"Gerald and Sara Murphy took Paris by storm in the 1920s, inserting themselves into the avant-garde circles of dance, music, and art. Lively and engaging, "Making It New" sheds new light on the European fascination with the Murphys and provides key insights into their life and art."--Cecile Whiting, author of "Pop L.A.: Art and the City in the ...
"Gerald and Sara Murphy took Paris by storm in the 1920s, inserting themselves into the avant-garde circles of dance, music, and art. Lively and engaging, "Making It New" sheds new light on the European fascination with the Murphys and provides key insights into their life and art."--Cecile Whiting, author of "Pop L.A.: Art and the City in the 1960s" "By telling and retelling the story of the Murphys from various viewpoints, "Making It New" aims to be the first comprehensive study of their contribution to Modern Art. This book should be of wide interest to both scholars and general readers."--Elizabeth Hutton Turner, author of "Americans in Paris: Man Ray, Gerald Murphy, Stuart Davis, Alexander Calder"
Fine. Exhibition Catalogue. 4to-over 9¾"-12" tall. xv, 237 pp., illus. (some col. ), bib. notes, index; 28 cm. Issued in connection with an exhibition held July 8 to November 11, 2007, Williams College Museum of Art; February 26 to May 4, 2008, Yale University Art Galler; and June 8 to September 15, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art. Firm binding, clean inside copy. OVERSIZE! No priority/international, except by special arrangement. "Paris in the 1920s--art, literature, the Lost Generation. The glitterati who inhabited this legendary world--F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Man Ray, Dorothy Parker, and a host of others--were members of an intimate circle centered around Sara and Gerald Murphy. The Murphys, who endeavored to make art of their own lives, embodied a predominant theme of the 1920s: life as one would like it to be versus life as it is. Making It New: The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy is a collection of essays examining through images and text the Murphys' influence on a remarkable constellation of artists. It accompanies an exhibition organized by the Williams College Museum of Art and examines, from multiple points of view, the Murphys' artistically adventurous way of life and their ability to confer distinction on everything, from the inconsequential to the grand. The book also explains how this period of enchantment ended and explores Gerald Murphy's abbreviated career as a painter, his artistic legacy, and the complex nature of his motivation and vision. / Deborah Rothschild is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Williams College Museum of Art."-Publisher. CONTENTS: Introduction, by Deborah Rothschild; Remembering Gerald and Sara, by Calvin Tomkins; Masters of the art of living, by Deborah Rothschild; Gallery of paintings by Gerald Murphy; The Murphy closet and the Murphy bed, by Kenneth E. Silver; Concealment of the realities: Gerald Murphy in the theater, by Amanda Vaill; The notebook as sketchbook, by Trevor Winkfield; Gerald Murphy in letters, literature, and life, by Linda Patterson Miller; Les Enfants du jazz: the Murphys and music, by Olivia Mattis; Gerald Murphy: cubist painter, concrete poet, by William Jay Smith; Villa America in context, by Kenneth Wayne; American genius, by Dorothy Kosinski.
Having read Vaill's biography of the Murphy's, "Everybody Was So Young", I was intrigued by this book which is sort of a photographic montage of Sara and Gerald and their live, friends, and art. It's interesting on its own, but works best as an adjunct to the biography. This is a fascinating period in history and this is a couple who were leaders of that period. Anyone interested in this era should enjoy this book.
Jan 22, 2009
(Almost) Everyone Was So Catty
For those who love Sara and Gerald, as I do, this book is a marvelous contribution to their legacy--but also a regrettable exercise in historical debunking.
The pictures of Gerald's art are worth the price of the book alone, and several of the essays- --particularly the one by the sublime Amanda Vaill, author of "Everybody Was So Young"--connect the reader to the charm that made so many people who actually knew the couple regard the fabric of their lives and the warmth of their personal magnetism with awe and love.
But too many of the essays seem bent on revising our picture of Gerald into that of a man tortured by a lack of confidence in his own masculinity. One writer even has the chutzpah to suggest that this extraordinary man was a coward not to come out of the closet. For me, this attitude of condescension smacks of egoistic jealousy.
I revere Gerald Murphy for his generosity, his spirited bonhomie. his charm, and certainly his bravery in the face of life's adversity. If his life was a tragedy, he was the tragic hero.
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