BOOK TALK 18 June 2024: R. Tripp Evans in Conversation with Suzanne Scanlan

R. Tripp Evans in conversation with Suzanne Scanlan

Event date: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
471 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906


Join Books on the Square on Tuesday, June 18th at 6:00 p.m. for R. Tripp Evans, author of The Importance of Being Furnished, with Suzanne Scanlan, author of Esther Pressoir: A Modern Woman's Painter. MORE INFO


Suzanne M. Scanlan is Assistant Professor of Theory and History of Art and Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her research centers on women as artists, patrons and collectors from the Renaissance through the modern period. Previous works include Divine and Demonic Imagery at Tor de’ Specchi, 1400-1500: Religious Women and Art in 15th -Century Rome (2018).

R. Tripp Evans is an award-winning historian of American art and design. He is a frequent public lecturer, professor of the history of art at Wheaton College, and serves as a collections consultant to historic house museums. In his more recent work, Evans has focused on the contributions gay men have made to the development of American style. His biography of the American painter Grant Wood considers the roles that Wood's sexuality and family life played in his art, and the complicated way his work--particularly, his iconic painting American Gothic (1930)--became a powerful vehicle for nationalist expression. Grant Wood: A Life won the National Award for Arts Writing.

Esther Pressoir: A Modern Woman's Painter by Suzanne M. Scanlan

Coming of age in the 1920s, Stella, as she was known to her friends, cast off societal expectations of a working-class immigrant family in New England and moved through the studios, galleries, and nightclubs of New York. Following an unprecedented 18,000 km bicycle trip across Europe in 1927, where she kept a daily journal and made hundreds of sketches, Pressoir developed an expressionistic style that straddled figuration and abstraction. She made provocative renderings of the female nude that challenged historical models, including unabashed self-portraits and intimate depictions of her longtime muse, a dancer from Harlem named Florita. Pressoir’ s work is illuminated here in an examination of her private travel journal, letters, and numerous paintings, prints and drawings, some of which were recovered from the veritable time capsule of her art studio after she died. Placing Pressoir’ s work in relation to trailblazing contemporaries such as Alice Neel, Florine Stettheimer and Suzanne Valadon, this book establishes Pressoir as a force to be reckoned with in the decades of emergent feminism and modern art in America and restores her to her rightful place in the expanding canon of art.