In Eisler's reckoning, the union of Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), young, ambitious Texas schoolteacher, and famous New York photographer/art impresario Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) was a collusion, a system of deals and trade-offs, love and friendship, with each partner fueling the other's creativity. O'Keeffe, on whom Stieglitz projected oceanic feelings, was relegated to the role of geriatric nurse when husband Stieglitz tomcatted around with his new muse, Dorothy Norman, more than 40 years his junior. O'Keeffe, meanwhile, pursued a lesbian relationship with painter Rebecca Strand. Her husband, photographer Paul Strand, was a protege of autocratic Stieglitz and would later rebel against this surrogate father. Packed with personal revelations, thick with sexual affairs, this intimate, enthralling dual portrait demythologizes the iconic couple of the American art world, exposing the troubled realities beneath the public personae each skillfully wore. Eisler's books include Class Act: America's Last Dirty Secret. Photos. (May)
Introducing modernism to the New York art world, photographer Alfred Stieglitz was impresario to such notable American artists and photographers as John Marin, Paul Strand, Charles Demuth, and Marsden Hartley. In 1916 Georgia O'Keeffe became the only woman admitted to this exclusive art circle. An intense love affair with her mentor ensued. Using unpublished letters and papers, and assisted by those who knew the subjects, Eisler portrays intimate details of the couple's relationship and all manner of liaisons with others. Their eroticism was often expressed in their vast artistic output. Eisler also wrote the introductory essay to Lovingly, Georgia (S. & S., 1990), which is a compilation of the correspondence between O'Keeffe and Anita Pollitzer. Though the details of their liaisons become repetitive, specialists will be interested in the newly researched material, and libraries with strong reader interest in O'Keeffe and Steiglitz will want this as well. (Illustrations not seen.)-- Joan Levin, Indian Trails P.L., Wheeling, Ill.