Between the two world wars, middle-class America experienced a "marriage crisis" that filled the pages of the popular press. Divorce rates were rising, birthrates falling, and women were entering the increasingly industrialized and urbanized workforce in larger numbers than ever before, while Victorian morals and manners began to break down in the wake of the first sexual revolution.
Vivien Green Fryd argues that this crisis played a crucial role in the lives and works of two of America's most familiar and beloved artists, Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) and Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Combining biographical study of their marriages with formal and iconographical analysis of their works, Fryd shows how both artists expressed the pleasures and perils of their relationships in their paintings. Hopper's many representations of Victorian homes in sunny, tranquil landscapes, for instance, take on new meanings when viewed in the context of the artist's own tumultuous marriage with Jo and the widespread middle-class fears that the new urban, multidwelling homes would contribute to the breakdown of the family. Fryd also persuasively interprets the many paintings of skulls and crosses that O'Keeffe produced in New Mexico as embodying themes of death and rebirth in response to her husband Alfred Stieglitz's long-term affair with Dorothy Norman.
Art and the Crisis of Marriage provides both a penetrating reappraisal of the interconnections between Georgia O'Keeffe's and Edward Hopper's lives and works, as well as a vivid portrait of how new understandings of family, gender, and sexuality transformed American society between the wars in ways that continue to shape it today.
Controversial, flamboyant, contentious, brilliant--Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) was certainly all of those. Few American artists have stirred so much love and hatred as he did in a career that lasted almost seventy years. Although his painting aroused much controversy, perhaps equally as much was created by his words, for his piercing wit, profane sarcasms, and insightful condemnations were fired off without restraint. In this fiery and provocative autobiography, Benton presents an intriguing records of American art and society during his lifetime.
The first installment of this work was published in 1937, but Benton continued his life story in chapters added to editions published in 1951 and 1968. This new edition includes seventy-six drawings that add much to his narrative, plus a foreword discussing Benton's place in American art and an afterword covering his career after 1968, both written by art historian Matthew Baigell.
Although Benton is most famous as a regionalist painter and muralist, his complex and fascinating career brought him into contact with many of the most important artists and thinkers of the century, including Jackson Pollock, Grant Wood, Julian Huxley, Felix Frankfurter, Eugene Debbs, John Reed, and Harry Truman. While living in New York and on Martha's Vineyard in the 1920s and 1930s, Benton often associated with leading intellectuals and radicals. However, when his evolving principles of art led him away from an interest in Marxism, he was bitterly attacked by many of his former friends, and his account of that time reveals strikingly the fierce critical battles he faced in trying to establish his own artistic vision.
Critics on the Left were not his only opponents, however, and equally revealing are his responses to the moral condemnations heaped on his murals done for the states of Indiana and Missouri and on his realistic nudes of the late 1930s.
Throughout his account, from descriptions of his boyhood in southwest Missouri, his travels, and his career to discussions of specific works of art and other artists, Benton portrays people and events as vividly in words as he does in his paintings.
Claude-Henri Rocquet—poet, playwright, and critic—has marshalled the full range of his talents to create a dazzling historical novel about the artist Peter Bruegel the Elder. To the few facts we have—Bruegel died in 1569 around the age of fifty; he lived in Antwerp and in Brussels; his work was much admired—Rocquet adds his own speculations on the sights, smells, and textures of Bruegel's world, on the artist's innermost feelings and intimate conversations, on his spiritual life and its possible translation on the artist's canvas.
In the nineteenth century, the Académie des Beaux Arts, and institution of central importance to the artistic life of France for over two hundred years, yielded much of its power to the present system of art distribution, which is dependent upon critics, dealers, and small exhibitions. In Canvases and Careers, Harrison and Cynthia White examine in scrupulous and fascinating detail how and why this shift occurred. Assimilating a wide range of historical and sociological data, the authors argue convincingly that the Academy, by neglecting to address the social and economic conditions of its time, undermined its own ability to maintain authority and control.
Originally published in 1965, this ground-breaking work is a classic piece of empirical research in the sociology of art. In this edition, Harrison C. White's new Foreword compares the marketing approaches of two contemporary painters, while Cynthia A. White's new Afterword reviews recent scholarship in the field.
Drawing on a broad foundation in the history of nineteenth-century French art, Richard Shiff offers an innovative interpretation of Cézanne's painting. He shows how Cézanne's style met the emerging criteria of a "technique of originality" and how it satisfied critics sympathetic to symbolism as well as to impressionism. Expanding his study of the interaction of Cézanne and his critics, Shiff considers the problem of modern art in general. He locates the core of modernism in a dialectic of making (technique) and finding (originality). Ultimately, Shiff provides not only clarifying accounts of impressionism and symbolism but of a modern classicism as well.
This lavishly illustrated, bilingual art book presents drawings by Ramón Casas in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections at the Northwestern University Library and oil paintings by Casas from private collections and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Charles Deering and Ramón Casas follows the development and dramatic dissolution of a three-way friendship that connected the Spanish painter Ramón Casas (1866–1932); the Chicago industrialist Charles Deering (1852–1927), who was a collector and admirer of Casas’s work as well as a patron of Northwestern University; and the Spanish artist Miguel Utrillo (1862–1934), Casas’s lifelong friend and the father of the French painter Maurice Utrillo.
Casas introduced Deering to Sitges, a beach town near Barcelona, Spain, where the latter created a palatial estate with a museum to house his art collection. Miguel Utrillo served as director of the museum. The text explores the treasures housed at Maricel and what happened among the three men that led Casas to abandon Utrillo and Deering to depart Spain, taking his art collection with him.
The paintings of Piero della Francesca have remained intriguing because of their distinctive three-dimensional space and unemotional figures, but the artist himself remains a mystery. Curiously, his activities were not confined to painting. He wrote treatises on perspective, commercial arithmetic, and geometry, all without ever settling in any of the centers of great intellectual achievement. James R.Banker has unearthed previously undiscovered documents that make it possible for him to write a social biography of the artist that accounts for his early formation. The Culture of San Sepolcro during the Youth of Piero della Francesca examines the culture of the southeastern Tuscan town of Piero's youth. Analyses of San Sepolcro's political and social organization and its specific religious culture serve to enhance our understanding of Piero's early career prior to his experiences in Florence.
Piero della Francesca has remained an enigma because of the contradictions observed in his life and art. Banker's archival research has enabled him to clear away some of the obscurities. This book situates Piero in the earliest social and intellectual worlds within which he moved. Heretofore, writers on Piero have begun his putative formation in Florence in 1439. Banker demonstrates that the young painter's formation began prior to 1439, when he was surrounded by his family and the local artisans' community.
The Culture of San Sepolcro during the Youth of Piero della Francesca integrates social and art history in order to better understand the formation of a Renaissance artist. It will be vital to scholars and historians of the Italian Renaissance city states, as well as to art historians and those interested in the relationship of art and society.
James R. Banker is Professor of History, North Carolina State University.
Derek Jarman University of Minnesota Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN1998.3.J3A3 2010b | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
From his sexual awakening in postwar England to life in the sixties and beyond, Derek Jarman tells his life story with the in-your-face immediacy that became his trademark style in both his films and writing. Accompanied by nearly one hundred photographs of Jarman, his friends, lovers, and inspirations, the candid accounts in Dancing Ledge provide intimate and incredibly vivid glimpses into this iconoclastic filmmaker's life and times.
This is the first book in English on Henri Regnault (1843–71), a forgotten star of the European fin-de-siècle. A brilliant maverick who once seemed to hold the future of French painting in his hands, Regnault enjoyed a meteoric rise that was cut short when he died at the age of twenty-seven in the Franco-Prussian War. The story of his glamorous career and patriotic death colored French commemorative culture for nearly forty years—until his memory was swept away by the vast losses of World War I. In The Deaths of Henri Regnault, Marc Gotlieb reintroduces this important artist while offering a new perspective on the ultimate decline of nineteenth-century salon painting.
Gotlieb traces Regnault’s trajectory after he won the prestigious Grand Prix de Rome, a fellowship that provided four years of study in Italy. Arriving in Rome, however, Regnault suffered a profound crisis of originality that led him to flee the city in favor of Spain and Morocco. But the crisis also proved productive: from Rome, Madrid, Tangier, and Paris, Regnault enthralled audiences with a bold suite of strange, seductive, and violent Orientalist paintings inspired by his exotic journey—images that, Gotlieb argues, arose precisely from the crisis that had overtaken Regnault and that in key respects was shared by his more avant-garde counterparts.
Both an in-depth look at Regnault’s violent art and a vibrant essay on historical memory, The Deaths of Henri Regnault lays bare a creative legend who helped shape the collective experience of a generation.
"Manet comes alive in [Brombert's] pages. . . . At times her biography reads like a substantial and detailed 19th-century novel. . . . Brombert's Edouard Manet gives us not only a portrait of a complex artist but, in its authority and its range, a portrait of an age as well."—James R. Mellow, New York Times Book Review
"One of the pleasures of reading her is to follow the way she weaves life, art and history into a smooth tapestry. The art emerges from the life, and in the broadest possible context: in terms of its creator's life and concerns and in terns of its historical and cultural setting."—Eric Gibson, The Washington Times Books
"Richly detailed and informative . . . [this biography] exposes the character of an artist who maintained a sharply defined duality between his public and private personas."—Edward J. Sozanski, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Brombert's reading of important canvasses . . . shine, as do her accounts of the changing social and political environment in which Manet worked. . . . Well researched, complexly conceived, and clearly written."—Kirkus Reviews
"Brilliant . . . [this book] grants us a far deeper understanding of why [Manet's] paintings outraged so many of his peers, and why these same masterpieces resonate so richly in our psyches a century later."—Booklist, starred review
In this fascinating work, Paul Nagel tells the full story of George Caleb Bingham (1811–1879), one of America’s greatest nineteenth-century painters. While Nagel assesses Bingham’s artistic achievements, he also portrays another very important part of the artist’s career—his service as a statesman and political leader in Missouri. Until now, Bingham’s public service has been largely forgotten, overshadowed by his triumph as a great artist. Yet Nagel finds there were times when Bingham yearned more to be a successful politician than to be a distinguished painter.
Born in Virginia, Bingham moved with his family to Missouri when he was eight years old. He spent his youth in Arrow Rock, Missouri, and returned there as an adult. He also kept art studios in Columbia and St. Louis. In his last years, he served as the first professor of art at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Because of his ties to the state, he was known nationally as “the Missouri artist.” Bingham began his distinguished public service to Missouri as a member of the legislature. During the Civil War, he grew even more politically involved, holding the office of state treasurer, and he remained active throughout the period of Reconstruction. From 1875 to 1877, Bingham served as Missouri’s adjutant general, with most of that time spent in Washington, D. C., where he attempted to settle Missourians’ war claims against the federal government.
Contrary to the idyllic scenes portrayed in most of his paintings, Bingham’s life ranged from moments of high achievement to times of intense distress and humiliation. His career was often touched by controversy, sorrow, and frustration. Personal letters and other manuscripts reveal Bingham’s life to be quite complicated, and Paul Nagel attempts to uncover the truth in this biography.
Beautifully illustrated, this book includes a magnificent landscape entitled Horse Thief, which had been missing since Bingham painted it sometime around 1852. Recently discovered by art historian Fred R. Kline, this splendid work will appear in print for the first time. Anyone who has an interest in art, Missouri history, or politics will find this new book extremely valuable.
In his own day, Godefridus Schalcken (1643–1706) was an internationally renowned Dutch painter, but little is known about the four years that he spent in London. Using newly discovered documents, this book provides the first comprehensive examination of Schalcken’s activities there. The author analyzes Schalcken’s strategic appropriations of English styles, his attempts to exploit gaps in the art market, and his impact on tastes in London’s milieu. Five chapters survey his art during these years, concluding with a critical catalogue of all his London-period work.
First published in 1966, this account of the life and work of T.C. Steele, one of Indiana's most renowned artists, has become a much-sought-after classic. For this reissue, sixty-two of the book's seventy-six illustrations, including all ten color plates, have been newly photographed and reproduced according to the highest modern standards. The text, unchanged from the first edition, includes a brief biography by the painter's grandson, Theodore L. Steele; a poetic memoir of Steele's last Brown County years by Selma N. Steele; and an appreciation of Steele's work by art historian Wilbur D. Peat.
Isaac Rosenberg was among the greatest poets of the First World War. The British-born son of impoversihed Russian Jews, Rosenberg fought as a private in the trenches of the Great Was and died on the Western Front in 1918 as the age of 27. In Isaac Rosenberg, Wilson examines the influence of Rosenberg's class and heritage on his writings, as well as the development of his poetic technique. She traces his maturation from his childhood in Bristol and the Jewish East End of London to art school, his travels to South Africa, and finally his harrowing service as a private in the British Army.
Rosenberg was also a gifted painter and this beautifully illustrated volume oncludes some hitherto inseen self-portraits, along with photogrpahs of Rosenberg and his family. Wilson's biogrpahy brings together all known Rosenberg material with a mass of important new discoveries. Isaac Rosenberg is a long-overdue consideration of a remarkable war poet.
The Letters and Journals
Paula Modersohn-Becker Northwestern University Press, 1998 Library of Congress ND588.M58A3 1998 | Dewey Decimal 759.3
One of the great modern painters, Paula Modersohn-Becker was also a gifted writer who left behind journals and a sizable correspondence. This edition includes every extant letter, all carefully annotated, and is illustrated with forty-six black-and-white plates.
Letters of Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet University of Chicago Press, 1992 Library of Congress ND553.C9A3 1992 | Dewey Decimal 759.4
The French Realist painter Gustave Courbet (1819-77), a
pivotal figure in the emergence of modern painting, remains
an artist whose interests, attitudes, and friendships are
little understood. A voluminous correspondent, Courbet
himself, through his letters, offers a tantalizing avenue
toward a keener assessment of his character and
accomplishments. In her critical edition of over six hundred
of the artist's letters, Petra ten-Doesschate Chu presents
just such a look at the inner life of the artist; her
unparalleled feat of gathering together all of Courbet's
known letters, many heretofore unpublished and untranslated,
is sure to change our evaluation of Courbet's creativity and
of his place in nineteenth-century French life.
Beginning when Courbet left his provincial home at
eighteen and ending eight days before his death in exile in
Switzerland, this correspondence enables readers to follow
the artist's development from youth to mature artist of
international repute. Addressed to correspondents such as
the poet Charles Baudelaire, the painter Claude Monet, the
writers Champfleury, Victor Hugo, and Théeophile Gautier,
the political theorist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and the
politician Jules Simon, the letters offer numerous insights
into Courbet's life and art as well as the cultural and
political activity of his day. In fascinating detail, they
present the artist's relation to the contemporary media, his
deliberate choice of subject matter for Salon paintings, his
preoccupation with photography, and his participation in the
Besides collecting, translating, and annotating the
letters, Chu provides an introduction, a chronology,
biographies of persons appearing frequently in the letters,
and a list of paintings and sculptures mentioned in the
letters. Her work is an essential resource of immediate use
to historians of art and culture, political and social
historians, and readers of biography.
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu is professor and head of the
Department of Art and Music at Seton Hall University.
Revered and misunderstood by his peers and lauded by later generations as the father of modern art, Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) has long been a subject of fascination for artists and art lovers, writers, poets, and philosophers. His life was a ceaseless artistic quest, and he channeled much of his wide-ranging intellect and ferocious wit into his letters. Punctuated by exasperated theorizing and philosophical reflection, outbursts of creative ecstasy and melancholic confession, the artist’s correspondence reveals both the heroic and all-toohuman qualities of a man who is indisputably among the pantheon of all-time greats.
This new translation of Cézanne’s letters includes more than twenty that were previously unpublished and reproduces the sketches and caricatures with which Cézanne occasionally illustrated his words. The letters shed light on some of the key artistic relationships of the modern period—about one third of Cézanne’s more than 250 letters are to his boyhood companion Émile Zola, and he communicated extensively with Camille Pissarro and the dealer Ambroise Vollard. The translation is richly annotated with explanatory notes, and, for the first time, the letters are cross-referenced to the current catalogue raisonné. Numerous inaccuracies and archaisms in the previous English edition of the letters are corrected, and many intriguing passages that were unaccountably omitted have been restored. The result is a publishing landmark that ably conveys Cézanne’s intricacy of expression.
"It works, we're in business, yeah Babe!" So begins this remarkable selection from a forty-year correspondence between two artists who survived their time as wives in the Beat bohemia of the 1960s and went on to successful artistic careers of their own.
From their first meeting in 1960, writer Hettie Jones—then married to LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka)—and painter and sculptor Helene Dorn (1927–2004), wife of poet Ed Dorn, found in each other more than friendship. They were each other's confidant, emotional support, and unflagging partner through difficulties, defeats, and victories, from surviving divorce and struggling as single mothers, to finding artistic success in their own right.
Revealing the intimacy of lifelong friends, these letters tell two stories from the shared point of view of women who refused to go along with society’s expectations. Jones frames her and Helene's story, adding details and explanations while filling in gaps in the narrative. As she writes, "we'd fled the norm for women then, because to live it would have been a kind of death."
Apart from these two personal stories, there are, as well, reports from the battlegrounds of women's rights and tenant's rights, reflections on marriage and motherhood, and contemplation of the past to which these two had remained irrevocably connected. Prominent figures such as Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary appear as well, making Love, H an important addition to literature on the Beats.
Above all, this book is a record of the changing lives of women artists as the twentieth century became the twenty-first, and what it has meant for women considering such a life today. It's worth a try, Jones and Dorn show us, offering their lives as proof that it can be done.
Mark Rothko: A Biography
James E. B. Breslin University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress ND237.R725B74 1993 | Dewey Decimal 759.13
A book of heroic dimensions, this is the first full-length biography of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century—a man as fascinating, difficult, and compelling as the paintings he produced. Drawing on exclusive access to Mark Rothko's personal papers and over one hundred interviews with artists, patrons, and dealers, James Breslin tells the story of a life in art—the personal costs and professional triumphs, the convergence of genius and ego, the clash of culture and commerce. Breslin offers us not only an enticing look at Rothko as a person, but delivers a lush, in-depth portrait of the New York art scene of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s—the world of Abstract Expressionism, of Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, and Klein, which would influence artists for generations to come.
"In Breslin, Rothko has the ideal biographer—thorough but never tedious, a good storyteller with an ear for the spoken word, fond but not fawning, and possessed of a most rare ability to comment on non-representational art without sounding preposterous."—Robert Kiely, Boston Book Review
"Breslin impressively recreates Mark Rothko's troubled nature, his tormented life, and his disturbing canvases. . . . The artist's paintings become almost tangible within Breslin's pages, and Rothko himself emerges as an alarming physical force."—Robert Warde, Hungry Mind Review
"This remains beyond question the finest biography so far devoted to an artist of the New York School."-Arthur C. Danto, Boston Sunday Globe
"Clearly written, full of intelligent insights, and thorough."—Hayden Herrera, Art in America
"Breslin spent seven years working on this book, and he has definitely done his homework."-Nancy M. Barnes, Boston Phoenix
"He's made the tragedy of his subject's life the more poignant."—Eric Gibson, The New Criterion
"Mr. Breslin's book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written . . . a biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject's tormented character."—Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review, front page review
James E. B. Breslin (1936-1996) was professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of From Modern to Contemporary: American Poetry, 1945-1965 and William Carlos Williams: An American Artist.
“The mourning never stops, it just changes.” (Edward Albee) For Claude Monet (1840–1926), the founder of French Impressionist painting, these words are a fitting testament to his lifelong relationship with the female muse, most notably—and most hauntingly—with his first wife, the model Camille Doncieux.
For the esteemed clinical psychologist and art historian Mary Mathews Gedo, Monet and His Muse represents a project twenty years in the making. Artfully interweaving biographical insight with psychoanalytic criticism, Gedo takes us on an exploration of Claude Monet’s conflicted relationships with women, complete with exquisitely researched material never before understood about one of our most popular—and inimitable—artists. Beginning with Monet’s childhood, Gedo delves into his relationships with a distant, unreliable father and his beloved, doting mother—whose death when Monet was just sixteen, the author establishes, inspired a lifetime preoccupation with the sea, its lushly imagined flora, and the figurative landscapes Monet painted to such acclaim.
And then—Camille. Entering Monet’s life when he was still a young man, becoming first his model and then mistress and then—finally—his wife, Camille Doncieux always fulfilled the function of muse, even after her life had ended, as Monet not only painted her one last time on her deathbed, but preserved her memory through the gardens he planted at his home in Giverny. Demonstrating how Monet’s connections with women were exceedingly complex, fraught with abusive impulses and infantile longing, Gedo sensitively uses Monet and Camille as exemplars in order to explore links between artists and muses in our modern age.
Effie Marquess Carmack (1885-1974) grew up in the tobacco-growing region of southern Kentucky known as the Black Patch. As an adult she moved to Utah, back to Kentucky, to Arizona, and finally to California. Economic necessity primarily motivated Effie and her husband's moves, but her conversion to the Mormon Church in youth also was a factor. Throughout her life, she was committed to preserving the rural, southern folkways she had experienced as a child. She and other members of her family were folk musicians, at times professionally, and she also became a folk poet and artist, teaching herself to paint. In the 1940s she began writing her autobiography and eventually also completed a verse adaptation of it and an unpublished novel about life in the Black Patch.
Much of Effie's story is a charming memoir of her vibrant childhood on a poor tobacco farm. She describes a wide variety of folk practices, from healing and crafts to children's games. Her family's life included the backbreaking labor and economic trials of raising tobacco, but it was enriched by a deep familial heritage, communal music, creative play, and traditional activities of many kinds. After the family converted to the Mormon Church, religious study and devotion became another important dimension. Effie's account of Mormon missions contributes to the little-known record of Latter-day Saint attempts to establish a presence in the South.
After marrying, the Carmacks moved west, eventually landing in the Arizona desert, where Effie took up painting in earnest. Her art began to attract modest attention, which brought exhibits, awards, and a new career teaching others what she had taught herself. After the Carmacks later retired to Atascadero, California, Effie became a more active and public folk singer as well.
At the age of fourteen, a young man in Waveland, Indiana, had taken over the family farm after the death of his father. Now responsible for taking care of his widowed mother and supporting his four brothers, he took up the reins on the plow to begin preparing the field for planting. Family legend has it that the young farmer, Theodore Clement Steele, tied “colored ribbons to the handles of the plow so that he could watch the ribbons in the wind and the effect that they had on the [surrounding] colors.” Recognizing Steele’s passion for art, his mother supported his choice to make his living as an artist. T. C. Steele, the eighth volume in the Indiana Historical Society Press’s youth biography series, traces the path of Steele’s career as an artist from his early studies in Germany to his determination to paint what he knew best, the Indiana landscape. Steele, along with fellow artists William Forsyth, Otto Stark, Richard Gruelle, and J. Ottis Adams, became a member of the renowned Hoosier Group and became a leader in the development of Midwestern art.
PAINTING OUTSIDE THE LINES
David W. Galenson Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress ND212.G25 2001 | Dewey Decimal 750.19
In a work that brings new insights, and new dimensions, to the history of modern art, David Galenson examines the careers of more than 100 modern painters to disclose a fascinating relationship between age and artistic creativity.
Martha Ward tracks the development and reception of neo-impressionism, revealing how the artists and critics of the French art world of the 1880s and 1890s created painting's first modern vanguard movement.
Paying particular attention to the participation of Camille Pissarro, the only older artist to join the otherwise youthful movement, Ward sets the neo-impressionists' individual achievements in the context of a generational struggle to redefine the purposes of painting. She describes the conditions of display, distribution, and interpretation that the neo-impressionists challenged, and explains how these artists sought to circulate their own work outside of the prevailing system. Paintings, Ward argues, often anticipate and respond to their own conditions of display and use, and in the case of the neo-impressionists, the artists' relations to market forces and exhibition spaces had a decisive impact on their art.
Ward details the changes in art dealing, and chronicles how these and new freedoms for the press made artistic vanguardism possible while at the same time affecting the content of painting. She also provides a nuanced account of the neo-impressionists' engagements with anarchism, and traces the gradual undermining of any strong correlation between artistic allegiance and political direction in the art world of the 1890s.
Throughout, there are sensitive discussions of such artists as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, as well as Pissarro. Yet the touchstone of the book is Pissarro's intricate relationship to the various factions of the Paris art world.
In Portrait of a Young Painter, the distinguished historian Mary Kay Vaughan adopts a biographical approach to understanding the culture surrounding the Mexico City youth rebellion of the 1960s. Her chronicle of the life of painter Pepe Zúñiga counters a literature that portrays post-1940 Mexican history as a series of uprisings against state repression, injustice, and social neglect that culminated in the student protests of 1968. Rendering Zúñiga's coming of age on the margins of formal politics, Vaughan depicts midcentury Mexico City as a culture of growing prosperity, state largesse, and a vibrant, transnationally-informed public life that produced a multifaceted youth movement brimming with creativity and criticism of convention. In an analysis encompassing the mass media, schools, politics, family, sexuality, neighborhoods, and friendships, she subtly invokes theories of discourse, phenomenology, and affect to examine the formation of Zúñiga's persona in the decades leading up to 1968. By discussing the influences that shaped his worldview, she historicizes the process of subject formation and shows how doing so offers new perspectives on the events of 1968.
A treatise on Dutch art on par with Vasari's critical history
of Italian art, Karel van Mander's Schilder-Boeck (or
Book on Picturing) has long been recognized for its critical
and historical influence—and yet, until now, no
comprehensive account of the book's conception, aims, and
impact has been available. In this in-depth analysis of the
content and context of Van Mander's work, Walter S. Melion
reveals the Schilder-Boeck's central importance to an
understanding of northern Renaissance and Baroque art.
By interpreting the terminology employed in the Schilder-Boeck, Melion establishes the text's
relationship to past and contemporary art theory. Van Mander
is seen here developing his critical categories and then
applying them to Ancient, Italian, and Netherlandish artists
in order to mark changes within a culture and to characterize
excellence for each region. Thus Melion demonstrates how Van
Mander revised both the structure and critical language of
Vasari's Lives to refute the Italian's claims for the
superiority of the Tuscan style, and to clarify northern
artistic traditions and the concerns of Netherlandish
artists. A much needed corrective to the view that Dutch art
of the period was lacking in theory, Melion's work offers a
compelling account of a sixteenth- and seventeenth-century
theoretical and critical perspective and shows how this
perspective suggests a rereading of northern art.
Walter S. Melion is assistant professor of art history
at The Johns Hopkins University.
For self-made artist and soldier Horace Pippin—who served in the 369th all-black infantry in World War I until he was wounded—war provided a formative experience that defined much of his life and work. His ability to transform combat service into canvases of emotive power, psychological depth, and realism showed not only how he viewed the world but also his mastery as a painter. In Suffering and Sunset, Celeste-Marie Bernier painstakingly traces Pippin’s life story of art as a life story of war.
Illustrated with more than sixty photographs, including works in various mediums—many in full color—this is the first intellectual history and cultural biography of Pippin. Working from newly discovered archives and unpublished materials, Bernier provides an in-depth investigation into the artist’s development of an alternative visual and textual lexicon and sheds light on his work in its aesthetic, social, and political contexts.
Suffering and Sunset illustrates Pippin’s status as a groundbreaking artist as it shows how this African American painter suffered from but also staged many artful resistances to racism in a white-dominated art world.
Ted Lambert is regarded as one of the premier Alaska artists, a true pioneer. Born in 1905, and raised in the Chicago area, Lambert moved to Alaska in 1925 and went to work as a miner near McCarthy. He held several jobs, predominantly working at a copper mine and mushing dogs—first for adventure, and then as a mail carrier.
Lambert left Alaska in 1931 to study art for a year at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, then moved to Seattle, where he began a mentorship under Eustace Ziegler, with whom he traveled throughout Alaska and painted. Eventually Lambert settled down in Fairbanks, where he stayed for twenty years and solidified his reputation as a painter and an artist.
But in 1960 he disappeared from the remote cabin he was living in at Bristol Bay. No trace of his body was ever found, but among the effects rescued from his last home was a memoir of his early days in Alaska. Presented here and never before published, these memoirs reveal Lambert to be a keen and intelligent observer and relay the adventure story of a young man who would become one of Alaska’s most important artists.