Cecilia Beaux: A Modern Painter in a Gilded Age
An evening with Cecilia Beaux biographer Alice Carter
Thursday, July 17
Impossible Craft: The Artist’s Biography
Thursdays July 17, 24, 31
So much more than a written account of the series of events that make up a person’s life, a biography is an influential document that can establish legacy and offer insights into a subject’s personality, intentions, and persuasions. Reputation-changing at times, biographies pose a great challenge to their authors, who must balance a broad spectrum of considerations as a writer, researcher, and interpreter of information.
This series of conversations explores the intricacies of this time-honored craft, the challenges that authors face, and the demands of the publishing marketplace today. A book signing and reception will follow. Free with Museum admission.
Miss Beaux is not only the greatest woman painter, but the best that has ever lived.
—William Merritt Chase, 1899
Author Alice A. Carter expertly traces Cecilia Beaux’s fascinating and unconventional life, from her privileged Philadelphia childhood to her successful penetration into the male-dominated inner circle of the art world of Paris, Philadelphia, and New York. Carter reveals how Beaux’s passion for her work and her headstrong spirit enabled her to achieve professional success unrivaled by any other female artist―and the personal price she paid for it.
Born in Philadelphia in 1855, Cecilia Beaux pursued an artistic career with the same zeal as her male peers, and by the turn of the century she had established an international reputation and exhibited regularly. She worked with eminent artists of her day, including Claude Monet, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent, and in 1895 she became the first full-time female faculty member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
This is the first illustrated biography of Beaux’s work, showcasing more than 150 paintings and drawings, including her best known high-style portrait commissions of such notable figures as Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt and Georges Clemenceau, as well as later landscapes and still-life compositions. Much of this work has rarely been seen.
Sponsored in part by Carl & Eunice Feinberg