Art Lovers Book Club

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.  

Through the years the club has met over 50 times and welcomed close to 2,000 curious minds to its public meetings.  From the wildlife art of John James Audubon to the cubist masterworks of Pablo Picasso, the Art Lovers Book Club has introduced and enriched participant’s knowledge of a wide range of artists and art movements.

The Art Lovers Book Club meets in either the Museum’s Ottmar Gallery, in its art studios, or via Zoom.  

Free and open to all.  

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UPCOMING MEETING

 

Architects of an American Landscape by Hugh Howard: Saturday, February 24th from 2-4pm

Guest Speaker: Author Hugh Howard

The next Art Lovers Book Club features Architects of an American Landscape – Henry Hobson Richardson, Fredrick Low Olmstead, and the Reimagining of America’s Public and Private Spaces by Hugh Howard.  The meeting will be held on Saturday, February 24th, 2024, from 2-4pm at the Attleboro Arts Museum and the guest speaker will be author Hugh Howard.  Mr. Howard will present and conduct a Q&A.  He will also hold a book signing. This meeting of the Art Lovers Book Club is funded by the ATT-Texins.

 

As the planner of New York’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted is widely remembered as America’s first and finest landscape architect. Henry Hobson Richardson was universally regarded in their era as the nation’s most original and influential architect. The two friends and frequent collaborators met their moment in the post-Civil War years, a time of extraordinary cultural, economic, and social change. They accomplished nothing less than the reimagining of the American landscape. 

 

“An inspired look at two of our nation’s masters. Hugh Howard gets it marvelously right in Architects of an American Landscape.” – The Washington Review of Books

“A readable, intelligently paced dual biography, the literary equivalent of a rolling, Olmstedian greensward.” Alex Beam, – The Wall Street Journal 

Free and open to all – but space is limited.  Reservations are required by February 23rd – 508-222-2644 x10 or office@attleboroartsmuseum.org. 

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LOOKING AHEAD

September 2024: In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper by Lawrence Block.

In Sunlight or In Shadow is an anthology of seventeen stories by Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lee Child, and Robert Olen Butler, among many others – all inspired by the art of Edward Hopper.

  • Meeting: Saturday, September 21st from 2pm – 4pm. 
  • Location: Attleboro Arts Museum, 86 Park Street, Attleboro,MA 
  • RSVP to office@attleboroartsmuseum.org or 508-222-2644 x10 to reserve your spot.  Free and open to all.

 

Guest Speaker: Juliana Roth

Ms. Roth will appear on Zoom and guests will gather at the Museum. She will be connecting to In Sunlight and In Shadow and spotlight Hopper’s wife, Jo Nivision Hopper, and her impact on Edward’s trajectory as an artist.

This event will not be recorded.  

Juliana Roth is a writer, filmmaker, educator, and performer. Born and raised in Nyack, New York, she now lives in New York City where she teaches writing at New York University and the City University of New York – John Jay College of Criminal Justice. As the former Chief Storyteller for the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center, she founded Writing With Hopper, Myths & Legends, and a series of workshops on Jo Nivison Hopper’s legacy: More Than a Muse. For two years, she wrote a local column on Hopper’s childhood archives called “Dispatches from the Archive” for his hometown newspaper, which were later reprinted by the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is the screenwriter of a currently unproduced feature screenplay inspired by the Hopper marriage called Two Comedians. Learn more about her work or get in touch at www.julianaroth.com

 

Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

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Technical equipment for The Art Lovers Book Club is supported in part by a grant from the local cultural councils of Attleboro, North Attleborough and Norton, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

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The following books have been discussed at the Attleboro Arts Museum’s Art Lovers Book Club:

2023

September 2023: All the Beauty in the World – The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me.  Guest Speaker: Author Patrick Bringley. Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

January 2023 (Virtual): Art is a Tyrant: The Unconventional Life of Rosa Bonheur by Catherine Hewitt.  Guest Speaker: Gretchen van Slyke, Professor Emerita of French, University of Vermont. Presentation covered Rosa Bonheur in the context of her century and concentrated on her refusal of heterosexual marriage, her cross-dressing permits, and the education of girls and women in schools and art schools. Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

Bibliography provided by Gretchen van Slyke:

  1. Rosa Bonheur: The Artist’s (Auto)Biography, by Anna Klumpke. Translated from the French, with an introduction, notes, and appendices. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997. Paperback reprint edition, 2001.
  2. “Rebuilding The Bastille: Women’s Dresscode Legislation in the Nineteenth Century.” In Repression and Expression: Literary and Social Coding in NineteenthCentury France, ed. Carrol F. Coates. New York: Peter Lang, 1996, 209219. Download: Rebuilding the Bastille.

2022

November 2022 (Virtual): Plunder: Napoleon’s Theft of Veronese’s Feast by Cynthia Saltzman. Guest Speaker: Pascale Rihouet, PhD, Rhode Island School of Design – Senior lecturer, Theory + History of Art + Design.  Presentation: “Dining with Veronese.” 

July 2022 (Virtual): Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge by Barbara J. Mitnick. Guest Speaker: Mallory Mortillaro, Curator of Collections for the Hartley Dodge Foundation. Mortillaro shared the story of her journey to authenticate a marble bust of Napoleon sculpted by Auguste Rodin. Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

May 2022 (Virtual): The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings by Michael Conforti, James A. Ganz, Neil Harris and Gilbert T. Vincent. Guest Speaker: Michael Rose, art historian, gallerist, writer and gallery manager at the Providence Art Club. Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

January 2022 (Virtual): A Black Gaze – Artists Changing How We See by Tina M. Campt.  Guest Speaker: Artist Crystal Y. Brown-Battle. Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

2021

October 2021 (Virtual): The Night Portrait – A Novel of WWII and Da Vinci’s Italy by Laura Morelli. Guest Speaker: Author Laura Morelli. Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

May 2021 (Virtual): Renoir’s Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon by Catherine Hewitt. Guest Speaker: Kathleen Schultz of The Clark Art Institute. Funded by a gift from ATT-Texins.

March 2021 (Virtual): Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler by Mary Gabriel. Guest Speaker: Helen A. Harrison, the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York. Supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund. 

January 2021 (Virtual): Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios by Valerie Balint. Guest Speaker: Author Valerie Balint. Supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund. 

2020

October 2020 (Virtual) : Monument Man: The Life of Daniel Chester French by Harold Holzer. Guest Speaker: Dana Pilson – Curatorial Researcher, Chesterwood, the former summer home and studio of Daniel Chester French. Supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund. 

January 2020: Spotlight on Frida Kahlo (assorted books). Guest Speaker: Suzanne Scanlan, Senior Lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design, Department of Theory + History of Art + Design. Supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund.

Attendees read:

  • “Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera
  • “Forever Frida” by Kathy Cano-Murillo
  • “Kahlo” by Andrea Kettenmann
  • “Frida” by Barbara Mujica

2019

October 2019: Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Featuring a screening of the documentary Ginerva’s Story. Supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund. 

June 2019: The Art of Rivalry by Sebastian Smee. Guest Speaker: Michael Rose, art historian, gallerist, appraiser and the Gallery Manager at the Providence Art Club. This program was supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund. 

April 2019: Artist Colonies – Assorted books. Guest Speaker: Artist Jane Lincoln, representing 21 in Truro –a group of women artists who annually convene in Truro, MA for a week of retreat, art-making and companionship. Supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund.

Organizers suggested the following books:

  • A Place for the Arts: The MacDowell Colony, 1907-2007by Carter Wiseman
  • Call of the Coast: Art Colonies of New England (1st Edition)by Thomas Andrew Denenberg, Amy Kurtz Lansing and Susan Danly
  • The Good and Simple Life: Artist Colonies in Europe and America by Michael Jacobs

January 2019: Old Masters, New World: America’s Raid on Europe’s Great Pictures by Cynthia Saltzman. Speaker: Suzanne Scanlan, lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design – Department of History of Art and Visual Culture. Supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund. 

2018

October 2018: Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King. Speaker: Artist Andrew Nixon.

June 2018: The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland. Featuring a screening of the short film Bone Wind Fire by Canadian filmmaker and artist Jill Sharpe. This program was presented in partnership with DoubleACS and supported by The Jo and Tony Nyzio Visiting Lecturer Fund. 

April 2018: You Must Change Your Life, The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin by Rachel Corbett. Speaker: Author Rachel Corbett presented and was available for a book signing.  

January 2018: The Life and Art of Maud Lewis: Two short films on Lewis, provided by Canadian author Lance Woolaver, were shown: “Maud Lewis: World Without Shadows,”a short documentary from the National Film Board of Canada, and “The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis,” by Lance Woolaver, also from the National Film Board of Canada.  Book Club organizers suggested:

  • “Maud Lewis – The Heart on the Door” by Lance Woolaver
  • “The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis” by Lance Woolaver
  • “The Painted House of Maud Lewis: Conserving a Folk Art Treasure” by Laurie Hamilton

2017

October 2017: The Auctioneer: Adventures in the Art Trade by Simon de Pury. Speaker: Chris Barber, Deputy Director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts at Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers.  

June 2017: The Art of the Wyeth Family – assorted books. Speaker: Artist Diane Savino provided an egg tempera demonstration – allowing book club guests to view the working methods and medium of Andrew Wyeth and his brother-in-law Peter Hurd.  

April 2017: Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner. Speaker: Renee C. Harding, Professor Fashion Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

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 right: Professor Crenshaw at AAM event on January 28th)

2016

ba3signing_aam_1016

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.

2015

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.

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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.”

2011

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

2010

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

 

 

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