A captivating, spirited account of the intense relationship among four artists whose strong personalities and aesthetic ideals drew them together, pulled them apart, and profoundly influenced the very shape of twentieth-century art.
New York, 1921: acclaimed photographer Alfred Stieglitz celebrates the success of his latest exhibition—the centerpiece, a series of nude portraits of his soon-to-be wife, the young Georgia O'Keeffe. The exhibit acts as a turning point for the painter poised to make her entrance into the art scene. There she meets Rebecca Salsbury, the fiancé of Stieglitz’s protégé, Paul Strand, marking the start of a bond between the couples that will last more than a decade and reverberate throughout their lives. In the years that followed, O'Keeffe and Stieglitz become the preeminent couple in American modern art, spurring on each other's creativity. Observing their relationship leads Salsbury to encourage new artistic possibilities for Strand and to rethink her own potential as an artist.
About the Author
CAROLYN BURKE is the author of No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf, Lee Miller: A Life (finalist for the NBCC), and Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy. Born in Sydney, Australia, she now lives in Santa Cruz, California.
"Fascinating, well-told."--Sarah Boxer, The New York Times Book Review
"Fascinating ... compelling ... thoroughly researched and capacious."--Wendy Lesser, The Wall Street Journal
"Deeply researched and richly imagined ... Burke focuses on two marriages in a way that amplifies the personal and artistic lives of a quartet of painters and photographers and magnifies their powerful influence on 20th-century art ... ingenious."--The National Book Review
"[A] sharp-eyed group portrait of two artistic couples ... [Burke depicts] in rich detail the complex interactions among four vibrant people during a seminal era in American culture--a task she accomplishes in astute, lucid prose."--Wendy Smith, The Washington Post
"A fabulous read. A wonderful book."--Diane Johnson
"Expert and enthralling ... illuminates key intimate and historical aspects of the lives of four extraordinarily creative, intrepid, and influential artists to profound effect."--Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
"Seasoned biographer Burke ... chronicles the intertwined lives of four 20th-century influencers who propelled American photography and painting through momentous decades ... solidly researched."--Library Journal
"Intimate and exhaustively researched ... offers detailed insight into one of the most important periods in American art."--Publishers Weekly
"A well-researched account of sensual artists."--Kirkus
“Captivating . . . the relationships of these friends, lovers, protégés, and sometime rivals yield a fascinating four-way chapter in 20th-century American art history.”— Mercury News