Monday, Dec 12, 2022 4:00p -

Online event
Surrounding areas
Boston, MA 02110

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Hosted by:
bostonpubliclibrary Boston Public Library Adult Programs Department

Art, History, Lectures & Conferences, Virtual

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Winner of the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award for the best art history publication in 2020 and professor of American studies at Wellesley College, Paul Fisher will discus his new book The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent In His World, a bold biography of the legendary painter stressing the unruly emotions and furtive desires that drove his innovative work and defined the transatlantic, fin de siècle (end of century) culture he inhabited.

Meghan Weeks, former Curator of Interpretation for the Boston Public Library, will provide opening remarks.

Following the discussion, there will be time for audience Q&A. Online ordering of the book will be made available by Porter Square Books at this link.

To attend, please register on this Zoom webinar registration pagehttps://wgbh.zoom.us/webinar/register/5016594478101/WN_xFXz1vL-QSmnXQWRTvA7-w.

About the book

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) is a great American artist who lived among and painted the opinion-leaders and society kingpins of his day. He is also an abiding mystery. Sargent scandalized viewers on both sides of the Atlantic with the frankness and sensuality of his work. He charmed his wealthy patrons, but reserved his greatest sympathies for Bedouins, Spanish dancers, and the gondoliers of Venice. At the height of his renown in Britain and America, Sargent quit his lucrative portrait-painting career. In The Grand Affair, the scholar Paul Fisher offers a vivid portrait of the buttoned-up artist and his unbuttoned work, following his trans-European childhood to his spirited travels as an adult to his late-life journeys with his friend and patron Isabella Stewart Gardner. Fisher’s illustrated talk and discussion will provide insight into on Sargent’s extensive work at the Boston Public Library, the mural cycle “The Triumph of Religion.”

About the author

Paul Fisher is a professor of American studies at Wellesley College and the author of House of Wits: An Intimate Portrait of the James Family and Artful Itineraries: European Art and American Careers in High Culture, 1865–1920. He participated in the Gardner Museum’s 2020 exhibit Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent and contributed to the exhibition catalog, which won the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award for the best art history publication in 2020.

About the introducer

Meghan Weeks is an artist and cultural heritage professional with an academic background in historical structures, painting, and curating. She received a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University and her M.A. in Curating the Art Museum from The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. For the last ten years, she served as the Exhibitions and Outreach Associate and then Curator of Interpretation at Boston Public Library. 

This program is part of the American Inspiration Series from American Ancestors/NEHGS and presented in partnership with the GBH Forum Network and the Boston Public Library.

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12/12/2022 16:00:00 12/12/2022 17:00:00 America/New_York Paul Fisher — The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent In His World <p>Winner of the&nbsp;George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award for the best art history publication in 2020 and&nbsp;professor of American studies at Wellesley College,&nbsp;<strong>Paul Fisher</stron... Online, Boston, MA 02110 false MM/DD/YYYY

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