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We read and enjoy discussing all matters artistic! Fiction, non fiction, biography have all been included on our reading lists. Sometimes we plan to read books to coincide with local art exhibitions, thus deepening our appreciation of a particular artist's work. 

Here's what we read in 2016:

1. "Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Their Friendship" by Jack Flam

2. "The Improbability of Love" by Hannah Rothschild

3. "The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired", by Francine Prose

4. "All Passion Spent", by Vita Sackville West

5. Session on Art Criticism: Selections from "Nothing If Not Critical" by Robert Hughes, "Magicians and Charlatans", by Jed Perl, "Still Looking: Essays on American Art" by John Updike and "Let's See: Writings on Art From the New Yorker" by Peter Schjeldahl. We will read interesting critical essays on various artists of the ages with a special emphasis on contemporary art. 

6. "The Lady In Gold, The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch- Bauer"

Here's what we will be reading in 2017:

1.  Frida, by Barbara Mujica, Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 6:30 PM

This is the story of the passionate life of amazing artist Frida Kahlo as told from the perspective of her jealous sister, Cristina. This tale of historical fiction  fictionalized account based on historic fact) by author Barbara Mujica, Professor of Spanish at Georgetown University, has been translated into 17 languages and has been a best seller in the United states, Latin America and Europe. This reading should pair nicely with the Philadelphia Museum of Art's exhibition, Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910-1950, on view from 10/25/16 to 1/8/17. 

https://www.amazon.com/Frida-Novel-Kahlo-Barbara-Mujica/dp/1590207521

http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/840.html

2. The Painted Word, by Tom Wolfe, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 6:30 PM

Author Tom Wolfe (Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff and more) explains the conundrum of modern art from Abstract Expressionism to Pop, Op, Minimal and Conceptual from his particular perspective. It takes a writer to show us how to understand art that needs a written explanation!

https://www.amazon.com/Painted-Word-Tom-Wolfe/dp/0312427581

3. Artist of the Floating World, Kashuo Ishiguro, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6:30 PM

Ishiguro, author of the Booker Prize winning novel, Remains of the Day, captured the 1986 Whitbread Prize for this compelling story of an artist, trained to produce works of beauty reflecting the values of traditional Japanese culture, then becomes a propagandist to Imperial Japan during WW2. Is propaganda legitimate art? What happens to the soul of an artist after making such a conversion? After the war is over, will he ever be able to produce works of beauty again?

https://www.amazon.com/Artist-Floating-World-Kazuo-Ishiguro/dp/0679722661

4. History of Beauty, edited by Umberto Eco, Wednesday, Wednesday, September 21, 2017, 6:30 PM

Umberto Eco, author of the renowned The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, leads the reader on a tour of the history of the idea of beauty in Western culture. Almost every page of this book has a beautiful color plate of the sculpture, paintings, frescos, etc. that illustrate the themes. Eco provides an excellent introduction to the aesthetics of beauty.

https://www.amazon.com/History-Beauty-Umberto-Eco/dp/0847835308

5. How to Be Both, by Ali Smith, Wednesday, November 16, 2017, 6:30 PM

Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, this novel (which experiments with literary form in the same way that Modernist visual artists experiment with form) presents 2 stories: one featuring the maturation of Italian Renaissance painter Francesco del Cossa and the other presenting a young woman who is grieving the recent loss of her mother, an arts and culture critic, who had in life become fascinated by the work of del Cossa. The novel's structure weaves time periods and perspectives. Some editions place the Renaissance artist's rendition first and some place the modern day tale first leading to differing views and outcomes. This book promises a most interesting discussion!

https://www.amazon.com/How-be-both-Ali-Smith/dp/0307275256

6. The Artist's Voice: Talks With 17 Modern Artists, by Katherine Kuh, Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 6:30 PM

Art historian, critic, curator, and dealer Katherine Kuh interviews 17 modern artists, providing surprising insights into their creative work lives, philosophies, influences and experiences. Do the artists see themselves the same way as the critics, curators, historians and public do? Did Marcel Duchamp intend to shock viewers with Nude Descending a Staircase? Was Edward Hopper thinking about loneliness and alienation of the modern world when he painted his iconic images? What influenced his style? Let's see what the artists have to say about this and more.

https://www.amazon.com/Artists-Voice-Talks-Seventeen-Modern/dp/0306809052

Here's what we read in 2016:

1. "Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Their Friendship" by Jack Flam

2. "The Improbability of Love" by Hannah Rothschild

3. "The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired", by Francine Prose

4. "All Passion Spent", by Vita Sackville West

5. Session on Art Criticism: Selections from "Nothing If Not Critical" by Robert Hughes, "Magicians and Charlatans", by Jed Perl, "Still Looking: Essays on American Art" by John Updike and "Let's See: Writings on Art From the New Yorker" by Peter Schjeldahl. We will read interesting critical essays on various artists of the ages with a special emphasis on contemporary art. 

6. "The Lady In Gold, The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch- Bauer"

Here's what we read in 2015:

1. William Glackens and the Eight:  The Artists Who Freed American Art, by Ira Glackens

2. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

3.  Sargent's Daughters, by Erica Hirschler

4. The Golden Child, by Penelope Fitzgerald

5. The Art Spirit, by Robert Henri

6. Priceless, by Robert Wittman

Here's what we read for the year 2014:

1. The Forger's Spell, by Edward Dolnick 

2. The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

3. The Painter's Chair, George Washington and The Making of American Art, by Hugh Howard

4. The Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner

5.  Color, A Natural History of the Palette, by Victoria Findlay

6. The Gravity of Birds, by Tracy Guzeman

Here's what we read in 2013:

1. Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles, by Francine Prose

2. A Month In The Country by J.L. Carr

3. The Masterpiece  by Emile Zola

4. The Architecture of Happiness  by Alain de Botton

5. The Lacuna  by Barbara Kingsolver

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