appearances and became a fixture on television variety shows. Despite being stereotyped, Miranda's performances popularized Brazilian music and increased public awareness of Latin culture. (from Wikipedia)



12. Nina Simone - Songwriter, Singer (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003)


Eunice Kathleen Waymon, known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights, activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. (from Wikipedia)

You can watch an amazing documentary about her on Netflix.



13. Aretha Franklin - Singer, Songwriter, Pianist (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)


Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter and pianist. Referred to as the "Queen of Soul", she has twice been placed ninth in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". With global sales of over 75 million records, Franklin is one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on the US Billboard charts, including 73 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles. (from Wikipedia)


14. Annie Leibovitz - Photographer (October 2, 1949)


Anna-Lou Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer best known for her engaging portraits, particularly of celebrities, which often feature subjects in intimate settings and poses. Leibovitz's Polaroid photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, taken five hours before Lennon's murder, is considered one of Rolling Stone magazine's most famous cover photographs. The Library of Congress declared her a Living Legend, and she is the first woman to have a feature exhibition at Washington's National Portrait Gallery. (from Wikipedia)

15. Maya Angelou - Poet, Civil Rights Activist (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)


She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She became a poet and writer after a string of odd jobs during her young adulthood. She was also an actress, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. (from Wikipedia)


16. Madame CJ Walker - Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Political and Social activist (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919)


Madam C.J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove) was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist. She is recorded as the first female self-made millionaire in America in the Guinness Book of World Records. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for black women through the business she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. She became known also for her philanthropy and activism. She made financial donations to numerous organizations and became a patron of the arts. (from Wikipedia)


There is an excellent series about her on Netflix! Watch the trailer:





17. Sofia Coppola - FIlmaker and Actress (May 14, 1971)


Coppola made her feature-length directorial debut with the coming-of-age drama The Virgin Suicides (1999). It was the first of her collaborations with actress Kirsten Dunst. In 2004, Coppola received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the comedy-drama Lost in Translation and became the third woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. In 2006, Coppola directed the historical drama Marie Antoinette, starring Dunst as the title character. In 2010, with the drama Somewhere, Coppola became the first American woman (and fourth American filmmaker) to win the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. (from Wikipedia)


18. Julia Child - Cook (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004)


Julia Carolyn Child was an American cooking teacher, author, and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef, which premiered in 1963. (from Wikipedia). She also helped develop a shark repellent that could be rubbed on pilots who had been down at sea!!


You can watch this film about her life on Amazon Prime. Take a look at the trailer below!




19. Zaha Hadid - Architect, Artist and Designer (31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016)


Recognized as a major figure in architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. She was described by The Guardian as the "Queen of the curve", who "liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity". Some of her awards have been presented posthumously, including the statuette for the 2017 Brit Awards. Several of her buildings were still under construction at the time of her death, including the Daxing International Airport in Beijing, and the Al Wakrah Stadium in Qatar, a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (from Wikipedia)


20. Bettie Page - Model Pin-Up (April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008)


Bettie Mae Page was an American model who gained notoriety in the 1950s for her pin-up photos. Often referred to as the "Queen of Pinups," her shoulder-to-armpit-length jet-black hair, blue eyes, and trademark bangs have influenced artists for generations. After her death, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner called her "a remarkable lady, an iconic figure in pop culture who influenced sexuality, taste in fashion, someone who had a tremendous impact on our society". (from Wikipedia)


22 Women Who Inspire The World Creatively, Then and Now!

21. Mary Blair - Artist, Animator and Designer (October 21, 1911 – July 26, 1978)


Mary was prominent in producing art and animation for The Walt Disney Company, drawing concept art for such films as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella. Blair also created character designs for enduring attractions such as Disneyland's It's a Small World, the fiesta scene in El Rio del Tiempo in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, and an enormous mosaic inside Disney's Contemporary Resort. Several of her illustrated children's books from the 1950s remain in print, such as I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss. Blair was inducted into the group of Disney Legends in 1991. (from Wikipedia)


22. Oprah Winfrey - Show Host, Producer, Actress, Activist, TV Producer and Philanthropist (January 29, 1954)


Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a single teenage mother and later raised in inner-city Milwaukee. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years, from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media," she was the richest African-American of the 20th century, was once the world's only black billionaire, and the greatest black philanthropist in U.S. history. By 2007, she was sometimes ranked as the most influential woman in the world. (from Wikipedia)