Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa

Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa

Everything She Touched recounts the incredible life of the American sculptor Ruth Asawa.

This is the story of a woman who wielded imagination and hope in the face of intolerance and who transformed everything she touched into art. In this compelling biography, author Marilyn Chase brings Asawa’s story to vivid life. She draws on Asawa’s extensive archives and weaves together many voices—family, friends, teachers, and critics—to offer a complex and fascinating portrait of the artist.

Born in California in 1926, Ruth Asawa grew from a farmer’s daughter to a celebrated sculptor. She survived adolescence in the World War II Japanese-American internment camps and attended the groundbreaking art school at Black Mountain College. Asawa then went on to develop her signature hanging-wire sculptures, create iconic urban installations, revolutionize arts education in her adopted hometown of San Francisco, fight through lupus, and defy convention to nurture a multiracial family.

• A richly visual volume with over 60 reproductions of Asawa’s art and archival photos of her life (including portraits shot by her friend, the celebrated photographer Imogen Cunningham)
• Documents Asawa’s transformative touch—most notably by turning wire – the material of the internment camp fences – into sculptures
• Author Marilyn Chase mined Asawa’s letters, diaries, sketches, and photos and conducted interviews with those who knew her to tell this inspiring story.

Ruth Asawa forged an unconventional path in everything she did—whether raising a multiracial family of six children, founding a high school dedicated to the arts, or pursuing her own practice independent of the New York art market.

Her beloved fountains are now San Francisco icons, and her signature hanging-wire sculptures grace the MoMA, de Young, Getty, Whitney, and many more museums and galleries across America.

• Ruth Asawa’s remarkable life story offers inspiration to artists, art lovers, feminists, mothers, teachers, Asian Americans, history buffs, and anyone who loves a good underdog story.
• A perfect gift for those interested in Asian American culture and history
• Great for those who enjoyed Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel, Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work by Tamara Schenkenberg, and Notes and Methods by Hilma af Klint


From the Publisher

Ruth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn ChaseRuth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn Chase

Explore the incredible and inspiring life of Ruth Asawa

This is the story of a woman who wielded imagination and hope in the face of intolerance and who transformed everything she touched into art.

With photographs and artworks reproduced throughout the book, Everything She Touched is a richly visual volume that invites readers to step into Asawa’s story.

Ruth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn ChaseRuth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn Chase

Praise for Everything She Touched

“Art world recognition for Ruth Asawa keeps climbing higher and, now, Everything She Touched by Marilyn Chase arrives to tell Asawa’s amazing life story. Full of documents and fantastic photos– especially those of Imogen Cunningham– we can admire the magic of her sculpture and beauty as a person.”

– Harry S. Parker III, former director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Ruth AsawaRuth Asawa

Ruth Asawa was a trailblazer in every aspect of her life:

She raised a multiracial family of six childrenFounded a high school dedicated to the artsPursued her own practice independent of the New York art market

… and much more. Learn how she forged an unconventional path in everything she did in this inspiring and compelling biography.

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Everything She Touched recounts the incredible life of the American sculptor Ruth Asawa.

This is the story of a woman who wielded imagination and hope in the face of intolerance and who transformed everything she touched into art. In this compelling biography, author Marilyn Chase brings Asawa’s story to vivid life. She draws on Asawa’s extensive archives and weaves together many voices—family, friends, teachers, and critics—to offer a complex and fascinating portrait of the artist.

Born in California in 1926, Ruth Asawa grew from a farmer’s daughter to a celebrated sculptor. She survived adolescence in the World War II Japanese-American internment camps and attended the groundbreaking art school at Black Mountain College. Asawa then went on to develop her signature hanging-wire sculptures, create iconic urban installations, revolutionize arts education in her adopted hometown of San Francisco, fight through lupus, and defy convention to nurture a multiracial family.

• A richly visual volume with over 60 reproductions of Asawa’s art and archival photos of her life (including portraits shot by her friend, the celebrated photographer Imogen Cunningham)
• Documents Asawa’s transformative touch—most notably by turning wire – the material of the internment camp fences – into sculptures
• Author Marilyn Chase mined Asawa’s letters, diaries, sketches, and photos and conducted interviews with those who knew her to tell this inspiring story.

Ruth Asawa forged an unconventional path in everything she did—whether raising a multiracial family of six children, founding a high school dedicated to the arts, or pursuing her own practice independent of the New York art market.

Her beloved fountains are now San Francisco icons, and her signature hanging-wire sculptures grace the MoMA, de Young, Getty, Whitney, and many more museums and galleries across America.

• Ruth Asawa’s remarkable life story offers inspiration to artists, art lovers, feminists, mothers, teachers, Asian Americans, history buffs, and anyone who loves a good underdog story.
• A perfect gift for those interested in Asian American culture and history
• Great for those who enjoyed Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel, Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work by Tamara Schenkenberg, and Notes and Methods by Hilma af Klint


From the Publisher

Ruth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn ChaseRuth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn Chase

Explore the incredible and inspiring life of Ruth Asawa

This is the story of a woman who wielded imagination and hope in the face of intolerance and who transformed everything she touched into art.

With photographs and artworks reproduced throughout the book, Everything She Touched is a richly visual volume that invites readers to step into Asawa’s story.

Ruth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn ChaseRuth Asawa, Everything She Touched, Marilyn Chase

Praise for Everything She Touched

“Art world recognition for Ruth Asawa keeps climbing higher and, now, Everything She Touched by Marilyn Chase arrives to tell Asawa’s amazing life story. Full of documents and fantastic photos– especially those of Imogen Cunningham– we can admire the magic of her sculpture and beauty as a person.”

– Harry S. Parker III, former director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Ruth AsawaRuth Asawa

Ruth Asawa was a trailblazer in every aspect of her life:

She raised a multiracial family of six childrenFounded a high school dedicated to the artsPursued her own practice independent of the New York art market

… and much more. Learn how she forged an unconventional path in everything she did in this inspiring and compelling biography.

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