At the turn of the twentieth century, the celebrated American artist William Merritt Chase named Cecilia Beaux "not only the greatest living woman painter, but the best that has ever lived." While Beaux--unlike her contemporaries John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt--has not fared well in modernist-driven art history, her work has become the subject of renewed interest on the part of art historians, collectors, and general viewers on both sides of the Atlantic, and her forty-year career represents a compelling and under-examined chapter in the history of American art. Cecilia Beaux: American Figure Painter is the most comprehensive appraisal of Beaux's talent in more than three decades. This handsomely illustrated book presents a range of the artist's strongest work and offers a fresh understanding of her career by examining critical questions of gender, class, and the importance of place.
It features substantive essays which examine Beaux's participation in the international portrait market of the 1890s, explore the artist's professional identity and changing fortunes through a close reading of key images, investigate Beaux's sensitivity to the framing and display of her work.An illustrated chronology of Beaux's life and work, compiled by Alison Bechtel Wexler, completes the study. Copub: High Museum
Sylvia Yount is the Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Kevin Sharp is Director of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee. Nina Auerbach is John Welsh Centennial Professor of History and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Mark Bockrath is Paintings Conservator at Barbara A. Buckley & Associates, West Chester, Pennsylvania.