I love to read. I mostly read non-fiction, how to and history books. With COVID I had the opportunity to join a book club and it has been amazing. The Delaware Art Museum has the most amazing book club. It has met virtually since April 2020, the y might be going in-person this month but secretly I hope they do not. Since I joined in July of 2020 I have met some amazing people, the discussions are lively but not unruly. Sometimes it does get heated but after all is said, friends we remain.
The 2020 Reading list since I joined was:
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr- this is one of my favorites. I waited until I read the book before watching the movie and so glad I did. Carr did an amazing job bringing the scene to life. The story was also very moving. This was really a book about healing in my eyes. The funny part was that an atheist was living in the church belfry. Moon was second favorite character after Birkin.
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Durrant. Art was power during the Renaissance. A girl well educated. Discussion of dissecting bodies by Michelangelo, The Painter and others. Art and madness connection. Many versions of love. This was a great book, I could not put it down. Parallels between then and now.... The Mad Monk and Mob Survival.
The Lady in Gold The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Anne-Marie O'Connor. Again, art is a commodity. This piece of art was personal. Interestingly Klimt had 18 children. Klimt died duting the Pandemic of 1918. Some of Adolph Hitler's art portfolios are in the Smithsonian. If Hitler had gotten into art school, would WWII have happened?
The Mabinogion edited by Lady Charlotte Guest. The hardest read on the list, this is a collection of 12th and 13th century Welsh stories. These stories are the first reference to King Arthur. Harry Potter, C S Lewis and Lord of the Rings all draw from The Mabinogion.
Clara and Mr Tiffany by Susan Vreeland. The book covers 1892 to 1908. This book meant a lot to me as a stained glass artist. The details of the work were true to the art. I still feel Clara and the Tiffany Girls did not get the recognition they deserve.
2021 Book List so far:
Possession by A S Byatt. A wonderful book. Paralleled the characters to the people they were researching. The researchers became possessed with the authors. Secrets. Relationships.
Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodore Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination by Brian Jay Johns. I became engrossed with finding out how much the former Geisel homes are worth today! Giant rabbit hole. Geisel studied at Oxford and one of his professors was J R R Tolkien. Did you know that because of the WWII and the threat to California that the Rose Bowl in 1942 was moved to North Carolina? It was shortly after we read this book that some of the Seuss books were pulled off store shelves.
The Other Alcott by Elise Hopper. I have lived in Bedford Massachusetts, the next town over from Concord where the Alcotts lived. May is the heroine in this book. Unlike Little Women where she treated badly by her sister Louisa. Bronson, the father, would not work for money so everything was put on Marmee. It was a good story and we got to see Louis in a different light. Was she mean or just filling in as provider for the family?
Loving Vincent (DVD) this I was was the facilitator for. It was awesome. 125 artists painted the 65,000 paintings that would become the movie. Completely built from Van Gogh's paintings. Rotoscope used for most of the animation, taking live people scenes ad animating them. Only 1000 painting survived the filming. This is the story of Vincent's death. The postman became concerned and followed up on Vincent's last steps. You need to watch this, maybe even twice to get the whole feel for it. You will see famous actors portraying the characters. Just a wonderful piece of artwork in itself.
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. Full of history and detailed history. Violet Brown is a captivating character. Harrison's role models were his mother and Frida. Frida said " History is like a knife cutting through life". This was very good, though at times my mind wandered off to stories I had heard or read about Frida.
Treasured Palaces: Great Writers Visit Great Museums edited by Maggie Fergusson. This is a celebration of the world's museums and revered writers tell us about their tris to their favorite museums. An interesting way to visit far off places.
The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild. A great read. Showing the shady side of the art world, story is about the art that was stolen from Jewish families during WWII in Europe and the stealing of identity to save yourself. I really loved this witty love story hidden in a ruthless art world.
Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem- A Memoir by Daniel R. Day. Not a book I would have ever found. Dapper Dan created fashion for many famous rappers, hip hop artists, boxers and criminals. He became famous for using top designers logos in his work. A real look at Appropriation of Design- intellectual property. A good read and a glimpse of how Harlem grew, that part in itself made the book very worthwhile to read.
Mad Enchantment the Painting of the Water Lilies: Claude Monet and by Ross King. This is the book for this month, will have to wait to hear about later.
Are you an avid reader? Do you like traditional books or digital books? are you in a Book Club? If so where?
Keep reading and keep art in your heART!