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Letters and Journals of Paula Modersohn-Becker

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Overview

These rare documents chronicle the developing persona of the young woman Expressionist painter at the turn of the century, struggling to resolve the conflict between what she demanded of herself as an artist and what society expected of her as a married woman. Radycki provides an intriguing guide to the art capitals of Berlin, London, and Paris through the eyes of a woman studying art there and through contemporary sources that describe the artistic milieu and the status of women in 1900. We view the changing relationships between Becker and her friends, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Clara Westhoff (the sculptor who married Rilke), and her husband, the painter Otto Modersohn. The letters begin when Becker is in art school and end within a month of her tragic death in 1907 at age thirty-one. The epilogue includes Rilke's intense "Requiem" of 1908, translated by Lilly Engler and Adrienne Rich and never before published and Rich's own moving "Paula Becker to Clara Westhoff."

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Editorial Reviews

Art Express
These letters and journal entries are exceptional....Modersohn-Becker's ability to convey visual impressions through language is unsurpassed. She evokes such pure love for the acts of painting and drawing that her detailed accounts of classes and sessions become practical art lessons, filled with a living atmosphere of color, line and form.
Choice
The first complete compilation of Becker's written oeuvre in English....Autobiographical documentation of this caliber is crucial to serious research; the annotations intensify the value of this volume, making it a necessary resource for academic and museum library collections.
Women Artists News
An excellent introduction by Alessandra Comini, and the epilogues of poetry by Rilke and Adrienne Rich, round out this vivid tribute to a splendid and tragically interrupted artist.
CHOICE
The first complete compilation of Becker's written oeuvre in English....Autobiographical documentation of this caliber is crucial to serious research; the annotations intensify the value of this volume, making it a necessary resource for academic and museum library collections.
Art Express
These letters and journal entries are exceptional....Modersohn-Becker's ability to convey visual impressions through language is unsurpassed. She evokes such pure love for the acts of painting and drawing that her detailed accounts of classes and sessions become practical art lessons, filled with a living atmosphere of color, line and form..
Choice
The first complete compilation of Becker's written oeuvre in English....Autobiographical documentation of this caliber is crucial to serious research; the annotations intensify the value of this volume, making it a necessary resource for academic and museum library collections..
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810813441
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 1/1/1980
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Radycki is an art historian who began her study of turn-of-the-century art and art education as a graduate student at Hunter College.

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