Making It New: The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy / Edition 1

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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. Making It New: The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy is a captivating and absorbing collection of essays examining through images and text the Murphys' influence on a remarkable constellation of artists. The book also explores Gerald Murphy's abbreviated career as a painter, his artistic legacy, and the complex nature of his motivation and vision. This beautifully illustrated volume features essays by art historian Deborah Rothschild and such Murphy scholars as Calvin Tomkins, Amanda Vaill, Linda Patterson Miller, Kenneth Silver; curators Dorothy Kosinski and Kenneth Wayne; artist/writer Trevor Winkfield; musicologist Olivia Mattis; and poet and author William Jay Smith.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This catalog accompanying a well-received three-city exhibition and edited by curator Rothschild (Williams Coll. Museum of Art) examines the life and work of Sara and Gerald Murphy-the quintessential Jazz Age American couple-and delivers widening congeries of valuable material on its enchanting subjects. The Murphys leveraged wealth and high standing to participate in the remarkable cultural flourish of 1920s France. Readers may know them for their characterizations in novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, but writers were merely one component of the Murphys' engagement with the arts. Of Gerald's fine modernist paintings, only seven survive, and Rothschild here presents strong, often daring analysis of each picture. In discrete but well-integrated modules, nine other authors-among them, Calvin Tompkins (Living Well Is the Best Revenge) and Amanda Vaill (Everybody Was So Young)-speak to the Murphys' relation to avant-garde theater, literature, and music, as well as offer sensitive treatments of their complex private lives and their legacy of support for the arts in all forms. Illustrations of photographs, letters, notebooks, and artifacts complement the dynamic, warm, and accessible text. The enlivening interdisciplinary coverage and delightful writing should make it welcome in all libraries.
—John Hagood

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520252387
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Rothschild is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Williams College Museum of Art. Her publications include Picasso's "Parade": from Street to Stage; Graphic Design in the Mechanical Age: Selections from the
Merrill C. Berman Collection
; and Tony Ourlser:
Dr. Rothschild organized the award-winning 2002 exhibition "Prelude to a Nightmare: Art, Politics, and Hitler's Early Years in Vienna 1906-1913."

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Table of Contents

Director’s Foreword—Lisa G. Corrin

Introduction—Deborah Rothschild
Remembering Gerald and Sara—Calvin Tomkins
Masters of the Art of Living—Deborah Rothschild
Gallery of Works by Gerald Murphy
The Murphy Closet and the Murphy Bed—Kenneth E. Silver
Concealment of the Realities: Gerald Murphy in the Theater—Amanda Vaill
The Notebook as Sketchbook—Trevor Winkfield
Gerald Murphy in Letters, Literature, and Life—Linda Patterson Miller
Les Enfants du Jazz: The Murphys and Music—Olivia Mattis
Gerald Murphy: Cubist Painter, Concrete Poet—William Jay Smith
Villa America in Context—Kenneth Wayne
American Genius—Dorothy Kosinski

Exhibition Checklist
Lenders to the Exhibition
Visiting Committee


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