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The militant muse : love, war and the women of surrealism / Whitney Chadwick.

By: Chadwick, Whitney.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Thames & Hudson, 2017Copyright date: ©2017Description: 256 pages : illustrations (some colour), portraits ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780500239681; 0500239681.Uniform titles: Farewell to the muse Subject(s): Surrealism -- History | Surrealist artists | Women artists -- History -- 20th century | World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the warDDC classification: 709.04/063 Summary: The militant muse' documents what it meant to be young, ambitious, and female in the context of an avant-garde movement defined by celebrated men whose backgrounds were often quite different from those of their younger lovers and companions. Focusing on the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Whitney Chadwick charts five female friendships among the Surrealists to show how Surrealism, female friendship, and the experiences of war, loss, and trauma shaped individual women's transitions from someone else's muse to mature artists in their own right. Her vivid account includes the fascinating story of Claude Cahun and Suzanne Malherbe in occupied Jersey, as well as the experiences of Lee Miller and Valentine Penrose at the front line. Chadwick draws on personal correspondence between women, including the extraordinary letters between Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini during the months following the arrest and imprisonment of Carrington's lover Max Ernst and the letter Frida Kahlo shared with her friend and lover Jacqueline Lamba years after it was written in the late 1930s. This history brings a new perspective to the political context of Surrealism as well as fresh insights on the vital importance of female friendship to its progress.
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Non-Fiction 709.04063 CHA Checked out 31/07/2019

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Farewell to the Muse documents what it meant to be young, ambitious, and female in the context of an avant-garde movement defined by celebrated men whose backgrounds were often quite different from those of their younger lovers and companions. Focusing on the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Whitney Chadwick charts five female friendships among the Surrealists to show how Surrealism, female friendship, and the experiences of war, loss, and trauma shaped individual women's transitions from someone else's muse to mature artists in their own right. Her vivid account includes the fascinating story of Claude Cahun and Suzanne Malherbe in occupied Jersey, as well as the experiences of Lee Miller and Valentine Penrose at the front line.Chadwick draws on personal correspondence between women, including the extraordinary letters between Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini during the months following the arrest and imprisonment of Carrington's lover Max Ernst and the letter Frida Kahlo shared with her friend and lover Jacqueline Lamba years after it was written in the late 1930s.This history brings a new perspective to the political context of Surrealism as well as fresh insights on the vital importance of female friendship to its progress.

Thames & Hudson New York published this book with the same ISBN in 2017 with title: Farewell to the muse : love, war and the women of surrealism.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 233-247) and index.

The militant muse' documents what it meant to be young, ambitious, and female in the context of an avant-garde movement defined by celebrated men whose backgrounds were often quite different from those of their younger lovers and companions. Focusing on the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Whitney Chadwick charts five female friendships among the Surrealists to show how Surrealism, female friendship, and the experiences of war, loss, and trauma shaped individual women's transitions from someone else's muse to mature artists in their own right. Her vivid account includes the fascinating story of Claude Cahun and Suzanne Malherbe in occupied Jersey, as well as the experiences of Lee Miller and Valentine Penrose at the front line. Chadwick draws on personal correspondence between women, including the extraordinary letters between Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini during the months following the arrest and imprisonment of Carrington's lover Max Ernst and the letter Frida Kahlo shared with her friend and lover Jacqueline Lamba years after it was written in the late 1930s. This history brings a new perspective to the political context of Surrealism as well as fresh insights on the vital importance of female friendship to its progress.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Cast of Characters (p. 4)
  • Preface (p. 7)
  • 1 The Alchemy of Desire: (p. 16)
  • Valentine Penrose and Alice Rahon Paalen, India 1937
  • 2 The Two Leonors: (p. 60)
  • Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini, Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche, 1938-41
  • 3 'I Will Write to You with My Eyes' (p. 103)
  • Frida Kahlo and Jacqueline Lamba Breton, Mexico and Paris, 1938-45
  • 4 Soldiers without Names (p. 165)
  • Claude Cahun, Suzanne Malherbe and Jacqueline Laraba Breton, Jersey, 1938-45
  • 5 Wars without End (p. 198)
  • Lee Miller and Valentine Penrose, 1940-78
  • Conclusion (p. 221)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 230)
  • Notes (p. 233)
  • Selected Bibliography (p. 242)
  • Picture Credits (p. 248)
  • Index (p. 251)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Chadwick (Women, Art, and Society) offers an informative and often moving account of the intersecting lives of women surrealists during the rise of Franco in Spain in the 1930s and the outbreak of WWII. Chadwick charts the extraordinary and accomplished lives these politically-engaged women led independently of their husbands and lovers. He profiles Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who famously became a cult figure in her own lifetime despite working in the shadow of her husband, Diego Rivera; he also explores the lesser-known lives of women such as photographer Claude Cahun and illustrator Suzanne Malherbe, who, during the German occupation of France, narrowly escaped death for their involvement in the resistance, and Lee Miller, a Vogue photographer turned war correspondent, known for her arresting images of the aftermath of the London Blitz and the atrocities at the Dachau concentration camp. Chadwick notes that, for all their differences, her subjects share a common refusal to passively live only as inspirations to men, a notion best articulated by painter Leonora Carrington, who asserted, "I didn't have time to be anyone's muse.... I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist." This is an accessible and invigorating study of female friendship and art history. Photos. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

An expert in the lives and art of women surrealists, esteemed art historian Chadwick now zeroes in on their life-changing friendships as they sought to free themselves from the passive role of muse to the male surrealists and come into their own as artists, only to find their quests traumatically complicated by WWII. Chadwick channels the intensity of these courageous and radical women in stories of astonishing resiliency, camaraderie, complicated love, and creative synergy. She chronicles the passionate connection between Frida Kahlo and Jacqueline Lamba Breton, the intricate alliance between Leonor Fini and Leonora Carrington, and the healing relationship between poet Valentine Boué Penrose and war photographer Lee Miller, the sequential wives of Roland Penrose, the surrealists' steadfast patron. And then there's the staggering tale of the Resistance heroes Claude Cahun, photographer and writer, and illustrator Suzanne Malherbe. Set within a vividly realized historical context, steeped in psychological perceptions, and richly illustrated, Chadwick's unique look at the women of surrealism deepens our understanding of the movement and the lives of women artists in a time of chaos and catastrophic war.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2017 Booklist