Posted by: montclairlibrary | November 4, 2017

Women Artists

6 Novels about Women Impressionists, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

Next Tuesday (11/7) at 6:00pm, artist and art historian Marlene Aron returns to the Montclair Branch to give a lecture and slide show on Five Fabulous Women Artists of the 1800s. Come learn about the artistry and lives of Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Marie Bracquemond, Eva Gonzales and Camille Claudel.

If you’d like to learn more about these artists, you can find non-fiction books about them in the 700 section (especially 759 and 730). But if you’re interested in fiction based on their lives and work, check out one of these 6 books from OPL:

I Always Loved You: A Story of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas by Robin Oliveira (FIC OLIVEIRA) – “The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers….Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever….So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.” (Publisher)

Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper: A Novel by Harriet Scott Chessman (FIC CHESSMAN) (not at Montclair) – This story is told by Mary’s sister Lydia as she poses for five of her sister’s most unusual paintings while dying from Bright’s disease. The paintings are reproduced in the book and form the focal point of each chapter.

Naked by Betsy Franco (FIC FRANCO) (not at Montclair) – In 2008, Jesse Lucas discovers an eighteen-year-old girl (who turns out to be Camille Claudel) who has emerged from a statue in Stanford’s Rodin Sculpture Garden.

Rodin’s Lover: A Novel by Heather Webb (FIC WEBB) (not at Montclair) – “When Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice–and his muse–their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.” (Publisher)

With Violets by Elizabeth Robards (FIC ROBARDS) (not at Montclair) – Passionate, beautiful and utterly devoted to her art, Berthe Morisot is determined to be recognized as an important painter. But as a woman, she finds herself sometimes overlooked in favor of her male counterparts — Monet, Pissarro, Degas. And there is one great artist among them who captivates young Berthe like none other: the celebrated genius Édouard Manet. (Goodreads)

Painting in a Man’s World: Four Stories about Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracqueond, edited by Ingrid Pfeiffer (not in OPL – available through Link+) – Short stories by four well-known women writers about four women Impressionists. This one’s only available through Link+, but it’s about four of the five artists we’ll be hearing about.


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