The Attleboro Arts Museum’s Art Lovers Book Club launched in January 2010. A dynamic Museum member proposed this artful Book Club idea and the program was launched on a trial basis. After the success of the first meeting it was clear that the Book Club should live on.
The Art Lovers Book Club meets in the Museum’s Ottmar Gallery from 2 – 4pm.
Free and open to all. Reservations are requested, but not required: 508-222-2644 x10.
Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner.
Guest speaker – Renee C. Harding, Professor Fashion Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
- Saturday, April 29th, 2017
- 2 – 4pm, Free and open to all
- Reservations: 508-222-2644 x10 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner
Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters are sent to a convent orphanage after their mother’s death. The nuns of the order nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that would propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.
Burning with ambition, the petite brunette transforms herself into Coco, by day a hard-working seamstress and by night a singer in a nightclub, where her incandescence draws in a wealthy gentleman who becomes the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.
Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, Coco’s sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As her reputation spreads, her couture business explodes, taking her into rarefied circles of society and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her always.
An enthralling novel about an entirely self-made woman, Mademoiselle Chanel tells the true story of Coco Chanel’s extraordinary ambition, passion, and artistic vision.
Guest Speaker: Renee C. Harding, Professor Fashion Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Renee C. Harding has worked at Roytex, designing private label men’s active wear and sportswear for Pierre Cardin, Bill Blass and various mass merchants. She also previously worked at Bernard Chaus Sport in the missy knits division. Renee holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a MFA from Academy of Art University.
- June 25th, 2017: Attendees are encouraged to read “a piece of the world” by Christina Baker Kline as well as supporting texts on the Wyeth Family artists. Guest speaker – TBA
The following books have been discussed at the Attleboro Arts Museum’s Art Lovers Book Club:
January 2017: Discovering the Great Masters: The Art Lover’s Guide to Understanding Symbols in Paintings by Paul Crenshaw. Speaker: Author Paul Crenshaw – Associate Professor, Department of Art History; Chair, Department of Art and Art History, Providence College. (Photo: Professor Crenshaw at AAM event on January 28th)
September 2016: The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro. Author B. A. Shapiro returned to the Art Lovers Book Club and presented on her new novel – The Muralist. (Photo: B. A. Shapiro at Museum’s book signing)
June 2016: Tulipomania – The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower & The Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by Mike Dash. Speaker: Carol Govan of the New England Society of Botanical Artists (NESBA) presented on the history of botanical art and illustration – with a focus on the tulip.
April 2016: Rembrandt’s Whore, a novel by Silvie Matton. Screening of the BBC documentary “The Power of Art – Rembrandt.”
January 2016: Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay. Speaker: Laura Johnson of Historic New England presented on the history of gems, Victorian gem language and the language of flowers in jewelry.
September 2015: Georgia O’Keeffe by Nancy J. Scott. Speaker: Author Nancy J. Scott, Associate Professor of Art History, Brandeis University.
June 2015: The Lady in Gold, The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Anne-Marie O’Connor. Speaker: Author Anne-Marie O’Connor.
March 2015: The Painter’s Chair: George Washington and the Making of American Art by Hugh Howard. Speaker: Margaret O’Connor – Executive Director, Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum.
January 2015: The Unknown Rockwell: A Portrait of Two American Families by James A. Buddy Edgerton and Nan O’Brien. Speaker: Mary Lou Hannon of ArtMatters.
September 2014: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland. Speaker: Jeanne M. Pelletier, Preservation Advisor, Campaign for the Ayer Mansion, Inc. Presentation: At Home with Louis Comfort Tiffany – The Residential Work of a Master Craftsman.
June 2014: Looking Into Van Gogh. Van Gogh’s Letters edited by H. Anna Suh, and/or, The Yellow House – Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Provence by Martin Gayford. Screening of the BBC documentary – Van Gogh.
April 2014: Focus on Collecting and the Story of Herb & Dorothy Vogel. Participants read “To Collect In Earnest: The Life and Work of Electra Havemeyer Webb” by Lauren B. Hewes and Celia Y. Oliver, and other suggested texts. Speaker: Alison W. Chang – Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the RISD Museum in Providence, RI. Ms. Chang has curated Fifty Works for Rhode Island: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. Related program: Screening of the documentary Herb & Dorothy 50 x50 by Megumi Sasaki.
January 2014: “The Art Forger“ by B.A. Shapiro. A presentation, discussion and book signing by the author. Download praise for The Art Forger
September 2013: “The Lost Painting: The Quest For a Caravaggio Masterpiece” by Jonathan Harr. Speaker: Suzanne Scanlan – Lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design, Department of History of Art and Visual Culture. Presentation: “The Seventeenth-Century Arc of, and Controversies Surrounding, Caravaggio’s Life and Work.”
May/June 2013: “Tom & Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Jackson Pollock & Thomas Hart Benton” by Henry Adams. A presentation, discussion and book signing by author Henry Adams.
April 2013: The book club focused on photography – attendees selected their own books on a particular photographer or school of photography.
Speaker: Frances Jakubek, Associate Director of the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA. Presentation: Photographers that have greatly influenced the speaker’s personal work and her work at the Griffin Museum.
January 2013: “Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists” by Anthony M. Amore. A presentation and discussion by author Anthony Amore, Head of Security and Chief Investigator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Attendees also read:
- “The Forger’s Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century” by Edward Dolnick
- “The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren” by Jonathan Lopez
September 2012: “The Greater Journey – Americans in Paris” by David McCullough
Speaker: Gretchen Sinnett, Assistant Professor in Art + Design at Salem State University. Presentation: “The Work of Artist Mary Cassatt.”
May 2012: “John James Audubon – The Making of an American” by Richard Rhodes
Speaker: Julianne Mehegan of the Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center, Canton, MA.
March 2012: “Near Andersonville” by Peter H. Wood & Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory by Holzer & Neely, Jr.
Speaker: Civil War historian Frank Daly.
January 2012: “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson
Speaker: Alan Banks, Supervisory Park Ranger of the F. L. Olmsted National Historic Site. Presentation: “The Life & Artistic Contributions of Fredrick Law Olmstead.”
October 2011: “Grant Wood, A Life” by R. Tripp Evans
Speaker: Author Tripp Evans was our guest speaker, and was available for a book signing. Books were sold in the Museum’s gift shop.
April 2011: “Aesop’s Mirror” by Maryalice Huggins
Speaker: Author Maryalice Huggins. Ms. Huggins was available for a book signing. Books were sold in the Museum’s gift shop.
January 2011: Spotlight on John Singer Sargent
- “Sargent’s Daughters” by Erica E. Hirshler
- “I Am Madame X” by Gloria Diliberto
- “Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X” by Deborah Davis
Screening: Sickert and Sargent: Britain’s Masters of Modern Art, by Waldemar Januszczak
Nov 2010: “The Monuments Men” by Robert Edsel
Speaker: Dr. Joyce Ballad, Professor of History, Bristol Community College
July 2010: “The Secret Supper” by Javier Sierra
Screening: The Private Life of a Masterpiece, BBC documentary
April 2010: “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan
Speaker: Nancy Allison, Founder, Newbridge Architecture
Jan 2010: “Picasso’s War” by Russell Martin
Speaker: Ann Murray, (Former) Wheaton College Professor of Art and Director of the Watson & Gallery