One for the Girls A Review of Preserving Women's History through ART by Mary Ruden

Front cover of Mary Ruden’s book, Preserving Women’s History through ART – ©Mary Ruden

Mary Ruden has compiled a wonderful little book about Tennessee women who changed history. From suffragists, to a preservationist, a granny woman, and a Revolutionary War heroine, Ruden has depicted each life in a thoughtful, artful, creative way.

Most all of these historical heroines have two pages devoted to them containing a concise, easy-to-read biography and a likeness of the celebrated woman. Ruden’s own life-sized artwork details each suffragist. The suffragist section concludes with a mini-collage of the 19th Amendment Centennial celebration and a photograph of Ruden’s bronze bust of Lizzie Crozier French.

Ruden’s bronze sculptures are a remarkable work to behold. Ruden honors Anne May Davis, the “Mother” of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with a beautiful art quilt and a bronze bust.

Back cover of Mary Patton – ©Mary Ruden

Mary Patton played a large part in winning the Battle of Kings Mountain, and, arguably, the Revolutionary War. Ruden celebrates Patton with an illustration and a striking bronze sculpture.

Granny woman, Lydia Kear Whaley, rounds out this group of exceptional women in a lovely period portrayal. On the last page, Ruden showcases her stunning art quilt of “Twelve Women Suffragists” from Tennessee. The quilt includes the faces of each suffragist inside blocks, is also lined with pearls, and has a shaped likeness of the state of Tennessee.

Mary Ruden’s book is perfect for readers aged eight to eighty. Young girls, in particular, would greatly benefit from this book. Ruden compiles the book in an informative and beautiful way. Her artwork interspersed throughout the book is inspiring and the entire endeavor leaves the reader wanting more.

To inquire about the book, or to learn more about Mary Ruden and her work, please visit

First pages, including quilt image – ©Mary Ruden


**Featured image: Suffragists in Parade,1910 — Bain News Service, LOC, Picryl

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