The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia. Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre-Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine.
Our first meeting will set the stage by exploring African American art. Two weeks later, we'll meet to discuss the novel. Books are available in the Museum Shop.
Patricia C. Pongracz will discuss Tiffany Studios' work for churches, synagogues, and family memorials like the Bellairs-Bishop-Miner Memorial Window, recently donated to the Flint Institute of Arts.
For 14 years, Pongracz was affiliated with the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) in New York City, where she was the museum's Acting Director and Director of Curatorial affairs until June 2013. Pongracz co-curated a number of exhibitions at MOBIA and co-authored and co-edited numerous publications, including Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion, Perspectives on Medieval Art: Learning through Looking, and Biblical Art and the Asian Imagination.
Pongracz received her M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Brown University, Providence, RI, and was a recipient of multiple grants and awards. Most recently, she was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Under the auspices of the American Wing, from September 2014 through August 2015, she is conducting research on Tiffany Studios' interiors designed for American synagogues from 1890 through 1930.
Immediately following the lecture, the Bellairs-Bishop-Miner Memorial Window will be unveiled.
Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the criminal world.
The Goldfinch combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmeriz-ing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night-and-tell-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
Our first meeting sets the stage with a discussion of the art mentioned in the novel. Two weeks later, we'll meet to discuss the book. Books are available in the Museum Shop.
Previous Book Discussion
Thus Was Adonis Murdered
Both a murder mystery and comedy of errors, this delightful novel by British writer Sarah Caudwell is the story of Julia Larwood, a young barrister who finds herself accused of murder while on an art lover's tour of Venice. A friend comes to her aid and unravels the clues, discovering an art theft, an impersonation, and the identity of the killer. Our first meeting will set the stage by exploring some of the artworks mentioned in the book. Two weeks later, we'll meet to discuss the novel. Books are available in the Museum Shop.