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250 P.,

Alfred Stieglitz

by Phyllis Rose

Phyllis Rose

Phyllis Rose, biographer and literary critic, is the author of the classic Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages, bibliomemoirs The Shelf and The Year of Reading Proust, and biographies of Virginia Woolf and of Josephine Baker. She took five years off from writing to do photography and study photographic techniques.

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Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern Preview
September 2, 2015
224 P., 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
9780300203486

Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern

by Francine Prose

"Weaving together Guggenheim’s work as a fine-arts patron with her often tumultuous private life, this vibrant biography shows that her cultural influence went far beyond mere philanthropy."--New Yorker

"An elegantly written account of the difficult and controversial life of Peggy Guggenheim."--The Art Newspaper

"An adroit and lively portrait."--Kirkus Reviews

“Prose . . . is determined not to miss either the strangeness or the marvelousness of her subject. Guggenheim, that ‘intelligent, determined woman,’ will no longer be quite so easily dismissed after Prose’s incisive book. Unlucky in so much else, Peggy Guggenheim is certainly fortunate in her generous and bighearted biographer.”—Christopher Benfey, New York Review of Books

"Lively, complex, and inclined to shock, Guggenheim (1898–1979), the modern art collector, emerges as the embodiment of the age in Prose’s (Lovers at the Chameleon Club) judicious biography. Leaning heavily on Guggenheim’s provocative memoir, Out of this Century (1979), Prose reveals the collector as both insecure and irrepressible, someone who continually felt taken advantage of, which was frequently the case, and who seemed to gravitate to social drama."--Publisher's Weekly

“This excellent short biography appears in Yale’s “Jewish Lives” series, and Prose is a subtle and attentive chronicler…”—Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian

“Prose situates Guggenheim right in the middle of the Modernist, as a new kind of woman who is hard to define, and in that she is a perfect product and reflection of her age, never less than fascinating. Without her, modern art would be much the poorer.”—Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday

“By describing fairly the limits of her wealth, and the nous with which she spent it, Prose does justice to this great modern Maecenas.”—Iona McLaren, Daily Telegraph

"With fresh insights and illuminating details, Prose vividly tells the poignant and remarkable story of this complex, combative, and passionate art champion and innovator, who weathered misogyny, anti-Semitism, betrayal, and her own demons to help build an audience for modern art." — Donna Seaman, Booklist

"Prose skillfully blends the events of Guggenheim's experience with details about the 20th-century art scene, all in a vivid setting of time and place. Her depictions of key artists, family members, husbands, and others are distinctive in their complexity of character and contribute to a deeper understanding of the personal and professional facets of this enigmatic woman....This finely researched and well-written work honestly examines the often disturbing world of an acclaimed figure."--Library Journal

“This is a smart and entertaining book about the life of a woman who is difficult to get a handle on…Prose is subtle about the ins and outs of Guggenheim’s behavior As a novelist herself, she does not pass judgment but attempts to let us see the selfish, hurtful ( her daughter a suicide) but also generous manner in which Guggenheim literally swung her way through life.”—Svetlana Alpers, Key Reporter

Francine Prose

Francine Prose
Lisa Yuskavage

New York Times best-selling author and National Book Award finalist Francine Prose has written more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles and Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them.

In the winter of 1969, Peggy Guggenheim, 70, took leave of her beloved Italian villa to come to New York City to see her personal art collection displayed, for the first time, on the spiraling ramps of the Guggenheim Museum. During this visit, she sat down for a long-format Q&A with WNYC's Ruth Bowman for the 1960s-era arts program, "Views on Art." CLICK HERE to hear the engaging interview with Peggy Guggenheim

CLICK HERE to "visit" the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice

CLICK HERE to hear NPR's ON POINT Tom Ashbrook's conversation with Francine Prose about Peggy Guggeheim

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1 P.,

Jerome Robbins

by Wendy Lesser

Wendy Lesser

Wendy Lesser, the founding editor of The Threepenny Review, is the author of ten books, including Music for Silenced Voices and Why I Read.

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Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel Preview
March 9, 2015
224 P., 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
9780300182040

Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel

by Annie Cohen-Solal

"This compact study places Rothko’s development within the context of the evolution of American art in the mid-twentieth century.... Cohen-Solal subtly demonstrates the link between Rothko’s three outsider statuses (artist, immigrant, and Jew), his color-block canvases, and his essential Americanness."--New Yorker

"Written in succinct and fast-paced prose, this streamlined volume (part of Yale’s Jewish Lives series) . . . argues that Rothko’s Jewishness is at the core of his life and art, and played a decisive influence in the austere and majestic canvases recognized today as his signature work."—Yaelle Azagury, New York Times Book Review

"Cohen-Solal has made an important contribution with a well-researched book about Rothko's life."--New Criterion

"Illuminating...Impressively sourced...A sublime little volume."--Washington Times

“Once again, Annie Cohen-Solal has done it. As with her book on Leo Castelli, she has managed to bring not only Mark Rothko, but his time, to life. This book is a grand blend of biography, cultural history, and art criticism. Rare is the scholar who can pull it off so masterfully.”—David N. Myers, Professor of Jewish History, UCLA History Department

"In this gripping biography, Cohen-Solal (Leo & His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli) examines the life and work of Rothko, an artist motivated by his spirituality and one of the most distinguished painters of the 20th century...This novelistic account is a rewarding close-up of Rothko’s personal life and his experience as a Jewish immigrant."-- Publisher's Weekly

‘In this moving and readable biography, Cohen-Solal tells the story of Rothko’s life through the prism of his Jewishness.’—Marcus Field, The Independent

“It’s unlikely that many of Rothko’s admirers understand his art as he wanted it understood. . . . Annie Cohen-Solal . . . corrects our perceptions in Mark Rothko.”—National Post

"…both a moving tribute to a great artist and a gripping story. Its strength lies in placing Rothko in the contexts of a Europe devastated by wars and anti-Jewish violence, and America’s post-war cultural scene, and the light that Rothko’s life sheds on both these tumultuous eras."—Tracey Warr, THES

"Cohen-Solal does an excellent job of guiding us through the New York art world… Her style is clear and she makes interesting connections between Rothko and the larger cultural world of mid-century America."—David Herman, Jewish Renaissance

“This compact study places Rothko’s development within the context of the evolution of American art in the mid-twentieth century . . . Cohen-Solal subtly demonstrates the link between Rothko’s three outsider statuses (artist, immigrant, and Jew), his color-block canvases, and his essential Americanness.”—New Yorker

"Cohen-Solal's work is well-written and well-argued, and will be of interest to anyone concerned with Rothko, modern art, American intellectual history or the politics and processes of Jewish identity and assimilation."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

“An admirable attempt to construct a coherent framework around what is undeniably a complicated, not to say messy, life.”—Washington Post

“Engrossing.”—Times Higher Education Supplement

"Cohen-Solal's study of Mark Rothko is notable for her ability to link his strong Jewish ties to his changing, evolving art. Her access to newly available archives enables her comprehensive portrait of the man . . . A sure hit for fans of art history, and readers looking to understand modern art and especially abstraction will find this wonderfully enlightening."—Kirkus Reviews

“Written with empathy, this biography is not merely one man’s singular history, however fractured and dazzling. Here, the reader is embedded in the heart of successive ‘art worlds’ and, at each step of the painter’s life, the biographer enriches her interpretation, connecting it to multiple realms: the geopolitical, the socio-economic, the aesthetic.”—Raymonde Moulin, Le Journal des arts

“Digging into family archives and into the most recent scholarly research, the writer re-creates the metamorphosis of this tormented and hypersensitive artist as New York is becoming the center of the art world. The reader passionately follows this ‘gloomy and enigmatic’ man dive into Abstraction thanks to his interaction with Matisses’ Red Studio in 1949, as well as his search for a contemplative experience in which the viewer could step into his paintings, as exemplified in the Houston Chapel.—Myriam Boutoulle, Connaissance des Arts

“This is less a traditional biography than the trajectory of a Jewish immigrant painter in the 20th century. Annie Cohen-Solal carefully attends to understanding the choices made by the artist in light of the historical events of his time.”—Fabien Simode, L’Oeil

“My admiration is boundless for those who manage to craft a painter’s biography—I mean a complete biography, merging work and life, analyzing both of them equally. Although it seemed an unreachable task to me . . . Annie Cohen-Solal, after other noted books . . . excels in tracking down Rothko’s position in New York artistic life . . . through a formidable and remarkably documented inquiry.”—Pierre Assouline, La République des lettres

“Annie Cohen-Solal’s book, altogether well-documented, sensitive and ambitious, is an invitation to better interact with an artist and his art, as its focus is on the core of Rothko’s being.”—Roger Pierre Turine, La libre Belgique

“[A] tightly focused, profoundly clarifying biography . . . A defining and affecting tribute to a modern master.”—Booklist, starred review

Annie Cohen-Solal

Annie Cohen-Solal

Annie Cohen-Solal is an academic and a cultural historian. Born in Algiers, she received her Ph.D. degree from the Sorbonne. Her books include the acclaimed Sartre: A Life and Leo and His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli, winner of the ArtCurial Prize. She has served as cultural counselor to the French Embassy in the United States.

Sept 10 Salisbury, Ct. WHITE HART INN (7:00 pm)
More Information

Sept 12 Martha’s Vineyard THE CHILMARK LIBRARY (5:00 pm)
More Information

Sept 17 Scranton, PA UNIVERSITY OF SCRATON, THE SCHEMEL FORUM (12 to 1:30 pm)
More Information

Sept 20 Houston MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS (2:00 pm)
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Oct 30 Washington, D.C. SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART (5:30 pm)
More Information

Nov 1 Westport, Ct. TEMPLE ISRAEL (11:00 am)

Nov 3 New York City GAGOSIAN GALLERY (Annie Cohen Solal will be in conversation with Leonard Lauder) details forthcoming

Nov 7 Water Mill, NY WATERMILL CENTER details forthcoming

Jan 11 New York 92ND STREET Y details forthcoming

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Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician Preview
September 30, 2014
360 P., 5.5" x 8.25"
9780300144284

Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician

by Allen Shawn

"Packed with you-are-there details drawn from a host of published accounts and audiovisual records, this highly readable biography puts us at the center of Lenny's world...Shawn's text is a page-turner."--Symphony Magazine

"I can't imagine a better biography of Leonard Bernstein. His intensity, complexity, and personal charm come across fully; so do his manifest importance to twentieth-century American culture and his intimate relation to the music he produced. Bravo!"—Wendy Lesser

"Shawn draws all these aspects of Bernstein into a full-scale and attractive human portrait, and an equally full-scale portrait of Bernstein’s music. With his knowledgeable analysis of Bernstein’s vast output, Shawn sends readers rushing back to listen, whether to West Side Story, Kaddish, Candide, or any number of other works. Well-paced and highly readable,Leonard Bernstein brings alive both the man and his music."--Maron L. Waxman, Jewish Book Council

"A few luscious slices from the massive cake that was the life of the great pianist, composer, conductor and public personality....A nearly impossible task, recording this lush life, but Shawn helps us comprehend the magic."--Kirkus Reviews

"An engrossing portrait of a gifted--and conflicted--man."--Jerusalem Post

Allen Shawn

Allen Shawn
Alex Burgess 2014

Allen Shawn is a composer, pianist, educator, and author who lives in Vermont and teaches composition and music history at Bennington College. His previous books include Arnold Schoenberg's Journey and Twin: A Memoir .

Watch author Allen Shawn discuss the life of Bernstein with his brother, actor Wallace Shawn in a lively and entertaining book trailer which includes video clips of the maestro himself. CLICK HERE

Listen to Tablet Magazine's Sara Ivry fascinating conversation with Allen Shawn about Leonard Bernstein's life and legacy. CLICK HERE

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October 22, 2013
288 P., 5.5" x 8.25"
ISBN-9780300149425

Bernard Berenson: A Life in the Picture Trade

by Rachel Cohen

"Cohen draws a psychological portrait of a man guided by passionate aesthetic ideals and tortured by the compromises in the world of commerce that he felt compelled to make.... If you live in an American city, there's a good chance that you can go to a museum today and see an exquisite Sienese Madonna, or a Venetian Holy Family, or a Florentine portrait. You have Berenson—and his collector-acolytes—to thank." --Hugh Eakin, Wall Street Journal

“Written with intelligence and understanding and often with impressive psychological insight…A thoughtful, short biography.”—Walter Kaiser, New York Review of Books

"Berenson's extraordinary and colorful life—from his humble birth in Lithuania, to Harvard and thence to his august and influential position as a critic and art historian, to the renowned splendor of his Florentine villa I Tatti—makes a rich and compelling subject. Ms. Cohen's remarkable book affords the occasion also for rumination upon self-invention and authenticity, upon the making of the man, and of taste, too."--Claire Messud, Wall Street Journal

"An irresistibly readable and accessible account of this complicated character, who could be by turns brilliant and petty, generous toward others and scornful of himself, an inveterate philanderer and a staunch husband."--Ann Landl, ARTnews

"In her remarkable biography, Cohen approaches Berenson's life as a panorama full of artifice and profundity, whose brilliant flashes of color are inextricable from its substrates of shadow. The book leaves an indelible impression, not merely in the way it catalogues Berenson's accomplishments and failings, but also in its dissection of the struggle between desire and alienation that characterizes American art—and life—to this day."--Thomas Micchelli, Bookforum

Cohen deftly channels the sweeping intensity of Berenson’s aesthetic ecstasy, hard-won expertise, surprising adventures, and vital legacy as a guide to appreciating art via “exhilarated looking.”
— Donna Seaman, Booklist See Full Review in Press Room

“A highly sympathetic and graceful portrait of Bernard Berenson, the art connoisseur and dealer who remade himself into a work of art, priced and priceless, which he protected, cultivated, and even at times bartered: Rachel Cohen’s Bernard Berenson is an illuminating tale of this self-transformation, its successes and pitfalls, told with stalwart compassion.”—Brenda Wineapple

“An insightful, richly detailed account of Bernard Berenson’s brilliant transformation from an immigrant Jew and son of a tin peddler into a connoisseur of Italian Renaissance painting and a dealer in secret partnership with Joseph Duveen. With the keen gaze that Berenson brought to a picture, Rachel Cohen analyzes his high-wire act of self-invention against the glittering, aristocratic, anti-Semitic world of art collecting.”—Cynthia Saltzman

Rachel Cohen

Peter Serling, 2013

Rachel Cohen is the author of A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, winner of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award. Her essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Believer, Best American Essays, and many other publications. She teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Cambridge, MA..


Tuesday October 1, 2013 7pm
Apex Art Gallery
Double Take Reading Series with Vijay Seshadri
291 Church St New York, NY 10013
for details go to http://rachelecohen.com/index.php?page=calendar&view=event&display=25

Thursday October 24, 2013 7pm
McNally Jackson Books
BFF Reading with Jessica Francis Kane
52 Prince Street New York, NY 10012
For details, go to http://rachelecohen.com/index.php?page=calendar&view=event&display=15

RACHEL COHEN keeps a notebook on looking at paintings at http://rachelecohen.com

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Jewish Lives Biography / Book on Sarah Bernhardt; Actress in Theatre & Film Preview
September 21, 2010
256 P., 5.5" x 6.25"
978-0300141276

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt

by Robert Gottlieb

"[A] sharp, efficient biography."Emma Brockes, New York Times Book Review

"Gottlieb sifts through the smouldering fiction in this hugely entertaining biography of the theatrical legend.” Victoria Segal, The Guardian

“Mr. Gottlieb's fluid style and lightly worn authority offer a lucid and essential modern guide to the making of celebrity, in an era before the noun existed.” Norman Lebrecht, Wall Street Journal

“Immensely entertaining.”Jeremy McCarter, Newsweek

“A fascinating look at Bernhardt's mythology and the stagecraft behind it. . . . What Sarah understood--as Gottlieb, a storied editor and publisher makes clear--was how the heightened drama of performance might be extended to her own life.”Vogue

“Robert Gottlieb is true to the mystery of his subject's self-invented life. He also does what few biographers of famous women seem able or willing to do: He focuses on her work. . . . Vintage Gottleib, full of humor and refreshingly free of hagiography.”Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

“One ends this breathlessly readable and deeply intelligent book in as much awe of Sarah as people and audiences were in her own lifetime; it is that rarest of books, a serious biography that reads not only like a novel, but like a big, romantic, sprawling, over-the-top novel. Gottlieb has made of her story a wonderful book--one, which, to pay it its highest due, any editor, including himself (and me), would give his or her eye-teeth to have published!”Michael Korda, Daily Beast

“An elegant and engaging portrait worthy of Bernhardt. . . a terrific book.”Glenn C. Altschuler, Books We Like, NPR

“Avoiding pedantry on the one hand and prurience on the other, [Gottlieb] writes about Bernhardt with convincing respect and sympathy, tempered with quiet amusement at her oddities and excesses. . . . His conversational, urbane prose is accompanied by numerous illustrations, including a splendid gallery of full-page photos showing Bernhardt in 16 of her famous roles. Gottlieb's Sarah is a fine introduction to a fascinating woman, giving the reader a lively sense of why, so many decades after her death, the name of Sarah Bernhardt, above all others, still stands for actress.”Julius Novick, The Forward

“In 'Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt', Robert Gottlieb presents (his subject) appreciatively, in full color, in all her exuberance, extravagance, beauty, passion and talent. This is the first English-language biography in decades of the first internationally known stage star.”Sandee Brawarsky, New York Jewish Week

Robert Gottlieb

Robert Gottlieb
Mimi Gnoli

Robert Gottlieb is the author of the acclaimed Balanchine: The Ballet Maker. He writes for the New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and other publications, and is dance critic for the New York Observer. His career in publishing—as editor in chief of Simon and Schuster, Alfred A. Knopf, and The New Yorker—is legendary.

Robert Gottlieb’s Sarah received Honorable Mention in the Biography/Autobiography category in 2010 at both the Los Angeles Book Festival and the New England Book Festival.

See the Charlie Rose interview Robert Gottlieb about his book SARAH: http://www.charlierose.com/view/content/11255

See a video of Sarah Bernhardt in Hamlet:

For a list of Bernhardt’s plays as a producer, actor and writer CLICK HERE

For a list and description of Bernhardt’s films CLICK HERE

To read how the charming Bernhardt responded after receiving a medal from the Yale French Club in New Haven, (from Yale Monthly Report, February 1906, page 148) CLICK HERE