Other Voices

10 Fascinating Facts About Isabella Stewart Gardner

Chasing Beauty: The Life of Isabella Stewart Gardner (Mariner Books, March 2024), award–winning author Natalie Dystra delivers the definitive biographical portrait of the ambitious and innovative­—and until now misunderstood—woman behind one of America’s most important art collections.

With access to all archival holdings at the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum—including thousands of digitized and newly accessible letters and other unpublished records—as well as original sources in Paris, Venice, and more. Dykstra brings Isabella to life as never before. Read More→


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Sophie Calle and Double Game: Is Artistic Voyeurism Ethical and Relevant?

In 1992, the American writer Paul Auster used the French conceptual artist Sophie Calle as a thinly disguised character in his novel, Leviathan. Unlike Calle, who famously plunders the lives of others in service of her art, he asked her permission to do so. Delighted to be a character in a novel, she agreed.

And so this became a kind of game that ultimately takes the cliché of art imitating life — and vice versa  — to dizzying new heights.

In his description of the character, who he calls Maria, Auster accurately describes some of Calle’s real life projects, and in other cases, he makes up projects that sound as if they could have been done by here. His description of the fictional Maria gives the viewer insight into the real Sophie Calle: Read More→


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10 Fascinating Facts About Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, French Portraitist

Susanne Dunlap, author of the historical novel The Portraitist: A Novel of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (She Writes Press, 2022) presents ten fascinating facts about one of the two most important French female artists of the period before, during, and after the French Revolution.

About The Portraitist:

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard is ready to draw the line between art and politics in The Portraitist. Award-winning author Susanne Dunlap paints a historical retelling of real-life Adélaïe Labille-Guiard, a female portraitist and painter, and her earnest battle to win recognition as an artist in 18th-century Paris amidst the French Revolution. Read More→


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“Rosefrail and Fair” — Lucia Joyce, Dancer Daughter of James Joyce

This introduction to the life of Lucia Joyce, a professional dancer and the talented, troubled daughter of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle is excerpted from Everybody I Can Think of Ever: Meetings That Made the Avant-Garde  by Francis Booth, reprinted by permission.

Sylvia Beach, publisher of Ulysses, wrote in Shakespeare and Company about James Joyce’s family:

“I was very fond of them all: Giorgio, with his gruffness, hiding or trying to hide his feelings; Lucia, the humorous one – neither of them happy in the strange circumstances in which they grow up; and Nora, the wife and mother, who scolded them all, including her husband, for their shiftlessness.” Read More→


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Dorothea Lange’s Splendid Circle: Women Photographers in 1920s San Francisco

By 1918, the year Dorothea Lange arrived in San Francisco, trailblazing photographers Imogen Cunningham, Anne Brigman, and Consuelo Kanaga were busy doing phenomenal work there. They were Bohemians, bent on living their lives on their own terms.

San Francisco in the 1920s was a fantastically exciting place for women artists. The 1906 Earthquake and Fires had displaced the photography establishment, which wound up creating opportunities for women. Lange was able to find friends, colleagues, and mentors. This community emboldened and transformed her.

Jasmin Darznik, author of The Bohemians, a novel of Dorothea Lange’s early career (Ballantine Books, 2021), introduces our readers to this trailblazing American documentary photographer of the early 20th century, and those in her circle. Read More→


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