Trailblazers like Ursula Nordstrom, Lynda Barry, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Agnes Martin are women we ALL should know. Illustrator Lisa Congdon and writer Maria Popova are making sure we do through a creative collaboration they call The Reconstructionists. Launched in January 2013, this inspired online project is a yearlong celebration of remarkable women – beloved artists, writers, and scientists, as well as notable unsung heroes – who shaped the world and our place in it. How WYSKy is that?

Every Monday in 2013, Lisa and Maria have and will continue to publish an illustrated portrait of one such pioneering woman, along with a hand-lettered quote that captures her spirit and a short micro-essay about her life and legacy. It’s one of the most original, stunning and engaging women’s history lessons we have ever encountered.

The project borrows its title from one of the 52 female icons it features, French-Cuban writer Anaïs Nin, who wrote of “woman’s role in the reconstruction of the world” in a poetic 1944 diary entry – a sentiment that encapsulates the heart of what Lisa and Maria’s undertaking is about: women who have reconstructed, in ways big and small, famous and infamous, timeless and timely, our understanding of ourselves, the world, and our place in it.

Brava to Lisa and Maria for fostering such an important creative endeavor for women’s history. Like the remarkable women their project celebrates, they too are Women You Should Know.

The Reconstructionists’ Anaïs Nin illustration is one of our favorites to publish so far… the artwork is hauntingly beautiful and its message empowering.

The Reconstructionists Illustration of Anais Niis

Special thanks to WYSK reader Kathy in Miami for telling us we should know