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Peggy Guggenheim, 1898--1979

Peggy Guggenheim, 1898--1979

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Guggenheim was an avid collector of modern art whose colorful life often eclipses the significant contributions she made. In addition to the galleries she established, she provided financial support to numerous artists and writers, bought and sold their work, rescued art from the Nazis, and amassed one of the leading modern art collections of the early to mid twentieth century.  Born into a wealthy New York family, her father Benjamin Guggenheim went down with the Titanic, leaving his family a sizable fortune. Peggy moved to Paris with her first husband, American artist and writer Laurence Vail, and their two children. She became part of the city’s art and literary community and for about seven years she purchased a vast amount of modernist work. Once the Nazis invaded Paris, she fled to safety in New York. In 1941 she married her second husband, German artist Max Ernst. She launched The Art of This Century Gallery, making it an influential force for modern art in the U.S. and she was pivotal in promoting the careers of many artists who would find fame and success. By 1947, after a second divorce, she closed the gallery and moved to Italy, making her home in a large palazzo along Venice’s Grand Canal for the next 30 years. Before her death she donated the home and art collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, founded by her uncle. It was eventually opened to the public as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, an important museum of modern art.

Recommended books and films about Guggenheim:

Confessions of an Art Addict, by Peggy Guggenheim

Out of This Century: The Informal Memoirs of Peggy Guggenheim

Art Lover: A Biography of Peggy Guggenheim, by Anton Gill

Mistress of Modernism: The Life of Peggy Guggenheim, by Mary V. Dearborn

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, a documentary by Lisa Immordino Vreeland

www.guggenheim-venice.it

Pan Yuliang, 1895--1977

Pan Yuliang, 1895--1977

oil on birch panel, 16 x 16", 2015

Born Zhang Yuliang, Pan’s parents died when she was very young, and by the age of 14 her uncle sold her to a brothel.  When she was about twenty, a customs official bought her freedom and she became his second wife. They moved to Shanghai where she studied painting at the Shanghai Fine Arts School, becoming its first female student. After graduation she continued her studies in France and Italy. When she returned to China in 1929 she was celebrated as the first woman artist to paint in the European style and she accepted a position as art professor at Central University of Nanjing. She remained in China for seven years and her works were presented in a number of solo exhibitions. Many of Pan’s paintings experiment with both Chinese and Western painting techniques and motifs. She often painted female nudes and she captured herself in numerous self-portraits.  Her subject matter was sometimes viewed as controversial, even labeled as depraved by the more conservative critics in China. She eventually returned to Paris, where she taught and continued painting for 40 years until her death.

 

Recommended books and films about or inspired by Pan Yuliang:

 Rewriting Modernism: Three Women Artists in Twentieth-Century China, by Phyllis Teo

Selection of Pan Yu-liang's Works, by Ben She

 A Soul Haunted by Painting, a biopic starring Gong Li and directed by Zhang Yimou

The Painter from Shanghai: A Novel by Jennifer Cody Epstein (fictional account of her life)

 www.artofpanyuliang.org

 

Meret Oppenheim, 1913--1985

Meret Oppenheim, 1913--1985

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Oppenheim was a painter and sculptor who moved to Paris while still in her teens. Her work explored dream-like imagery, gaining her acceptance as an integral part of the Surrealists. Most of her works from this period were assemblages, as she combined unrelated objects into singular, sculptural works that referenced domesticity and gender. Her fur-covered teacup, Object (The Luncheon in Fur), became the ultimate surrealist artifact and created a sensation in 1936 when it made its debut. It was purchased by The Museum of Modern Art to become the first work by a female artist to enter its collection. After her success at such a young age, Oppenheim worked to dispel the notion that it was merely a fluke, but with the growing threat of Nazism, she returned to Switzerland. For almost twenty years she struggled with depression, which lead her to Carl Jung for psychoanalysis, though he determined her condition to be “youthful disorientation.” By the mid-1950s she threw herself back into art, becoming an outspoken advocate for women’s rights in the process. Over the course of three decades she created a diverse body of work that included performance pieces, sculpture, jewelry, painting, furniture and artist books featuring her poetry and illustrations. Her papers are held in the Swiss National Library.

Recommended books and films about Méret Oppenheim:

Méret Oppenheim: Beyond the Teacup, by Jacqueline Burkhardt

Méret Oppenheim: Defiance in the ace of Freedom, by Bice Curiger

www.meret-oppenheim.com

Simone de Beauvoir 1908--1986

Simone de Beauvoir 1908--1986

oil on birch panel, 10 x 10", 2015

De Beauvoir was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the twentieth century, though she didn’t consider herself a philosopher. Her work doesn’t readily fall within the scope of modernism, connecting more to contemporary feminist theory, but she was part of the group of French existentialists and explored its themes in her work.  Her writing spanned to fiction, ethics, politics and memoir, but it was her revolutionary The Second Sex that gave a powerful voice to women’s oppressive status. She determined that “One is not born, but rather, becomes a woman,” and the book had a lasting impact on the contemporary women’s movement. Beauvoir did not label herself a feminist until later in life, becoming an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and joining the French Women’s Rights League. During World War II, her work was targeted by the Vichy regime and she was dismissed from her teaching position. Along with her partner in life, French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, she engaged in resistance activities.  With the end of the war, she and Sartre were part of the group of French intellectuals that included Albert Camus and André Malraux, and they established Modern Times, a journal to share their views regarding French society. In her later years Beauvoir reflected on mortality, detailing the death of her mother in A Very Easy Death and examining the elderly in Old Age.  She and Sartre had an unconventional relationship, but they remained each other’s staunchest supporters until the end. She posthumously honored him a year after his death in A Farewell to Sartre and died in 1986.  They share a grave in the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.

Major works by Simone de Beauvoir:

The Second Sex

 All Men are Mortal

 The Mandarins

 The Blood of Others

 She Came to Stay

 The Ethics of Ambiguity

 Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (memoir)

Recommended books about Simone de Beauvoir:

Simone de Beauvoir: Philosophy, and Feminism, by Nancy Bauer

A Dangerous Liaison: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, by Carole Seymour-Jones

Ada "Bricktop" Smith, 1894--1984

Ada "Bricktop" Smith, 1894--1984

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Smith is known as Bricktop, a nickname inspired by her bright red hair. She is best remembered as the owner and host of the legendary Parisian nightclub that bore her name. Smith was a celebrated performer whose career began in Chicago at the age of five. She continued to sing and dance in jazz and vaudeville revues across the country, leading her to Paris in 1924. There she quickly became an influential part of the city’s vibrant jazz scene, and she established her own club, Chez Bricktop’s. It became an important destination for leading musicians and performers such as Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Smith’s patrons and friends included many artists and writers. Cole Porter composed a song for her and both Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot wrote about her. Chez Bricktop played an iconic role in the Parisian jazz age of the 1920s, but it also served as a welcoming refuge for African Americans who came to France during the interwar years. With World War II, Smith closed her clubs and moved to New York, though later reopened in Mexico City. After launching her final location in Rome, she retired in 1961 and moved back to the U.S. where she continued to perform until her death.

Works by Ada Bricktop Smith:

Bricktop by Bricktop, autobiography with James Haskins

Leonora Carrington, 1917--2011

Leonora Carrington, 1917--2011

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Carrington was the rebellious daughter of a wealthy British family and became one of the female artists identified with the Surrealists. She left for Paris with German artist Max Ernst and they spent several years together in France until he was imprisoned as an enemy alien in 1939. By 1940 Carrington fled to Spain where she was placed in an asylum for supposedly making threats to kill Hitler, but she later managed to escape and documented this traumatic experience in her short memoir, Down Below. She ended up in New York then Mexico City, which became her permanent home for more than half a century. She married photographer Emericko Weisz, a Hungarian Jewish refugee who settled in Mexico after his family members were killed in a concentration camp. The couple had two sons and their lives were intertwined with the avant-garde of both Europe and Mexico, including the Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Carrington’s work is often linked to her close friends Remedios Varo and Kati Horna, and the three women sometimes collaborated. Like Carrington, both were exiles from Europe and artists exploring similar themes such as alchemy, folklore, magic, memory and dreams. Though she is best known for her paintings, for which she has an enduring and devoted following, Carrington was a prolific multi media artist and writer. She created large sculptures and masks, murals, hats, lithographs, poems, and costume designs. Her experimental novels stay true to the evocative surrealist imagery that fueled her visual art. She was also an activist for women’s rights and a co-founder of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico in the 1970s. She died in Mexico City, a month after her ninety-fourth birthday.

Works by Leonora Carrington:

The Hearing Trumpet

The Seventh Horse and Other Tales

House of Fear

Down Below

The Oval Lady

The Stone Door

The Mexican Years : 1943-1985

Recommended books and films about Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art, by Susan Aberth

The Flowering of the Crone: Another Reality, documentary by Ally Acker

www.leocarrington.com

Dorothea Tanning, 1910--2012

Dorothea Tanning, 1910--2012

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Tanning was a painter whose work was profoundly influenced by the Surrealists. She briefly had formal art training while living in Chicago but moved to New York in the mid-1930s. By the time she visited Paris, most of the artists and writers had already fled due to the rise of Nazism. Her long, prolific career is often closely aligned with the work of her husband, German artist Max Ernst. The two met in New York when he was still married to the gallerist Peggy Guggenheim, but by the mid-1940s they were married, living in Sedona, Arizona, and later in France. Their partnership lasted until Ernst’s death in 1976 and Tanning moved back to Manhattan. She continued working, becoming even more productive in her later years. Though her painting style shifted throughout her life, moving from representational forms to more ambiguous abstractions, her imagery remained evocative of the dream-like scenes that shaped her early work.  She was primarily a painter but spent a number of years exploring sculpture, and as she grew older she avidly pursued writing. Her poetry was published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and two editions of Best Poems. Tanning’s long life spanned over a century.

Works by Dorothea Tanning:

Birthday, her first memoir

Between Lives: An Artist and Her World, her second memoir

A Table of Content: Poems

 Chasm, a novel

Recommended books about Dorothea Tanning:

Dorothea Tanning, by Jean-Christophe Bailly, Robert C. Morgan

Dorothea Tanning: Insomnias, by Charles Stuckey and Richard Howard

www.dorotheatanning.org

Berenice Abbott, 1898--1991

Berenice Abbott, 1898--1991

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Abbott was an influential pioneer of photography and a native of Springfield, Ohio. She briefly studied journalism at the Ohio State University but left for New York’s Greenwich Village when she was just nineteen. In her early twenties she moved to Paris to become a sculptor, taking a job as Man Ray’s studio assistant for income. Through his training and encouragement she developed her unique eye as a photographer and eventually opened her own studio. She immediately became one of the leading portrait photographers of the Parisian avant-garde, with subjects who included James Joyce, Jean Cocteau, Janet Flanner, Jane Heap, and Djuna Barnes. By 1929 Abbott returned to New York where she found the city in a rapid state of change, inspiring her series Changing New York, a photography project to document old buildings before they disappeared and the new modern construction that took its place. The ambitious undertaking became part of a position she later held with the Federal Art Project, resulting in over 300 photographs. Abbott’s interest in science extended to her photography work and she experimented with stroboscopic lights to photographically trace an object’s trajectory while in motion. She also invented a camera for enlarging, became photo editor of Science Illustrated, and worked with MIT. For three decades Abbott lived with art critic Elizabeth McCausland, who died in 1965. Abbott lived another quarter century, famously stating, “I am so fascinated with this century, it will help keep me alive. I’ll be there until the last minute, fighting.”

Works by and about Berenice Abbott:

Photography and Science

 Guide to Better Photography

The View Camera Made Simple

 Berenice Abbott: Changing New York

Berenice Abbott: Documenting Science

 Physics

Changing New York is now held in the public domain and available through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/collections/changing-new-york#/?tab=about

 Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century— a documentary by Kay Weaver and Martha Wheelok

Lotte Jacobi, 1896--1990

Lotte Jacobi, 1896--1990

oil on birch panel, 16 x 16", 2015

Jacobi was born into a family of photographers that dated back to her great-grandfather. After completing her studies, she joined her father’s successful photography studio in Berlin. She was influenced by the city’s vibrant avant-garde, which included artists like Max Pechstein, László Maholy-Nagy and Käthe Kollwitz, whose portraits she was able to photograph. Jacobi was only the second woman to be granted official permission to photograph throughout the Soviet Union, doing so on her own for six months. Her return to Germany coincided with Hitler’s rise to power and she was targeted for being Jewish. She had a son from her first marriage, and the two of them escaped, settling in New York City where she opened a photography studio and took commercial assignments to make ends meet. She continued to explore photography’s artistic potential and by the 1950s she began her series of photogenics, which were abstract and landscape images created without a camera. In the U.S. she married her second husband, the German writer and publisher, Erich Reiss. After his death, Jacobi moved to rural New Hampshire where she opened her own studio and continued to work, enjoying a wave of renewed appreciation for her work in the 1980s. In her later years she continued to travel and was active in the Democratic Party. The Lotte Jacobi Papers are held at the University of New Hampshire.

Recommended reading about Lotte Jacobi:

Atelier Lotte Jacobi: Berlin / New York, by Marion Beckers and Elisabeth Moortgat

Gisèle Freund, 1908--2000

Gisèle Freund, 1908--2000

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Freund was from a wealthy family in Berlin. Her father collected art and encouraged her interest in photography at a young age. While at university in Frankfurt, she photographed a rally against the National Socialist Government, and a year later Hitler became chancellor. Freund was Jewish and a vocal activist against the Nazi party, and in 1933 became one of the many German refugees who escaped to France. She settled in Paris and pursued doctoral studies at the Sorbonne, writing a controversial dissertation that was later published by Adrienne Monnier, the owner of the bookstore, La Maison des Amis des Livres.  Freund photographed many prominent art and literary figures of the period, including James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Frida Kahlo, Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Woolf.  She was one of the first photographers in France to use color film in the late 1930s. With the Nazi’s arrival in France, Freund once again fled, this time for Argentina and later Mexico. She became a well-travelled photo journalist, capturing people and events for publications like Time and Life magazines. Though she’s often best known for her iconic portraits, she believed her most important images were those that bore witness to social injustice and human suffering around the world. She returned to Paris in the 1950s, giving up photography in the mid-1980s to devote herself to reading and scholarship.

Works by Giséle Freund:

James Joyce in Paris, His final years

Photography and Society

The World in My Camera

Giséle Freund, Photographer

 The Poetry of the Portrait: Photographs of Writers and Artists

Books about Giséle Freund:

You Have Seen Their Faces: Giséle Freund, Walter Benjamin and Margaret Bourke-White as Headhunters, by M. Kay Flavell

The World in Giséle Freund’s Lens, by Hilton Kramer

www.gisele-freund.com

Alma Thomas, 1891--1978

Alma Thomas, 1891--1978

oil on birch panel, 16 x 16", 2016

Thomas was part of the expressionist color field movement of the mid-twentieth century, though her artistic career began in the early part of the century. As a young girl her family left the racial violence of Georgia and settled in Washington D.C. She became one of the first graduates of Howard University’s art department in the early 1920s, studying under Loïs Mailou Jones, who encouraged Thomas to move away from representational work in favor of abstraction. Thomas received a master’s degree in art education from Columbia University and was a devoted junior high school art teacher for over 35 years. She was instrumental in founding the Barnett Aden Gallery, one of the first galleries in the U.S. dedicated to the work of black artists. Her art career didn’t really begin until her late sixties, when she retired from teaching and dedicated herself to painting full time. She became the first African American woman artist to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art. Her painting Resurrection was placed in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama, becoming the first work of art by an African American woman to become part of its permanent collection. Her work has received renewed interest in recent years and has been featured in major retrospectives at The Studio Museum, Harlem, and Skidmore College.

Books about Alma Thomas:

Alma Thomas, by Ian Berry and Lauren Hayes

A Life in Art: Alma Thomas, 1891-1978, by Merry A. Foresta

Claude Cahun, 1894--1954

Claude Cahun, 1894--1954

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Cahun was born Lucy Schwob, but in her early twenties she adopted a gender-neutral pen name. She was the daughter of a newspaper publisher and the niece of symbolist writer Marcel Schwob. As an innovative artist Cahun explored Surrealism and blended multi-media works of art with experimental writing and photography. She often collaborated with her life-long partner and stepsister Marcel Moore, who was a designer and illustrator, and both were active with the Surrealists in Paris. Cahun’s photographs and collages are self-portraiture, allowing her to explore the boundaries of gender and identity through costumes and personas that represent her as a cast of unique characters. By 1937 Cahun and Moore fled Paris and settled in the Channel Islands, but by 1940 the islands became the only British territory invaded by the Germans. From their home in Jersey, off the coast of Normandy, the women, who were both Jewish, risked their lives and formed a secret resistance, utilizing a variety of creative methods to transmit anti-Nazi messages during the occupation. Cahun didn’t live to be as old as Moore (who committed suicide at the age of 89) because her health drastically suffered after the women were caught and imprisoned. Cahun never sought fame, but she is viewed today as an artist far ahead of her time.  Her work has been part of major exhibitions, including one curated by David Bowie in 2007.  The Jersery Heritage holds the largest collection of the couple’s art and writing.

Works by Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore:

Disavowels or Cancelled Confessions, with Marcel Moore

Don’t Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore

Recommended books and films about Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore:

Claude Cahun: A Sensual Politic of Photography by Gen Doy

Claude Cahun: The Soldier with No Name, by Gavin James Bower

Lover Other, documentary about Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, by Barbara Hammer

Djuna Barnes, 1892--1982

Djuna Barnes, 1892--1982

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Barnes was a trailblazer, first as a journalist in New York and later as a writer in Paris. As a journalist the stories she covered drew attention to social injustice, including the mistreatment of domestic help and the force-feeding of suffragettes who went on hunger strike. To accurately describe this experience, she had doctors perform the procedure on her. The articles she wrote were often accompanied by her unique pen and ink illustrations, and she liked to sketch people from all walks of life. Barnes arrived in Paris in her late thirties and she quickly became a respected part of the literary community, with writers such as James Joyce championing her work. She also became friends with other American women expats, including Natalie Clifford Barney and Peggy Guggenheim. During this period, she began a long-term affair with the artist Thelma Wood. Their relationship was immortalized in Nightwood, the 1936 novel Barnes wrote in the aftermath of their breakup. It’s regarded as an iconic work of lesbian and feminist literature and it established Barnes as an important modernist writer. She left Paris after ten years and eventually moved back to New York, settling into a small Greenwich Village apartment where she spent the last four decades of her life. She became reclusive, writing little during the 1940s but resumed in the 1950s.  She has been influential to many twentieth century writers and there has been renewed interest in her work.

Major works by Djuna Barnes:

Nightwood

Ladies Almanack

Ryder

The Antiphon

Recommended books about Djuna Barnes:

Accidental Aloofness': Barnes, Loy, and Modernism, by Carolyn Burke

Following Djuna: Women Lovers and the Erotics of Loss, by Carolyn Allen

Djuna: The Formidable Miss Barnes, by Andrew Field

Gertrude Stein, 1874--1946

Gertrude Stein, 1874--1946

oil on birch panel, 24 x 24", 2016

Stein is regarded as one of the most influential figures of modern art and literature. She was an innovative writer, poet, art patron, and collector of modern art. In 1903 she dropped out of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to join her brother Leo in Paris and quickly became a permanent fixture of the Parisian avant-garde.  The siblings were avid supporters of modern art, amassing a large collection while promoting the careers of numerous artists, especially the work of Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso.  Gertrude met her partner Alice B. Toklas in 1907 and the two women hosted weekly salons at their home, creating a legendary hub for many of the artists and writers active in Paris before and after World War I.  Stein’s writing explored her sexuality, especially in early works, Q.E.D. and Tender Buttons and many of her novels and poems experiment with automatic writing. She was from a wealthy Jewish family in Oakland, California, and attended Radcliffe College, studying psychology under William James. These studies later influenced her stream of consciousness method of writing. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which was actually Stein’s own biography, was her first best selling work. She returned to America for book tours but remained with Toklas in France throughout World War II. Their enduring partnership lasted until Stein’s death from cancer in 1946, and was notably described in the works of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Archives of Stein’s work are held in collections at Yale, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Maryland, and the New York Public Library.

Major works by Gertrude Stein:

Q.E.D.

Tender Buttons

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

 Everybody’s Autobiography

 Picasso

 Wars I Have Seen

 Works about Gertrude Stein:

 Everybody Who Was Anybody: A Biography of Gertrude Stein, by Janet Hobbhouse

 Women of the Left Bank, by Shari Benstock

 Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein, by Marty Martin

Alice B. Toklas, 1877--1967

Alice B. Toklas, 1877--1967

oil on birch panel, 10 x 10", 2016

Toklas, along with Gertrude Stein, was an integral part of the modernist Parisian avant-garde. The two women met the day Toklas arrived in Paris from San Francisco in 1907, and their partnership endured through both World Wars until Stein’s death in 1946. Through the weekly salons they hosted, their home become an important hub for notable writers and artists of the period, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso and Matisse. While Stein focused on writing, Toklas supported her as secretary and an editor, and also managed household responsibilities. In her later years she wrote her memoirs and published The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, which was immortalized in the 1960s for a particular brownie recipe. Toklas died just a week shy of her ninetieth birthday.

Works by Alice B. Toklas:

The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook

What is Remembered

Staying on Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas

Murder in the Kitchen

Mina Loy, 1882--1966

Mina Loy, 1882--1966

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Born Mina Gertrude Löwy to a Hungarian Jewish father and an English mother, Loy’s broad range of skills and pursuits led her into many creative realms.  While studying art in London, she met her first husband, but instead of taking his name, she just altered her own surname. They moved to Paris to pursue art, though it was not a happy marriage, even after children and a move to Florence. While in Italy Loy got involved with the Italian Futurists, who became integral in shaping her views of feminist politics that became her 1914 Feminist Manifesto. In 1916 she lived in New York, becoming an important part of the Greenwich Village avant-garde community, which included friendships with Jane Heap, Djuna Barnes, and William Carlos Williams. She married her second husband, Swiss poet Arthur Craven, in 1918 but shortly after their wedding, he went missing at sea, never to be seen again. Loy returned to Paris and published her first volume of poetry and then her novel. With World War II she fled to New York and continued to write, exploring personal themes. She relocated to Colorado in the 1950s to live with her daughters. In her later years she wrote little but turned her attention back to art, creating paintings and mixed media works utilizing throwaway items. She died at the age of 84 in Aspen.

Works by Mina Loy:

The Feminist Manifesto

The Lost Lunar Baedeker

Insel

Recommended books and films about Mina Loy:

Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy, by Carolyn Burke

Mina Loy: American Modernist Poet, by Virginia M. Kouidis

Sexing the Manifesto: Mina Loy, Feminism and Futurism, by Natalya Lusty

Margaret Anderson, 1886--1973

Margaret Anderson, 1886--1973

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Anderson founded the American avant-garde magazine, The Little Review as a way to showcase the modernist writers and artists of the U.S. and Europe.  Along with her partner, writer Jane Heap, the women co-edited and published the magazine from 1914—1929. Anderson attended Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, (now part of Miami University) and later moved to Chicago where she worked as a book critic before launching The Little Review. She put all of her resources into the publication, and even lived in a tent along the beach of Lake Michigan when she ran out of money. American expatriate poet Ezra Pound served as European editor, and the magazine relocated to San Francisco, then New York’s Greenwich Village before its final issue was published. Anderson took risks in her commitment to the experimental, and sometimes controversial, artists and writers she featured. In 1921 she and Heap were convicted of obscenity for the publication of chapters from James Joyce’s Ulyssess. Others she published were sometimes seen as subversive, including Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Emma Goldman and Marcel Duchamp. By the time she moved to France in the 1920s, Anderson was part of a spiritual group that followed the teachings of the mystic philosopher known as Gurdjieff. She studied with him until his death and wrote about his teachings.  Andersons’s archives are held at Yale University.

Works by Margaret Anderson:

The Little Review Anthology

 The Unknowable Gurdjieff

My Thirty Years War

The Fiery Fountains

 The Strange Necessity

Recommended books and films about Margaret Anderson:

Ladies of the Rope: Gurdjieff's Special Left Bank Women's Group, by William Patrick Patterson

Pound/the Little Review: The Letters of Ezra Pound to Margaret Anderson : the Little Review Correspondence, By Ezra Pound, Thomas L. Scott, Melvin J. Friedman, Jackson R. Bryer

America—Meet Modernism! Women of the Little Magazine Movement, by Barbara Probst Solomon

Four Lives in Paris, by Hugh Ford

Beyond Imagining: Margaret Anderson and The Little Review, documentary by Wendy Weinberg

Marianne Moore, 1887--1972

Marianne Moore, 1887--1972

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Moore was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet raised in Missouri and Pennsylvania. She earned a BA from Bryn Mawr College before working as a teacher. In 1918 she moved to New York with her mother and became part of the circle of poets active in Greenwich Village. Her innovative poems were highly regarded by fellow poets like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, and she quickly earned awards and recognition for her published work.  In 1921 Moore’s first volume of poetry came to publication through imagist poets, Hilda Doolittle and Bryher, with a second volume, Observations, in 1924. The following year she became editor of the American art and literary journal, The Dial but continued to work as a part-time librarian for financial support. Her poetry has won almost every professional award and she’s considered one of the most important poets of the twentieth century. Throughout her career she also wrote reviews and essays, including liner notes for Muhammed Ali’s I Am the Greatest!  She never married, living in the same Brooklyn apartment with her ailing mother for over three decades. After her mother’s death she returned to Greenwich Village and continued to write, becoming a celebrity in her trademark hat and cape. 

Select collections by Marianne Moore:

Poems, 1921

Observations, 1924

Selected Poems, 1935

The Pangolin and Other Verse, 1936

What Are Years, 1941

Nevertheless, 1944

A Face, 1949

Collected Poems, 1951

Predilections: Literary Essays, 1955

Like a Bulwark, 1956

Idiosyncrasy and Technique, 1958

The Marianne Moore Reader, 1961

Eight Poems, 1962

Books about Marianne Moore:

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, by Linda Leavell

Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions, by Bonnie Costello

Marianne Moore: The Poetry of Engagement, by Grace Schulman

Sonia Turk Delauney 1885--1979

Sonia Turk Delauney 1885--1979

oil on birch panel, 20 x 20", 2017

Delauney was born Sarah Stern, but changed her name to Terk, the surname of the aunt and uncle who raised her.  She moved to Paris in 1910 to study art and married French artist Robert Delauney; together they become a power couple of the avant-garde. They explored Oprphism, an approach to painting that emphasized abstract forms with light and color. For Sonia, it extended to the design work for which she is best known, including fabrics, textiles, pottery, stage sets and even cars. During World War I, the Delauneys lived in Spain and Portugal and Sonia completed commissions for the Ballets Russes and interior design projects. She collaborated with Tristan Tzara of the Dada and Surrealist groups, creating “poem dresses” and costumes for one of his experimental plays. By 1924 she founded her own design firm, Simultaneous Studio, and a fashion house called Sonia. Her prolific career extended into fashion, film, carpets and furniture. During World War II she concealed her Jewish identity to protect her family and Robert died in 1941. Sonia continued to promote his art while turning her career back to painting. In 1964 she had a solo retrospective at the Louvre, the first of its kind for a living female artist. She made art until the very end, and her hands were covered in the paint she used the morning she died, just weeks after her eighty-sixth birthday.

Recommended books about Sonia Terk Delauney:

Sonia Delauney: Art into Fashion, by Diana Vreeland

Sonia Delauney: The Life of an Artist, by Stanley Baron and Jacques Damase

Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delauney, by Petra Timmer

Anna Akhmatova, 1889--1966

Anna Akhmatova, 1889--1966

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Akhmatova was the pen name of poet Anna Gorenko. When she was 20 she married fellow Acmeist poet Nikolai Gumilyoy, and they travelled to Paris in 1920, where Akhmatova met the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani and the two began an affair that lasted until her final return to Russia in 1911.  He created dozens of drawings of her and she wrote a poem expressing her love for him. Akhamatova’s life in Stalinist Russia was extremely difficult. For decades her work was condemned and she was labeled as an enemy. Though divorced, Gumilyov was executed, their son spent almost twenty years imprisoned, and her third husband, art scholar Nikolai Punin, died while in prison camp. Her early love poems, including her first published book, Evening, are very different from her later works. Requiem, a poem she wrote in secret and considered her most powerful in its description of the people’s suffering under Stalin, wasn’t published in its entirety until 1987.  She continued working until her death of heart failure in 1966 and her works have been widely translated. The Anna Akhmatova Literary and Memorial Museum was founded in 1989.

Collections of Anna Akhmatova’s poetry

Evening

A Stranger to Heaven and Earth

My Half Century

Rosary

The World That Causes Death’s Defeat: Poems of Memory

White Flock

Requiem and Poem Without a Hero

You Will Hear Thunder

Final Meeting

Recommended books about Anna Akhmatova:

Anna Akhmatova: Poet and Prophet, by Roberta Reeder

A Poetic Pilgrimage, by Amanda Haight

Anna Akhmatova and Her Circle: by Patricia Beriozkina

Akhmatova in Paris—an opera by Bruno Mantovani

Romaine Brooks, 1874--1970

Romaine Brooks, 1874--1970

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Brooks was an American heiress whose life was haunted by the abuse she endured growing up with a mentally unstable mother and brother. She was able to break ties with her family at age 21 and moved to Rome to study art. She eventually found independence and acceptance in Paris, where she established her reputation as a figurative painter. Most of her subject matter features prominent women of the avant-garde, including numerous portraits of Ida Rubenstein, her partner of several years. In 1916 Brooks became involved with Natalie Clifford Barney and their sometimes-tempestuous relationship would endure for the rest of their lives. Brooks never followed trends, and was not concerned with fame or financial success. Her artistic output slowed as she aged and she became more reclusive, then estranged from Barney in her final years in Paris where she died alone. Her paintings have found renewed appreciation as cultural documents and for their frank representation of gender and female sexuality.

Major works by Romaine Brooks:

The One Who is Legion or A.D.’s Afterlife, illustrations, collaboration with Natalie Clifford Barney

No Happy Memories, Romaine Brooks (unpublished memoir)

Recommended books about Romaine Brooks:

Natalie and Romaine, by Diana Souhami

Between Me and Life: A Biography of Romaine Brooks, by Meryle Secrest

Amazons in the Drawing Room: The Art of Romaine Brooks, by Whitney Chadwick

Women of the Left Bank: Paris 1900—1940, by Shari Benstock

Natalie Clifford Barney 1876--1972

Natalie Clifford Barney 1876--1972

oil on wood birch panel, 10 x 10", 2017

Barney is a legendary part of the avant-garde in Paris where she opened her home for weekly salons that became a famous gathering place of art and literary figures for almost 60 years. A native of Dayton, Ohio, her wealthy family had ties to Cincinnati, the home of her mother, Alice Pike Barney, who was an eccentric socialite, patron of the arts and amateur painter.  Barney was openly gay from a young age, and was a fearless advocate for living one’s truth. In her early twenties she published her first collection of love poems about women. Barney’s many liaisons over the years provided inspiration for most of her writing. Her relationship with the American painter Romaine Brooks became her most meaningful, and continued for half a century. Barney was an avid supporter of women writers and created the Women’s Academy in the late 1920s to honor female literary figures omitted from the French Academy. Honorees included Radclyffe Hall, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Colette, Mina Loy, and Djuna Barnes.  During World War II, Barney stayed with Brooks in Europe, living in Italy at the risk of deportation to a concentration camp. Once the war ended, Barney returned to Paris alone and resumed her salon. In her final years Barney lost the lease to her home and moved with a friend to an apartment where she died at the age of ninety-six.   

Works by Natalie Clifford Barney:

Some Portrait-Sonnets of Women

The One Who is Legion

 A Perilous Advantage

Adventures of the Mind

Recommended books about Natalie Clifford Barney:

Natalie and Romaine, by Diana Souhami

Amazons in the Drawing Room: The Art of Romaine Brooks, by Whitney Chadwick

Women of the Left Bank: Paris 1900—1940, by Shari Benstock

Betty  Parsons 1900--1982

Betty Parsons 1900--1982

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2017

Parsons was born into a wealthy New York family but was disinherited after her short marriage ended in divorce. She lived in Paris throughout the 1920s, studying art and moving in avant-garde circles that included other American expatriate artists and writers such as Gertrude Stein, Natalie Clifford Barney and Janet Flanner. By the mid 1930s she returned to New York and continued pursuing her art. To earn a living she found employment directing galleries, and built a reputation as an influential art dealer, known for her discerning eye for modern art. In 1946 she opened her namesake gallery on East 57th Street in Manhattan. It was here she set the trend for gallery design with bare floors, clean white walls and brighter lighting to allow the artwork to speak for itself. She was instrumental in promoting the careers of many high-profile artists, but she championed the work of emerging artists, including many women. She insisted she never took an artist’s gender into consideration and she supported the work of female artists at a time when they were often not recognized. Parson’s partnership with the art critic Rosalind Carter lasted almost three decades and she continued making art until the very end when she died of a stroke in her Long Island studio.

Books about Betty Parsons:

Betty Parsons: Artist, Dealer, Collector, by Lee Hall

Radclyffe Hall, 1880--1943

Radclyffe Hall, 1880--1943

oil on birch panel, 10 x 10", 2016
 

Hall was an author and poet, best known for her third novel, The Well of Loneliness, regarded as a ground-breaking work of lesbian literature and just one of her eight novels to overtly explore this theme. It gained popularity when British authorities made it the subject of an obscenity trial. Though it contained no profanities or graphic descriptions, the court ordered it banned in Great Britain. Hall had a lonely childhood but eventually inherited her father’s fortune, allowing her to travel and find independence. In doing so, she quit using her first name Marguerite, and published her first two volumes of poetry. She also began a decade-long relationship with the British singer Mabel Batten, who gave her the nickname John. After Batten’s death she began a lifelong relationship with sculptor Una Troubridge, who was influential to Hall as she became a writer, publishing her first novel in 1924. Her writing covers a broad range, including religious and comedic themes. Hall’s life ended at just 63, after a battle with colon cancer.

Major works by Radclyffe Hall:

The Well of Loneliness

Adam’s Breed

A Saturday Life

The Unlit Lamp

A Sheaf of Verses: Poems

The Forge

 

Janet Flanner 1892-1978

Janet Flanner 1892-1978

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2017

Flanner was from Indianapolis and spent two years at the University of Chicago. She got her start in journalism as the first movie critic for the Indianapolis Star. Through a marriage of convenience, she moved to New York City where she met her lifelong partner and fellow journalist Solita Solano.  Flanner moved to Paris in the 1920s, becoming part of the expatriate community of writers and a leading figure in the group of women affiliated with Gertrude Stein and Natalie Clifford Barney. In 1925 she published her column, “Letter from Paris” as the Paris correspondent in newly launched The New Yorker, an American weekly magazine founded by Harold Ross. Written under her pen name Genêt, the column became a popular feature of the publication until 1975.  Her witty and insightful prose is often credited with establishing the magazine’s style. Through her writing Flanner introduced American readers to works by important European artists, authors, musicians, and cultural events. She also covered socio-political topics including a profile of Hitler’s rise to power and later the trials of Nuremberg. She returned to New York after World War II and focused on stories about the Soviet invasion and the Suez Crisis. She received a National Book Award and a Legion of Honor from the French government.

Works by Janet Flanner:

The Cubical City

 Men and Monuments

 Janet Flanner’s World: Uncollected Writings 1932–1975

 Paris Was Yesterday, 1925–1939

Paris Journal, 1965–1971

Darlinghissima

Recommended books and films about Janet Flanner:

Janet, My Mother and Me: A Memoir of Growing Up with Janet Flanner and Natalie Danesi Murray, by William Murray

Published in Paris: American and British Writers, Printers and Publishers in Paris, 1920—1939, by Hugh D. Ford

Mabel Dodge Luhan 1879--1962

Mabel Dodge Luhan 1879--1962

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2017

Mabel Dodge Luhan was a wealthy patron of the arts who became part of the art and literary circles in Greenwich Village, Paris, and Provincetown before moving to Taos, New Mexico, where she realized her vision of starting an arts colony. Luhan was instrumental in mounting the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, which was the first U.S. exhibition of modern European art. By 1916 she was a contributing writer to art and literary journals and a syndicated columnist. Her colorful life led her around the world, and along the way she hosted friends that included Gertrude Stein, Emma Goldman, Willa Cather, D.H. Lawrence and Aldous Huxley. After her fourth and final marriage to Tony Luhan, a Native American from Taos Pueblo, she purchased the property that would become home in 1919. Tony helped build the adobe structure that would continue to expand over the years and ultimately become both a home and a destination for artists and writers. Today the Mabel Dodge Luhan House is an important cultural landmark. It continues to attract visitors as a hotel and museum.

Recommended books by Mabel Dodge Luhan:

Intimate Memories, the Autobiography Series of Mabel Dodge Luhan

Lorenzo in Taos

Winter in Taos

Taos and Its Artists

Edge of Taos Desert

Sketch of Pan Yuliang

Sketch of Pan Yuliang

graphite and pastel on panel, 2015

Sketch of Berenice Abbott

Sketch of Berenice Abbott

graphite and acrylic on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Sketch of Romaine Brooks

Sketch of Romaine Brooks

graphite on panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Sketch of Marianne Moore

Sketch of Marianne Moore

graphite on panel, 12 x 12", 2016

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Peggy Guggenheim, 1898--1979

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Guggenheim was an avid collector of modern art whose colorful life often eclipses the significant contributions she made. In addition to the galleries she established, she provided financial support to numerous artists and writers, bought and sold their work, rescued art from the Nazis, and amassed one of the leading modern art collections of the early to mid twentieth century.  Born into a wealthy New York family, her father Benjamin Guggenheim went down with the Titanic, leaving his family a sizable fortune. Peggy moved to Paris with her first husband, American artist and writer Laurence Vail, and their two children. She became part of the city’s art and literary community and for about seven years she purchased a vast amount of modernist work. Once the Nazis invaded Paris, she fled to safety in New York. In 1941 she married her second husband, German artist Max Ernst. She launched The Art of This Century Gallery, making it an influential force for modern art in the U.S. and she was pivotal in promoting the careers of many artists who would find fame and success. By 1947, after a second divorce, she closed the gallery and moved to Italy, making her home in a large palazzo along Venice’s Grand Canal for the next 30 years. Before her death she donated the home and art collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, founded by her uncle. It was eventually opened to the public as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, an important museum of modern art.

Recommended books and films about Guggenheim:

Confessions of an Art Addict, by Peggy Guggenheim

Out of This Century: The Informal Memoirs of Peggy Guggenheim

Art Lover: A Biography of Peggy Guggenheim, by Anton Gill

Mistress of Modernism: The Life of Peggy Guggenheim, by Mary V. Dearborn

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, a documentary by Lisa Immordino Vreeland

www.guggenheim-venice.it

Pan Yuliang, 1895--1977

oil on birch panel, 16 x 16", 2015

Born Zhang Yuliang, Pan’s parents died when she was very young, and by the age of 14 her uncle sold her to a brothel.  When she was about twenty, a customs official bought her freedom and she became his second wife. They moved to Shanghai where she studied painting at the Shanghai Fine Arts School, becoming its first female student. After graduation she continued her studies in France and Italy. When she returned to China in 1929 she was celebrated as the first woman artist to paint in the European style and she accepted a position as art professor at Central University of Nanjing. She remained in China for seven years and her works were presented in a number of solo exhibitions. Many of Pan’s paintings experiment with both Chinese and Western painting techniques and motifs. She often painted female nudes and she captured herself in numerous self-portraits.  Her subject matter was sometimes viewed as controversial, even labeled as depraved by the more conservative critics in China. She eventually returned to Paris, where she taught and continued painting for 40 years until her death.

 

Recommended books and films about or inspired by Pan Yuliang:

 Rewriting Modernism: Three Women Artists in Twentieth-Century China, by Phyllis Teo

Selection of Pan Yu-liang's Works, by Ben She

 A Soul Haunted by Painting, a biopic starring Gong Li and directed by Zhang Yimou

The Painter from Shanghai: A Novel by Jennifer Cody Epstein (fictional account of her life)

 www.artofpanyuliang.org

 

Meret Oppenheim, 1913--1985

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Oppenheim was a painter and sculptor who moved to Paris while still in her teens. Her work explored dream-like imagery, gaining her acceptance as an integral part of the Surrealists. Most of her works from this period were assemblages, as she combined unrelated objects into singular, sculptural works that referenced domesticity and gender. Her fur-covered teacup, Object (The Luncheon in Fur), became the ultimate surrealist artifact and created a sensation in 1936 when it made its debut. It was purchased by The Museum of Modern Art to become the first work by a female artist to enter its collection. After her success at such a young age, Oppenheim worked to dispel the notion that it was merely a fluke, but with the growing threat of Nazism, she returned to Switzerland. For almost twenty years she struggled with depression, which lead her to Carl Jung for psychoanalysis, though he determined her condition to be “youthful disorientation.” By the mid-1950s she threw herself back into art, becoming an outspoken advocate for women’s rights in the process. Over the course of three decades she created a diverse body of work that included performance pieces, sculpture, jewelry, painting, furniture and artist books featuring her poetry and illustrations. Her papers are held in the Swiss National Library.

Recommended books and films about Méret Oppenheim:

Méret Oppenheim: Beyond the Teacup, by Jacqueline Burkhardt

Méret Oppenheim: Defiance in the ace of Freedom, by Bice Curiger

www.meret-oppenheim.com

Simone de Beauvoir 1908--1986

oil on birch panel, 10 x 10", 2015

De Beauvoir was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the twentieth century, though she didn’t consider herself a philosopher. Her work doesn’t readily fall within the scope of modernism, connecting more to contemporary feminist theory, but she was part of the group of French existentialists and explored its themes in her work.  Her writing spanned to fiction, ethics, politics and memoir, but it was her revolutionary The Second Sex that gave a powerful voice to women’s oppressive status. She determined that “One is not born, but rather, becomes a woman,” and the book had a lasting impact on the contemporary women’s movement. Beauvoir did not label herself a feminist until later in life, becoming an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and joining the French Women’s Rights League. During World War II, her work was targeted by the Vichy regime and she was dismissed from her teaching position. Along with her partner in life, French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, she engaged in resistance activities.  With the end of the war, she and Sartre were part of the group of French intellectuals that included Albert Camus and André Malraux, and they established Modern Times, a journal to share their views regarding French society. In her later years Beauvoir reflected on mortality, detailing the death of her mother in A Very Easy Death and examining the elderly in Old Age.  She and Sartre had an unconventional relationship, but they remained each other’s staunchest supporters until the end. She posthumously honored him a year after his death in A Farewell to Sartre and died in 1986.  They share a grave in the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.

Major works by Simone de Beauvoir:

The Second Sex

 All Men are Mortal

 The Mandarins

 The Blood of Others

 She Came to Stay

 The Ethics of Ambiguity

 Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (memoir)

Recommended books about Simone de Beauvoir:

Simone de Beauvoir: Philosophy, and Feminism, by Nancy Bauer

A Dangerous Liaison: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, by Carole Seymour-Jones

Ada "Bricktop" Smith, 1894--1984

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Smith is known as Bricktop, a nickname inspired by her bright red hair. She is best remembered as the owner and host of the legendary Parisian nightclub that bore her name. Smith was a celebrated performer whose career began in Chicago at the age of five. She continued to sing and dance in jazz and vaudeville revues across the country, leading her to Paris in 1924. There she quickly became an influential part of the city’s vibrant jazz scene, and she established her own club, Chez Bricktop’s. It became an important destination for leading musicians and performers such as Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Smith’s patrons and friends included many artists and writers. Cole Porter composed a song for her and both Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot wrote about her. Chez Bricktop played an iconic role in the Parisian jazz age of the 1920s, but it also served as a welcoming refuge for African Americans who came to France during the interwar years. With World War II, Smith closed her clubs and moved to New York, though later reopened in Mexico City. After launching her final location in Rome, she retired in 1961 and moved back to the U.S. where she continued to perform until her death.

Works by Ada Bricktop Smith:

Bricktop by Bricktop, autobiography with James Haskins

Leonora Carrington, 1917--2011

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Carrington was the rebellious daughter of a wealthy British family and became one of the female artists identified with the Surrealists. She left for Paris with German artist Max Ernst and they spent several years together in France until he was imprisoned as an enemy alien in 1939. By 1940 Carrington fled to Spain where she was placed in an asylum for supposedly making threats to kill Hitler, but she later managed to escape and documented this traumatic experience in her short memoir, Down Below. She ended up in New York then Mexico City, which became her permanent home for more than half a century. She married photographer Emericko Weisz, a Hungarian Jewish refugee who settled in Mexico after his family members were killed in a concentration camp. The couple had two sons and their lives were intertwined with the avant-garde of both Europe and Mexico, including the Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Carrington’s work is often linked to her close friends Remedios Varo and Kati Horna, and the three women sometimes collaborated. Like Carrington, both were exiles from Europe and artists exploring similar themes such as alchemy, folklore, magic, memory and dreams. Though she is best known for her paintings, for which she has an enduring and devoted following, Carrington was a prolific multi media artist and writer. She created large sculptures and masks, murals, hats, lithographs, poems, and costume designs. Her experimental novels stay true to the evocative surrealist imagery that fueled her visual art. She was also an activist for women’s rights and a co-founder of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico in the 1970s. She died in Mexico City, a month after her ninety-fourth birthday.

Works by Leonora Carrington:

The Hearing Trumpet

The Seventh Horse and Other Tales

House of Fear

Down Below

The Oval Lady

The Stone Door

The Mexican Years : 1943-1985

Recommended books and films about Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art, by Susan Aberth

The Flowering of the Crone: Another Reality, documentary by Ally Acker

www.leocarrington.com

Dorothea Tanning, 1910--2012

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Tanning was a painter whose work was profoundly influenced by the Surrealists. She briefly had formal art training while living in Chicago but moved to New York in the mid-1930s. By the time she visited Paris, most of the artists and writers had already fled due to the rise of Nazism. Her long, prolific career is often closely aligned with the work of her husband, German artist Max Ernst. The two met in New York when he was still married to the gallerist Peggy Guggenheim, but by the mid-1940s they were married, living in Sedona, Arizona, and later in France. Their partnership lasted until Ernst’s death in 1976 and Tanning moved back to Manhattan. She continued working, becoming even more productive in her later years. Though her painting style shifted throughout her life, moving from representational forms to more ambiguous abstractions, her imagery remained evocative of the dream-like scenes that shaped her early work.  She was primarily a painter but spent a number of years exploring sculpture, and as she grew older she avidly pursued writing. Her poetry was published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and two editions of Best Poems. Tanning’s long life spanned over a century.

Works by Dorothea Tanning:

Birthday, her first memoir

Between Lives: An Artist and Her World, her second memoir

A Table of Content: Poems

 Chasm, a novel

Recommended books about Dorothea Tanning:

Dorothea Tanning, by Jean-Christophe Bailly, Robert C. Morgan

Dorothea Tanning: Insomnias, by Charles Stuckey and Richard Howard

www.dorotheatanning.org

Berenice Abbott, 1898--1991

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Abbott was an influential pioneer of photography and a native of Springfield, Ohio. She briefly studied journalism at the Ohio State University but left for New York’s Greenwich Village when she was just nineteen. In her early twenties she moved to Paris to become a sculptor, taking a job as Man Ray’s studio assistant for income. Through his training and encouragement she developed her unique eye as a photographer and eventually opened her own studio. She immediately became one of the leading portrait photographers of the Parisian avant-garde, with subjects who included James Joyce, Jean Cocteau, Janet Flanner, Jane Heap, and Djuna Barnes. By 1929 Abbott returned to New York where she found the city in a rapid state of change, inspiring her series Changing New York, a photography project to document old buildings before they disappeared and the new modern construction that took its place. The ambitious undertaking became part of a position she later held with the Federal Art Project, resulting in over 300 photographs. Abbott’s interest in science extended to her photography work and she experimented with stroboscopic lights to photographically trace an object’s trajectory while in motion. She also invented a camera for enlarging, became photo editor of Science Illustrated, and worked with MIT. For three decades Abbott lived with art critic Elizabeth McCausland, who died in 1965. Abbott lived another quarter century, famously stating, “I am so fascinated with this century, it will help keep me alive. I’ll be there until the last minute, fighting.”

Works by and about Berenice Abbott:

Photography and Science

 Guide to Better Photography

The View Camera Made Simple

 Berenice Abbott: Changing New York

Berenice Abbott: Documenting Science

 Physics

Changing New York is now held in the public domain and available through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/collections/changing-new-york#/?tab=about

 Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century— a documentary by Kay Weaver and Martha Wheelok

Lotte Jacobi, 1896--1990

oil on birch panel, 16 x 16", 2015

Jacobi was born into a family of photographers that dated back to her great-grandfather. After completing her studies, she joined her father’s successful photography studio in Berlin. She was influenced by the city’s vibrant avant-garde, which included artists like Max Pechstein, László Maholy-Nagy and Käthe Kollwitz, whose portraits she was able to photograph. Jacobi was only the second woman to be granted official permission to photograph throughout the Soviet Union, doing so on her own for six months. Her return to Germany coincided with Hitler’s rise to power and she was targeted for being Jewish. She had a son from her first marriage, and the two of them escaped, settling in New York City where she opened a photography studio and took commercial assignments to make ends meet. She continued to explore photography’s artistic potential and by the 1950s she began her series of photogenics, which were abstract and landscape images created without a camera. In the U.S. she married her second husband, the German writer and publisher, Erich Reiss. After his death, Jacobi moved to rural New Hampshire where she opened her own studio and continued to work, enjoying a wave of renewed appreciation for her work in the 1980s. In her later years she continued to travel and was active in the Democratic Party. The Lotte Jacobi Papers are held at the University of New Hampshire.

Recommended reading about Lotte Jacobi:

Atelier Lotte Jacobi: Berlin / New York, by Marion Beckers and Elisabeth Moortgat

Gisèle Freund, 1908--2000

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Freund was from a wealthy family in Berlin. Her father collected art and encouraged her interest in photography at a young age. While at university in Frankfurt, she photographed a rally against the National Socialist Government, and a year later Hitler became chancellor. Freund was Jewish and a vocal activist against the Nazi party, and in 1933 became one of the many German refugees who escaped to France. She settled in Paris and pursued doctoral studies at the Sorbonne, writing a controversial dissertation that was later published by Adrienne Monnier, the owner of the bookstore, La Maison des Amis des Livres.  Freund photographed many prominent art and literary figures of the period, including James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Frida Kahlo, Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Woolf.  She was one of the first photographers in France to use color film in the late 1930s. With the Nazi’s arrival in France, Freund once again fled, this time for Argentina and later Mexico. She became a well-travelled photo journalist, capturing people and events for publications like Time and Life magazines. Though she’s often best known for her iconic portraits, she believed her most important images were those that bore witness to social injustice and human suffering around the world. She returned to Paris in the 1950s, giving up photography in the mid-1980s to devote herself to reading and scholarship.

Works by Giséle Freund:

James Joyce in Paris, His final years

Photography and Society

The World in My Camera

Giséle Freund, Photographer

 The Poetry of the Portrait: Photographs of Writers and Artists

Books about Giséle Freund:

You Have Seen Their Faces: Giséle Freund, Walter Benjamin and Margaret Bourke-White as Headhunters, by M. Kay Flavell

The World in Giséle Freund’s Lens, by Hilton Kramer

www.gisele-freund.com

Alma Thomas, 1891--1978

oil on birch panel, 16 x 16", 2016

Thomas was part of the expressionist color field movement of the mid-twentieth century, though her artistic career began in the early part of the century. As a young girl her family left the racial violence of Georgia and settled in Washington D.C. She became one of the first graduates of Howard University’s art department in the early 1920s, studying under Loïs Mailou Jones, who encouraged Thomas to move away from representational work in favor of abstraction. Thomas received a master’s degree in art education from Columbia University and was a devoted junior high school art teacher for over 35 years. She was instrumental in founding the Barnett Aden Gallery, one of the first galleries in the U.S. dedicated to the work of black artists. Her art career didn’t really begin until her late sixties, when she retired from teaching and dedicated herself to painting full time. She became the first African American woman artist to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art. Her painting Resurrection was placed in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama, becoming the first work of art by an African American woman to become part of its permanent collection. Her work has received renewed interest in recent years and has been featured in major retrospectives at The Studio Museum, Harlem, and Skidmore College.

Books about Alma Thomas:

Alma Thomas, by Ian Berry and Lauren Hayes

A Life in Art: Alma Thomas, 1891-1978, by Merry A. Foresta

Claude Cahun, 1894--1954

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Cahun was born Lucy Schwob, but in her early twenties she adopted a gender-neutral pen name. She was the daughter of a newspaper publisher and the niece of symbolist writer Marcel Schwob. As an innovative artist Cahun explored Surrealism and blended multi-media works of art with experimental writing and photography. She often collaborated with her life-long partner and stepsister Marcel Moore, who was a designer and illustrator, and both were active with the Surrealists in Paris. Cahun’s photographs and collages are self-portraiture, allowing her to explore the boundaries of gender and identity through costumes and personas that represent her as a cast of unique characters. By 1937 Cahun and Moore fled Paris and settled in the Channel Islands, but by 1940 the islands became the only British territory invaded by the Germans. From their home in Jersey, off the coast of Normandy, the women, who were both Jewish, risked their lives and formed a secret resistance, utilizing a variety of creative methods to transmit anti-Nazi messages during the occupation. Cahun didn’t live to be as old as Moore (who committed suicide at the age of 89) because her health drastically suffered after the women were caught and imprisoned. Cahun never sought fame, but she is viewed today as an artist far ahead of her time.  Her work has been part of major exhibitions, including one curated by David Bowie in 2007.  The Jersery Heritage holds the largest collection of the couple’s art and writing.

Works by Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore:

Disavowels or Cancelled Confessions, with Marcel Moore

Don’t Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore

Recommended books and films about Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore:

Claude Cahun: A Sensual Politic of Photography by Gen Doy

Claude Cahun: The Soldier with No Name, by Gavin James Bower

Lover Other, documentary about Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, by Barbara Hammer

Djuna Barnes, 1892--1982

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Barnes was a trailblazer, first as a journalist in New York and later as a writer in Paris. As a journalist the stories she covered drew attention to social injustice, including the mistreatment of domestic help and the force-feeding of suffragettes who went on hunger strike. To accurately describe this experience, she had doctors perform the procedure on her. The articles she wrote were often accompanied by her unique pen and ink illustrations, and she liked to sketch people from all walks of life. Barnes arrived in Paris in her late thirties and she quickly became a respected part of the literary community, with writers such as James Joyce championing her work. She also became friends with other American women expats, including Natalie Clifford Barney and Peggy Guggenheim. During this period, she began a long-term affair with the artist Thelma Wood. Their relationship was immortalized in Nightwood, the 1936 novel Barnes wrote in the aftermath of their breakup. It’s regarded as an iconic work of lesbian and feminist literature and it established Barnes as an important modernist writer. She left Paris after ten years and eventually moved back to New York, settling into a small Greenwich Village apartment where she spent the last four decades of her life. She became reclusive, writing little during the 1940s but resumed in the 1950s.  She has been influential to many twentieth century writers and there has been renewed interest in her work.

Major works by Djuna Barnes:

Nightwood

Ladies Almanack

Ryder

The Antiphon

Recommended books about Djuna Barnes:

Accidental Aloofness': Barnes, Loy, and Modernism, by Carolyn Burke

Following Djuna: Women Lovers and the Erotics of Loss, by Carolyn Allen

Djuna: The Formidable Miss Barnes, by Andrew Field

Gertrude Stein, 1874--1946

oil on birch panel, 24 x 24", 2016

Stein is regarded as one of the most influential figures of modern art and literature. She was an innovative writer, poet, art patron, and collector of modern art. In 1903 she dropped out of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to join her brother Leo in Paris and quickly became a permanent fixture of the Parisian avant-garde.  The siblings were avid supporters of modern art, amassing a large collection while promoting the careers of numerous artists, especially the work of Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso.  Gertrude met her partner Alice B. Toklas in 1907 and the two women hosted weekly salons at their home, creating a legendary hub for many of the artists and writers active in Paris before and after World War I.  Stein’s writing explored her sexuality, especially in early works, Q.E.D. and Tender Buttons and many of her novels and poems experiment with automatic writing. She was from a wealthy Jewish family in Oakland, California, and attended Radcliffe College, studying psychology under William James. These studies later influenced her stream of consciousness method of writing. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which was actually Stein’s own biography, was her first best selling work. She returned to America for book tours but remained with Toklas in France throughout World War II. Their enduring partnership lasted until Stein’s death from cancer in 1946, and was notably described in the works of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Archives of Stein’s work are held in collections at Yale, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Maryland, and the New York Public Library.

Major works by Gertrude Stein:

Q.E.D.

Tender Buttons

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

 Everybody’s Autobiography

 Picasso

 Wars I Have Seen

 Works about Gertrude Stein:

 Everybody Who Was Anybody: A Biography of Gertrude Stein, by Janet Hobbhouse

 Women of the Left Bank, by Shari Benstock

 Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein, by Marty Martin

Alice B. Toklas, 1877--1967

oil on birch panel, 10 x 10", 2016

Toklas, along with Gertrude Stein, was an integral part of the modernist Parisian avant-garde. The two women met the day Toklas arrived in Paris from San Francisco in 1907, and their partnership endured through both World Wars until Stein’s death in 1946. Through the weekly salons they hosted, their home become an important hub for notable writers and artists of the period, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso and Matisse. While Stein focused on writing, Toklas supported her as secretary and an editor, and also managed household responsibilities. In her later years she wrote her memoirs and published The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, which was immortalized in the 1960s for a particular brownie recipe. Toklas died just a week shy of her ninetieth birthday.

Works by Alice B. Toklas:

The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook

What is Remembered

Staying on Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas

Murder in the Kitchen

Mina Loy, 1882--1966

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Born Mina Gertrude Löwy to a Hungarian Jewish father and an English mother, Loy’s broad range of skills and pursuits led her into many creative realms.  While studying art in London, she met her first husband, but instead of taking his name, she just altered her own surname. They moved to Paris to pursue art, though it was not a happy marriage, even after children and a move to Florence. While in Italy Loy got involved with the Italian Futurists, who became integral in shaping her views of feminist politics that became her 1914 Feminist Manifesto. In 1916 she lived in New York, becoming an important part of the Greenwich Village avant-garde community, which included friendships with Jane Heap, Djuna Barnes, and William Carlos Williams. She married her second husband, Swiss poet Arthur Craven, in 1918 but shortly after their wedding, he went missing at sea, never to be seen again. Loy returned to Paris and published her first volume of poetry and then her novel. With World War II she fled to New York and continued to write, exploring personal themes. She relocated to Colorado in the 1950s to live with her daughters. In her later years she wrote little but turned her attention back to art, creating paintings and mixed media works utilizing throwaway items. She died at the age of 84 in Aspen.

Works by Mina Loy:

The Feminist Manifesto

The Lost Lunar Baedeker

Insel

Recommended books and films about Mina Loy:

Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy, by Carolyn Burke

Mina Loy: American Modernist Poet, by Virginia M. Kouidis

Sexing the Manifesto: Mina Loy, Feminism and Futurism, by Natalya Lusty

Margaret Anderson, 1886--1973

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Anderson founded the American avant-garde magazine, The Little Review as a way to showcase the modernist writers and artists of the U.S. and Europe.  Along with her partner, writer Jane Heap, the women co-edited and published the magazine from 1914—1929. Anderson attended Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, (now part of Miami University) and later moved to Chicago where she worked as a book critic before launching The Little Review. She put all of her resources into the publication, and even lived in a tent along the beach of Lake Michigan when she ran out of money. American expatriate poet Ezra Pound served as European editor, and the magazine relocated to San Francisco, then New York’s Greenwich Village before its final issue was published. Anderson took risks in her commitment to the experimental, and sometimes controversial, artists and writers she featured. In 1921 she and Heap were convicted of obscenity for the publication of chapters from James Joyce’s Ulyssess. Others she published were sometimes seen as subversive, including Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Emma Goldman and Marcel Duchamp. By the time she moved to France in the 1920s, Anderson was part of a spiritual group that followed the teachings of the mystic philosopher known as Gurdjieff. She studied with him until his death and wrote about his teachings.  Andersons’s archives are held at Yale University.

Works by Margaret Anderson:

The Little Review Anthology

 The Unknowable Gurdjieff

My Thirty Years War

The Fiery Fountains

 The Strange Necessity

Recommended books and films about Margaret Anderson:

Ladies of the Rope: Gurdjieff's Special Left Bank Women's Group, by William Patrick Patterson

Pound/the Little Review: The Letters of Ezra Pound to Margaret Anderson : the Little Review Correspondence, By Ezra Pound, Thomas L. Scott, Melvin J. Friedman, Jackson R. Bryer

America—Meet Modernism! Women of the Little Magazine Movement, by Barbara Probst Solomon

Four Lives in Paris, by Hugh Ford

Beyond Imagining: Margaret Anderson and The Little Review, documentary by Wendy Weinberg

Marianne Moore, 1887--1972

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Moore was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet raised in Missouri and Pennsylvania. She earned a BA from Bryn Mawr College before working as a teacher. In 1918 she moved to New York with her mother and became part of the circle of poets active in Greenwich Village. Her innovative poems were highly regarded by fellow poets like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, and she quickly earned awards and recognition for her published work.  In 1921 Moore’s first volume of poetry came to publication through imagist poets, Hilda Doolittle and Bryher, with a second volume, Observations, in 1924. The following year she became editor of the American art and literary journal, The Dial but continued to work as a part-time librarian for financial support. Her poetry has won almost every professional award and she’s considered one of the most important poets of the twentieth century. Throughout her career she also wrote reviews and essays, including liner notes for Muhammed Ali’s I Am the Greatest!  She never married, living in the same Brooklyn apartment with her ailing mother for over three decades. After her mother’s death she returned to Greenwich Village and continued to write, becoming a celebrity in her trademark hat and cape. 

Select collections by Marianne Moore:

Poems, 1921

Observations, 1924

Selected Poems, 1935

The Pangolin and Other Verse, 1936

What Are Years, 1941

Nevertheless, 1944

A Face, 1949

Collected Poems, 1951

Predilections: Literary Essays, 1955

Like a Bulwark, 1956

Idiosyncrasy and Technique, 1958

The Marianne Moore Reader, 1961

Eight Poems, 1962

Books about Marianne Moore:

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, by Linda Leavell

Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions, by Bonnie Costello

Marianne Moore: The Poetry of Engagement, by Grace Schulman

Sonia Turk Delauney 1885--1979

oil on birch panel, 20 x 20", 2017

Delauney was born Sarah Stern, but changed her name to Terk, the surname of the aunt and uncle who raised her.  She moved to Paris in 1910 to study art and married French artist Robert Delauney; together they become a power couple of the avant-garde. They explored Oprphism, an approach to painting that emphasized abstract forms with light and color. For Sonia, it extended to the design work for which she is best known, including fabrics, textiles, pottery, stage sets and even cars. During World War I, the Delauneys lived in Spain and Portugal and Sonia completed commissions for the Ballets Russes and interior design projects. She collaborated with Tristan Tzara of the Dada and Surrealist groups, creating “poem dresses” and costumes for one of his experimental plays. By 1924 she founded her own design firm, Simultaneous Studio, and a fashion house called Sonia. Her prolific career extended into fashion, film, carpets and furniture. During World War II she concealed her Jewish identity to protect her family and Robert died in 1941. Sonia continued to promote his art while turning her career back to painting. In 1964 she had a solo retrospective at the Louvre, the first of its kind for a living female artist. She made art until the very end, and her hands were covered in the paint she used the morning she died, just weeks after her eighty-sixth birthday.

Recommended books about Sonia Terk Delauney:

Sonia Delauney: Art into Fashion, by Diana Vreeland

Sonia Delauney: The Life of an Artist, by Stanley Baron and Jacques Damase

Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delauney, by Petra Timmer

Anna Akhmatova, 1889--1966

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2015

Akhmatova was the pen name of poet Anna Gorenko. When she was 20 she married fellow Acmeist poet Nikolai Gumilyoy, and they travelled to Paris in 1920, where Akhmatova met the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani and the two began an affair that lasted until her final return to Russia in 1911.  He created dozens of drawings of her and she wrote a poem expressing her love for him. Akhamatova’s life in Stalinist Russia was extremely difficult. For decades her work was condemned and she was labeled as an enemy. Though divorced, Gumilyov was executed, their son spent almost twenty years imprisoned, and her third husband, art scholar Nikolai Punin, died while in prison camp. Her early love poems, including her first published book, Evening, are very different from her later works. Requiem, a poem she wrote in secret and considered her most powerful in its description of the people’s suffering under Stalin, wasn’t published in its entirety until 1987.  She continued working until her death of heart failure in 1966 and her works have been widely translated. The Anna Akhmatova Literary and Memorial Museum was founded in 1989.

Collections of Anna Akhmatova’s poetry

Evening

A Stranger to Heaven and Earth

My Half Century

Rosary

The World That Causes Death’s Defeat: Poems of Memory

White Flock

Requiem and Poem Without a Hero

You Will Hear Thunder

Final Meeting

Recommended books about Anna Akhmatova:

Anna Akhmatova: Poet and Prophet, by Roberta Reeder

A Poetic Pilgrimage, by Amanda Haight

Anna Akhmatova and Her Circle: by Patricia Beriozkina

Akhmatova in Paris—an opera by Bruno Mantovani

Romaine Brooks, 1874--1970

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Brooks was an American heiress whose life was haunted by the abuse she endured growing up with a mentally unstable mother and brother. She was able to break ties with her family at age 21 and moved to Rome to study art. She eventually found independence and acceptance in Paris, where she established her reputation as a figurative painter. Most of her subject matter features prominent women of the avant-garde, including numerous portraits of Ida Rubenstein, her partner of several years. In 1916 Brooks became involved with Natalie Clifford Barney and their sometimes-tempestuous relationship would endure for the rest of their lives. Brooks never followed trends, and was not concerned with fame or financial success. Her artistic output slowed as she aged and she became more reclusive, then estranged from Barney in her final years in Paris where she died alone. Her paintings have found renewed appreciation as cultural documents and for their frank representation of gender and female sexuality.

Major works by Romaine Brooks:

The One Who is Legion or A.D.’s Afterlife, illustrations, collaboration with Natalie Clifford Barney

No Happy Memories, Romaine Brooks (unpublished memoir)

Recommended books about Romaine Brooks:

Natalie and Romaine, by Diana Souhami

Between Me and Life: A Biography of Romaine Brooks, by Meryle Secrest

Amazons in the Drawing Room: The Art of Romaine Brooks, by Whitney Chadwick

Women of the Left Bank: Paris 1900—1940, by Shari Benstock

Natalie Clifford Barney 1876--1972

oil on wood birch panel, 10 x 10", 2017

Barney is a legendary part of the avant-garde in Paris where she opened her home for weekly salons that became a famous gathering place of art and literary figures for almost 60 years. A native of Dayton, Ohio, her wealthy family had ties to Cincinnati, the home of her mother, Alice Pike Barney, who was an eccentric socialite, patron of the arts and amateur painter.  Barney was openly gay from a young age, and was a fearless advocate for living one’s truth. In her early twenties she published her first collection of love poems about women. Barney’s many liaisons over the years provided inspiration for most of her writing. Her relationship with the American painter Romaine Brooks became her most meaningful, and continued for half a century. Barney was an avid supporter of women writers and created the Women’s Academy in the late 1920s to honor female literary figures omitted from the French Academy. Honorees included Radclyffe Hall, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Colette, Mina Loy, and Djuna Barnes.  During World War II, Barney stayed with Brooks in Europe, living in Italy at the risk of deportation to a concentration camp. Once the war ended, Barney returned to Paris alone and resumed her salon. In her final years Barney lost the lease to her home and moved with a friend to an apartment where she died at the age of ninety-six.   

Works by Natalie Clifford Barney:

Some Portrait-Sonnets of Women

The One Who is Legion

 A Perilous Advantage

Adventures of the Mind

Recommended books about Natalie Clifford Barney:

Natalie and Romaine, by Diana Souhami

Amazons in the Drawing Room: The Art of Romaine Brooks, by Whitney Chadwick

Women of the Left Bank: Paris 1900—1940, by Shari Benstock

Betty Parsons 1900--1982

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2017

Parsons was born into a wealthy New York family but was disinherited after her short marriage ended in divorce. She lived in Paris throughout the 1920s, studying art and moving in avant-garde circles that included other American expatriate artists and writers such as Gertrude Stein, Natalie Clifford Barney and Janet Flanner. By the mid 1930s she returned to New York and continued pursuing her art. To earn a living she found employment directing galleries, and built a reputation as an influential art dealer, known for her discerning eye for modern art. In 1946 she opened her namesake gallery on East 57th Street in Manhattan. It was here she set the trend for gallery design with bare floors, clean white walls and brighter lighting to allow the artwork to speak for itself. She was instrumental in promoting the careers of many high-profile artists, but she championed the work of emerging artists, including many women. She insisted she never took an artist’s gender into consideration and she supported the work of female artists at a time when they were often not recognized. Parson’s partnership with the art critic Rosalind Carter lasted almost three decades and she continued making art until the very end when she died of a stroke in her Long Island studio.

Books about Betty Parsons:

Betty Parsons: Artist, Dealer, Collector, by Lee Hall

Radclyffe Hall, 1880--1943

oil on birch panel, 10 x 10", 2016
 

Hall was an author and poet, best known for her third novel, The Well of Loneliness, regarded as a ground-breaking work of lesbian literature and just one of her eight novels to overtly explore this theme. It gained popularity when British authorities made it the subject of an obscenity trial. Though it contained no profanities or graphic descriptions, the court ordered it banned in Great Britain. Hall had a lonely childhood but eventually inherited her father’s fortune, allowing her to travel and find independence. In doing so, she quit using her first name Marguerite, and published her first two volumes of poetry. She also began a decade-long relationship with the British singer Mabel Batten, who gave her the nickname John. After Batten’s death she began a lifelong relationship with sculptor Una Troubridge, who was influential to Hall as she became a writer, publishing her first novel in 1924. Her writing covers a broad range, including religious and comedic themes. Hall’s life ended at just 63, after a battle with colon cancer.

Major works by Radclyffe Hall:

The Well of Loneliness

Adam’s Breed

A Saturday Life

The Unlit Lamp

A Sheaf of Verses: Poems

The Forge

 

Janet Flanner 1892-1978

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2017

Flanner was from Indianapolis and spent two years at the University of Chicago. She got her start in journalism as the first movie critic for the Indianapolis Star. Through a marriage of convenience, she moved to New York City where she met her lifelong partner and fellow journalist Solita Solano.  Flanner moved to Paris in the 1920s, becoming part of the expatriate community of writers and a leading figure in the group of women affiliated with Gertrude Stein and Natalie Clifford Barney. In 1925 she published her column, “Letter from Paris” as the Paris correspondent in newly launched The New Yorker, an American weekly magazine founded by Harold Ross. Written under her pen name Genêt, the column became a popular feature of the publication until 1975.  Her witty and insightful prose is often credited with establishing the magazine’s style. Through her writing Flanner introduced American readers to works by important European artists, authors, musicians, and cultural events. She also covered socio-political topics including a profile of Hitler’s rise to power and later the trials of Nuremberg. She returned to New York after World War II and focused on stories about the Soviet invasion and the Suez Crisis. She received a National Book Award and a Legion of Honor from the French government.

Works by Janet Flanner:

The Cubical City

 Men and Monuments

 Janet Flanner’s World: Uncollected Writings 1932–1975

 Paris Was Yesterday, 1925–1939

Paris Journal, 1965–1971

Darlinghissima

Recommended books and films about Janet Flanner:

Janet, My Mother and Me: A Memoir of Growing Up with Janet Flanner and Natalie Danesi Murray, by William Murray

Published in Paris: American and British Writers, Printers and Publishers in Paris, 1920—1939, by Hugh D. Ford

Mabel Dodge Luhan 1879--1962

oil on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2017

Mabel Dodge Luhan was a wealthy patron of the arts who became part of the art and literary circles in Greenwich Village, Paris, and Provincetown before moving to Taos, New Mexico, where she realized her vision of starting an arts colony. Luhan was instrumental in mounting the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, which was the first U.S. exhibition of modern European art. By 1916 she was a contributing writer to art and literary journals and a syndicated columnist. Her colorful life led her around the world, and along the way she hosted friends that included Gertrude Stein, Emma Goldman, Willa Cather, D.H. Lawrence and Aldous Huxley. After her fourth and final marriage to Tony Luhan, a Native American from Taos Pueblo, she purchased the property that would become home in 1919. Tony helped build the adobe structure that would continue to expand over the years and ultimately become both a home and a destination for artists and writers. Today the Mabel Dodge Luhan House is an important cultural landmark. It continues to attract visitors as a hotel and museum.

Recommended books by Mabel Dodge Luhan:

Intimate Memories, the Autobiography Series of Mabel Dodge Luhan

Lorenzo in Taos

Winter in Taos

Taos and Its Artists

Edge of Taos Desert

Sketch of Pan Yuliang

graphite and pastel on panel, 2015

Sketch of Berenice Abbott

graphite and acrylic on birch panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Sketch of Romaine Brooks

graphite on panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Sketch of Marianne Moore

graphite on panel, 12 x 12", 2016

Peggy Guggenheim, 1898--1979
Pan Yuliang, 1895--1977
Meret Oppenheim, 1913--1985
Simone de Beauvoir 1908--1986
Ada "Bricktop" Smith, 1894--1984
Leonora Carrington, 1917--2011
Dorothea Tanning, 1910--2012
Berenice Abbott, 1898--1991
Lotte Jacobi, 1896--1990
Gisèle Freund, 1908--2000
Alma Thomas, 1891--1978
Claude Cahun, 1894--1954
Djuna Barnes, 1892--1982
Gertrude Stein, 1874--1946
Alice B. Toklas, 1877--1967
Mina Loy, 1882--1966
Margaret Anderson, 1886--1973
Marianne Moore, 1887--1972
Sonia Turk Delauney 1885--1979
Anna Akhmatova, 1889--1966
Romaine Brooks, 1874--1970
Natalie Clifford Barney 1876--1972
Betty  Parsons 1900--1982
Radclyffe Hall, 1880--1943
Janet Flanner 1892-1978
Mabel Dodge Luhan 1879--1962
Sketch of Pan Yuliang
Sketch of Berenice Abbott
Sketch of Romaine Brooks
Sketch of Marianne Moore
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