An in-depth guide to Venetian culture and history through its houses of worship
Begun in 2014 by Ecuadorian-born, New York–based photographer Alejandro Merizalde (born 1979), 100 Churches of Venice and the Lagoon documents religious temples from every sestiere of Venice and the smaller towns of the Venetian lagoon. What began as a small challenge of photographing just the Grand Canal’s churches quickly grew in scope to include every neighborhood in the city. From Murano to Burano and Torcello, from Pellestrina to Chioggia, and deep into the northern lagoon to areas such as Lio Piccolo and Treporti, Merizalde photographed their respective churches whether they remained in service or were deconsecrated or repurposed. The layout of these images emphasizes the facade, relying on subtle repetitions for aesthetic continuity and balance. An essay by Marina Gasparini Lagrange combines her experience living in Venice with a poignant historical perspective.
By Alejandro Merizalde with contributions by Marina Gasparini Lagrange
Published by Damiani, 2021
9.06 x 9.06 inches
The first encompassing publication on the work of the groundbreaking American artist Adam Pendleton (Gardner Artist-in-Residence, 2008)
Adam Pendleton's original and powerful body of work has been described as the embodiment of a new era. His multifaceted projects, which include painting, collage, film, and publishing, re-contextualize historical and theoretical positions on abstraction, blackness, and the avant-garde. Working predominantly in black-and-white, Pendleton often creates 'total works' that envelop viewers and push the limits of contemporary discourse.Written by Adrienne Edwards, Alec Mapes Frances, Andréa Picard
An artist's book exploring the language of protest
A new artist's book by Adam Pendleton (born 1984), As Heavy as Sculpture follows Pendleton's 2021 installation of the same title, exhibited at the New Museum in New York. The book collects, repeats and processes over 80 source collages, incorporating drawings, sketches, writing and marks, often in combination with images.
Much of the language in the collages is drawn from the protests against police brutality that swept the US in 2020: Pendleton has transcribed slogans sprayed on walls and windows, combining them with his own improvised language as well as photographs of art objects and artifacts (sculptures, masks and figures). The work points to the poetic pressure that uprisings place on language itself, compressing it in some cases into the barest of forms: simple sequences like “ACAB” or “1312,” further reducible to the elements “A, B, C,” “1, 2, 3.”
In parallel with these operations of decomposition and recomposition, the collages in As Heavy as Sculpture have been duplicated, laid out across 30 sheets and folded into book signatures, creating new displacements and cuts. This folding is in effect a chance operation, a procedure of recombination and translation, resulting in arrangements of images not planned out in advance.
By Adam Pendleton
Published by D.A.P., 2021
6.5 x 8.74 inches
The sequel to Pendleton's acclaimed Black Dada Reader, compiling an anti-canon of radical experimentation and thought
In 2011, artist Adam Pendleton (born 1984) assembled Black Dada Reader, a compendium of texts, documents and positions that elucidated a practice and ethos of "Black Dada." Resembling a school course reader, the book was a spiral-bound series of photocopies and collages, originally intended only for personal reference, and eventually distributed informally to friends and colleagues. The contents―an unlikely mix of Hugo Ball, W.E.B. Du Bois, Adrian Piper, Gertrude Stein, Sun Ra, Stokely Carmichael, Gilles Deleuze―formed a kind of experimental canon, realized through what Pendleton calls "radical juxtaposition."
By Thomas Hirschhorn, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Joan Jonas Lorraine O'Grady, and Joan Retallack
Published by DABA/Koenig Books, 2021
8.03 x 1.81 x 10.63 inches
In this primer accompanying Adam Pendleton’s MoMA show, the artist behind “Black Dada” fuses musical counterpoint with the aesthetics of protest
Adam Pendleton draws on visual culture and historical archives to explore the ways in which context influences meaning. Referencing a broad range of artistic and cultural currents―including Dada, Minimalism and Black Power―Pendleton reconfigures words, forms and images to provoke critical questioning.
Published to accompany Pendleton's installation at the Museum of Modern Art, this reader serves as a primer and handbook to the exhibition and features a number of photocopied textual and visual sources, many of which directly relate to the concept, content and programming of the exhibition. The project questions the notion of the museum as repository and addresses the influence that mass movements, including those of the last decade such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy, could have on the exhibition as form. Drawing on the work of figures as disparate as Glenn Gould, Michael Hardt and Ruby Sales, Who Is Queen? seeks to explore the nexus of abstraction and politics.
Edited by Alec Mapes-Frances with introduction by Stuart Comer, and contributions by Adrienne Edwards, Mario Gooden, Danielle A. Jackson, Lynne Tillman
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2021
This volume draws on cultural geography, museology, gender studies, and art history to explore nineteenth-century attitudes towards the American landscape in the broadest sense. The subjects range from the Transcendentalism of Emerson and Thoreau, and Winslow Homer's illustrations of contemporary women, to dioramas of prehistoric life in the American Museum of Natural History. The "invention" of the Grand Canyon as a tourist destination and even the films of John Ford are used to illustrate the Victorian era's obsessions with nature. These six essays were originally presented at a symposium organized by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.Edited by T. J. Jackson Lears
$21.95This publication re-evaluates the artistic achievements of the Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860-1920). Bringing his subjects to life with broad brushstrokes, Zorn experimented with different subjects and styles, painting portraits of high society, self-portraits and fellow artists' in their studios, and genre scenes of modern Parisian and rural Swedish life. Moreover, he was crucial in disseminating Swedish art, connecting Scandinavia with Western Europe and with the United States. If we follow the breathless media coverage during Zorn's multiple stays in the States, we might well come to the conclusion that he seduced the nation. America was entirely taken by this "Prince of Art," who exhibited widely, showcasing his sweeping portraits of socialites, unashamed nudes, and brilliant genre scenes.
Two authorities on popular culture reveal the ways in which art can enhance mood and enrich lives - now available in paperback
This passionate, thought-provoking, often funny, and always-accessible book proposes a new way of looking at art, suggesting that it can be useful, relevant, and therapeutic. Through practical examples, the world-renowned authors argue that certain great works of art have clues as to how to manage the tensions and confusions of modern life. Chapters on love, nature, money, and politics show how art can help with many common difficulties, from forging good relationships to coming to terms with mortality.Written by Alain de Botton & John Armstrong
Advice, strong opinions, and personal revelations by the world's greatest artists - exclusively researched for this new book
Featuring the most inspirational and insightful collection of quotes by artists through the ages and across the globe, this exquisite keepsake is the ideal book for artists, collectors, and armchair enthusiasts. As painters, sculptors, photographers, and other visual artists see and experience the world through a unique lens, Art Is the Highest Form of Hope & Other Quotes by Artists shows that their life lessons, private revelations, and frank, often irreverent, opinions can guide us all.
This unique and carefully curated book, packed with totally original research, is a go-to resource for revealing thoughts and personal advice on subjects as diverse as beauty, color, light, chance, discipline, money troubles, originality, fear of failure, danger of success, the creative process, and more – all messages transmitted from the artistic trenches.Created and edited by Phaidon Editors
$26.00Blood, Bones, & Butter meets A Devil in the Kitchen in this funny, fierce, and poignant memoir by world-renowned chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef judge Barbara Lynch (Gardner Artist-in-Residence, 2014), recounting her rise from a hard-knocks South Boston childhood to culinary stardom.
Beyond Words accompanies a collaborative exhibition held at the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College; Harvard University’s Houghton Library; and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Featuring illuminated manuscripts from nineteen Boston-area institutions, this catalog provides a sweeping overview of the history of the book in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and serves as a guide to their production, illumination, functions, and readership. Entries by eighty-five international experts document, discuss, and reproduce more than two hundred and sixty manuscripts and early printed books, many of them little known before now. Beyond Words also explores the history of collecting such books in Boston, an uncharted chapter in the history of American taste.
Of broad appeal to scholars and amateur enthusiasts alike, this catalog documents one of the most ambitious exhibitions of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts ever to take place in North America.
Edited by Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Lisa Fagin Davis, and Anne-Marie Eze
Published by McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2016
9 x 1.1 x 12 inches
London-born, Delhi-based Bharti Kher is becoming known for her evocative, layered sculptures and paintings, which explore identity and multiplicity. Featured here is a series inspired by a 1928 autopsy of a blue sperm whale, which Kher has spun into imagery conflating Indian traditions with gothic, punk and camp elements.Text by Ranjit Hoskote
‘I like the word ‘unpleasant’’ says UK-born, Indian contemporary artist Bharti Kher, whose heterogeneous oeuvre of work comprises painting, sculpture and installation.
She works primarily with representations of the female body and plays with the varied roles of women in society and culture. In her work from the last twenty years, time and again we see the motif of the bhindi, the dot painted on the forehead between the eyebrows that comes from Hindu tradition.
Chimera, the title of the exhibition at the Kunsthaus Pasquart in Biel, can be understood in relation to mythology as well as genetics. Bharti Kher sees her artistic practice as the search for the chimera, and in her works she hovers on the dividing line between reality and illusion.
Her monumental pieces encompass ideas of identity, social roles and gender. In interplay with clear references to the anatomy of humans and animals, they trigger strong emotions in observers such as alarm, confusion, shock or amusement.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Bharti Kher: Chimeras at Kunsthaus Centre d’art Pasquart Biel/Bienne (26 June – 28 August 2018).Written by Aveek Sen, Susan Silas, Chrysanne Stathacos
7.8 x 10 inches
$36.00Bharti Kher, 2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Gardner, was enriched and recharged by spending time thinking and living amongst the Museum’s extraordinary building and art treasures.
Published on occasion of the exhibition of the same name held at the Freud Museum from September to November 2016, ‘This Breathing House’ offers an intimate view of Indian artist Bharti Kher‘s installation in Sigmund Freud’s final home in London.
Following a foreword from the museum’s director, the essay by Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator of the Hayward Gallery, explores Kher’s work, its themes and dialogue with its setting. The essay, separated into enumerated sections, unfolds the vivid and history-laden artworks, interpreting their forms while also leaving room for interpretation. Quotes feature from the artist herself as well as Sigmund and Anna Freud, Gaston Bachelard, Georges Didi-Huberman and Maggie Nelson among others. Replete with installation views as well as detail shots of individual works, the publication reads like a thoughtful measured walkthrough of the exhibition itself.Text by Stephanie Rosentha, foreword by Carol Seigel
The Book of the Bird celebrates the bird in art with an elegant, international collection of paintings, illustrations and photographs, featuring all kinds of birds from the smallest tits and wrens to colorful exotics.
Interspersed though the illustrations are short texts giving background to the pictures and information on bird species. This is the perfect gift for all bird lovers.
The life of Sandro Botticelli coincided with the close of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th. This historical moment saw the transition from the rule of the Medici—whose name is synonymous with patronage of the arts—to the fanatical reforms of the Dominican Savonarola.
The catalog that accompanied the exhibition Botticelli's Witness: Changing Styles in a Changing Florence—on view at the Gardner Museum from January 24 to April 6, 1997—features major paintings from all decades of Botticelli's career, along with works by his followers and contemporaries. Within this catalog, three experts explore the relationship between Botticelli's distinct yet changing visual "voice" and the turbulent Florence society of his day.
By Hillard T. Goldfarb, James Hankins, and Laurence Kanter, with preface by former Director Anne Hawley
Published by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1997
11.5 x 0.4 x 9 inches
This richly illustrated book provides the visual keys for any art lover to decode and understand the iconography, tenets, sites, and rituals of the Catholic faith through accessible analysis of its visual and material culture
Focusing on a carefully curated selection of Catholic art and artifacts, this volume explores the influence of iconography and the mystic power of a range of ritual objects. Expert Suzanna Ivanic identifies hidden visual symbols in paintings and examines them close-up, building a catalog of key symbols for readers to use to interpret Catholic art and culture.
Catholica is organized into three sections―”Tenet,” “Locus,” and “Spiritus”―each with three themed subdivisions. Part one introduces the centerpieces of the faith, surveying symbolism in the artistic representation of the holy family, apostles, and saints in stories from scripture. The second part examines places of worship, identifying the essential elements of the cathedral and presenting evocative images of roadside shrines. The third part explores celebrations and traditions, in addition to personal devotional tools and jewelry.
For each of the nine central themes of the faith, introductory text is followed by pages that look in-depth at paintings and artifacts, identifying and explaining the symbolism and stories depicted. As the book progresses, readers build up their knowledge of the entire Catholic visual code―the symbols that define Catholic practice, the attributes of the saints, the parts of the cathedral―allowing them to interpret all Catholic imagery and objects wherever they find them and consequently to better understand the tenets, sites, and rituals of this faith.
By Suzanna Ivanic
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2022
7 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
A new compilation of Susan Herbert’s enchanting feline reimaginings of famous paintings brought to life in pop-ups.
Cats in Art celebrates the work of Susan Herbert, whose paintings have been delighting cat fans and culture buffs for decades. Her trademark blend of humor and feline enthusiasm makes her art instantly recognizable to cat lovers everywhere. Since her first collection, The Cats Gallery of Art, was published in 1990, her work has appeared in numerous books that feature cats in iconic works of art, scenes from operas, Shakespearean plays, and movies.
In this new compilation of her work, renowned paper engineer Corina Fletcher has transformed six of Herbert’s most-loved paintings into three- dimensional works of art, including Herbert’s interpretations of classic paintings by Jan van Eyck, Sandro Botticelli, Diego Velázquez, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, John Everett Millais, and Édouard Manet. Each of these clever and charming feline portraits is accompanied by engaging and lively text, which illuminates the drama unfolding on the page.
Charming and fun, this book of pop-ups will delight fans of Susan Herbert as well as those encountering her work for the first time.
By Corina Fletcher and Susan Herbert
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
6.6 x 1 x 8.2 inches
This absorbing book explores the crown jewel of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s collection of rare books and manuscripts: Jean Bourdichon’s Boston Hours. As court artist to King François I of France, Bourdichon produced paintings, books and even parade floats for the sovereign and his entourage. This publication accompanies the museum’s first ever exhibition dedicated to this spectacular illuminated manuscript.
Painter to two kings, Jean Bourdichon remains today one of the most celebrated artists of the French Renaissance. By age twenty-four, he was already serving as “peintre du roy,” a title which Bourdichon held for the rest of his life. His illustrious career at the French royal court led to a wide range of commissions—from portraits to wall maps to stained glass—but he is remembered principally for astonishing illuminated manuscripts. The peerless Grandes Heures for Queen Anne of Brittany remains the touchstone of this group which includes some of the most lavishly painted books of hours ever produced.
One of these masterpieces—Bourdichon’s Boston Hours—in the collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the subject of this book. Bourdichon’s only intact book of hours in the United States was acquired by Isabella Stewart Gardner in 1890 and became the crown jewel of her collection of rare books and manuscripts. Leading scholars Nicholas Herman and Anne-Marie Eze explore its history in depth, shedding new light on the book’s patronage and provenance—from the shelves of a wealthy Catholic landowner in Lincolnshire to the shop of a Venetian art and antiques dealer.
This book is the latest in the Gardner’s Close Up series, each installment focusing on an individual, outstanding work of art in the collection. This publication is the first dedicated to this rare treasure, and precedes an exhibition opening in summer 2022.
$14.95A new exhibition program, Close Up, features a single work in Isabella Stewart Gardner’s collection. Removed from the historic Palace and displayed in Hostetter Gallery for a short time, it is the subject of lectures, in-gallery presentations and a publication. To inaugurate the exhibition series, we chose a painting close to Isabella’s heart, an altarpiece of The Annunciation by Italian Renaissance painter Piermatteo d’Amelia, traditionally found in our Raphael Room.
By Nathaniel Silver, Associate Curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Published by Applewood Books, 2016
5.5 x 0.2 x 8.2 inches
Published in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, this engrossing book accompanies an exhibition the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Raphael and the Pope’s Librarian brings together for the first time one of the most fascinating works in the museum’s collection – the Gardner Museum’s portrait of papal librarian Tommaso Inghirami – and a painting from the Vatican Museums depicting an episode in his life. This book tells the story of the first Raphael in America and explores Inghirami’s fascinating career.
Nearly five centuries after his death in 1520, Raphael’s fame remains undiminished. According to the celebrated writer Henry James, Raphael’s work was “semi-sacred.” Gilded Age American collectors swooned over his iconic religious images. They feverishly tried and failed to acquire Raphael’s rare paintings in a market flooded with copies, and the occasional forgery.
Isabella Stewart Gardner was the first collector to bring a work by Raphael to America, where she named an entire gallery of her new Boston museum after the Renaissance master and installed many of her most celebrated works of art around his portrait of the rotund cleric Tommaso Inghirami.
Raphael and the Pope’s Librarian (October 31, 2019 - January 30, 2020) is part of the Close Up exhibition series, each installment of which sheds new light on an outstanding work of art in the permanent collection.By Nathaniel Silver and Ingrid Rowland
Colnaghi Studies Journal is produced biannually by the Colnaghi Foundation. Its purpose is to publish texts on significant pre-twentieth-century artworks in the European tradition that have recently come to light or about which new research is underway, as well as on the history of their collection. Texts about artworks should place them within the broader context of the artist’s oeuvre, provide visual analysis and comparative images.
The Museum is featured in the essay "Selling Botticelli to America: Colnaghi, Bernard Berenson and the sale of the Madonna of the Eucharist to Isabella Stewart Gardner" written by Jeremy Howard.Edited by Stijn Alsteens, et al.
The bright and insightful guide to birthday colors is back with an all-new cover inspired by the iconic Pantone color system. Discover every vibrant aspect of your personality with Colorstrology, a fascinating blend of astrology, numerology, and color theory that offers exciting new insights about our lives and relationships. Written by renowned astrologer Michele Bernhardt using the numbers and color schemes of Pantone, Inc., the global authority on color, the system features 366 “birthday colors” that illustrate who we are and how we behave. Using Colorstrology, you’ll quickly understand how to enhance your best personality traits with your birthday color. This full-color book features detailed profiles of everyone you know, plus 366 perforated swatches so you can take your birthday color wherever you go.Written by Michele Bernhardt
$40.00Composite Landscapes examines one of landscape architecture's most recognizable forms: the montage view. The volume gathers work from a select group of contemporary artists and a dozen of the world's leading landscape architects. These composite views reveal practices of photomontage depicting the conceptual, experiential, and temporal dimensions of landscape.
10 x 1 x 12 inches
Seven experts discuss the impact of a few important Americans who, through force of personality as well as the nature of their art collecting, helped shape the culture of their times and some of the collections we enjoy today.
In their essays, experts discuss the development of American culture and cultural institutions through the key leadership role of women and other mold-breaking individuals, and present new scholarship on collecting, patronage, philanthropy, and arts management.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Published by the Trustees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1997
7.5 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
$17.99Danijel Zezelj: The United States of America, 2022.
In Dream Villa Singh explores how the night transforms what seems ordinary by day into something mysterious and unsettling. This series of colour photographs presents a landscape which exists as much in the artist’s imagination as in the real world. Singh travels to many different cities never knowing where Dream Villa or its inhabitants will present themselves. It is a place where nothing is quite as it seems to be – it comes alive at night, when all is lit by artificial light and the moon is just ornamentation.By Dayanita Singh
“House of Love” is a work of photographic fiction that takes the form of nine short stories. Working closely with writer Aveek Sen, whose prose follows a journey of its own, Singh explores the relationship between photography, memory, and writing. “House of Love”, designed to blur the lines between an art book of photographic images and a work of literary fiction, is a book whose images demand to be read, not just seen, and whose texts create their own sensory worlds. The combination creates a new vocabulary for the visual book.
The “House of Love” itself is the Taj Mahal, but the Taj Mahal as a recurring motif that stands for a range of meanings—meanings made up of the truths and lies of night and day, love and illusion, attachment and detachment.By Dayanita Singh
Dayanita Singh’s Museum of Chance is a book about how life unfolds, and asks to be recorded and edited, along and off the axis of time. The inscrutably woven photographic sequence of Singh’s Go Away Closer has now grown into a labyrinth of connections and correspondences. The thread through this novel like web of happenings is that elusive entity called Chance. It is Chance that seems to disperse as well as gather fragments or clusters of experience, creating a form of simultaneity that is realised in the idea and matter of the book, with its interlaced or parallel timelines and patterns of recurrence and return. The eighty-eight quadratone images in the book will also appear on the front and back covers in random pairs, transforming each copy of the book into a distinct piece of work by the author.By Dayanita Singh, texts by Aveek Sen
A lavish new investigation into the Paris Opera’s influence on Edgar Degas's painting.
From his debut in the 1860s up to his final works after 1900, the Paris Opera formed a focal point of Edgar Degas's paintings. He explored the theater's various spaces―auditorium and stage, private boxes, foyers, and dance studios―and painted those who frequented them: dancers, singers, orchestral musicians, audience members, and subscribers watching from the wings. This theater presented a microcosm of infinite possibilities, allowing him to experiment with multiple points of view, contrasting lighting, motion, and the precision of movement.
This catalog, created in concert with an exhibition at the Muse´e d'Orsay in Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, considers the Paris Opera’s influence on Degas as a whole, examining not only his passionate relationship with the house and his musical tastes, but also the infinite resources of the opera's marvelous toolbox. Filled with striking reproductions of Degas’s work and including insightful essays by leading curators and scholars, Degas at the Opera offers admission into the world of Degas and the Paris Opera of the nineteenth century.
By Henri Loyrette
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2020
10.1 x 1.4 x 12 inches
$8.00From the exhibition Dennis Miller Bunker and His Circle, on view from January 13 to June 4, 1995 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The exhibition featured works from the Gardner, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and several private collections.
Designing a Garden presents Michael Van Valkenburgh’s concept and execution of the Monk’s Garden, an intimate, walled site immediately adjacent to Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Venetian palazzo on the Fenway. Devoted to horticulture and music as well as Old Master paintings and sculpture, Mrs. Gardner planted multiple gardens on the site herself. Van Valkenburgh’s design aims to interpret the museum’s meandering gallery layout, and the rich colors and textures of its idiosyncratic collection, in a contemporary landscape context.
A small-scale, dreamlike woodland, the garden is composed of approximately sixty trees including Stewartia, paperbark maple, and gray birch, that establish a detail-rich palette of colors and textures suitable for intimate appreciation. Winding paths, paved in a striking combination of black brick and reflective mica schist, meander through the trees in the Olmstedian tradition that invites a gentle pace and contemplation.
Van Valkenburgh’s text explores the origins of his love of landscape and plants in his family farm in Upstate New York and moves through the designing of the Monk’s Garden, focusing on the experiential nature of the process and the challenges and satisfactions of the small scale and the historic and cultural context.
By Michael Van Valkenburgh
Published by The Monacelli Press, 2019
7.5 x 9.5 inches
$21.95The self-portrait of Baccio Bandinelli in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum shows the sculptor pointing not to a work of marble or bronze, but to a drawing. Bandinelli was particularly proud of his skills as a draftsman, and he was prolific in his production of works on paper. This set him apart from contemporaries in his profession; many Renaissance sculptors left us no drawings at all.
"Nature Made Opulent"
With the emphasis placed firmly on showcasing Lindsay's unique style of embroidered art, this coffee table book also provides an insight into her life journey – the evolution of her work, her inspiration, and methods she uses.
After her first exhibition, Lindsay's career started to develop and she became an elected member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. Lindsay's work continues to evolve, and she is now a well-established and highly respected designer-maker whose work is exhibited in prestigious galleries throughout the UK.By Lindsay Taylor
An intoxicating tale, Famous Father Girl is an intimate meditation on a complex and sometimes troubled man, the family he raised, and the music he composed that became the soundtrack to their entwined lives. Deeply moving and often hilarious, Bernstein's beautifully written memoir is a great American story about one of the greatest Americans of the modern age.By Jamie Bernstein
A lavish exploration of Sargent’s relationship to fashion, featuring exquisite costumes from the Gilded Age
"The coat is the picture," John Singer Sargent explained to his fellow artist Graham Robertson in the summer of 1894, tugging a heavy garment ever more tightly around his sitter’s slender figure. More attentive to what he hoped to accomplish as a painter than he was to the dictates of contemporary fashion, Sargent often chose what his sitters would wear. Even when they came to him dressed in the latest mode, he frequently ignored or simplified the details, concentrating on texture, drape and the way fabrics responded to light. Exploiting dress as an integral ingredient of his own artistry, Sargent used clothes to proclaim his own aesthetic agenda while simultaneously establishing his sitters’ social position, profession, gender identity and nationality.
Fashioned by Sargent explores the complicated relationship of painting and dress through lavish reproductions of Sargent’s works alongside exquisite costumes of the period―including garments actually worn by his sitters. Essays by leading scholars illuminate topics such as portraits and performance, gender expression and the New Woman, and the pull of history and the excitement of new ideas, offering readers new insights into masterworks by a beloved American artist.
By Erica E. Hirshler, Pamela A. Parma, Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, and James Finch
Published by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2023
8.25 x 1.25 x 11.75 inches