Tea & Talk – “John White Alexander: An American Gilded Age Artist”

July 30, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
$28 with advance reservation; $32 day of

Mary Anne Goley, art historian and founding Director of the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C., will give a visual presentation on John White Alexander, the subject of her book of the same title published last year.  Goley, acknowledged as the expert on Alexander,  will autograph copies of her book at the Victorian tea following her presentation.

Considered on a par with his contemporaries John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase, the once acclaimed portrait painter John White Alexander is especially recognized for his figure paintings of women striking evocative poses and elaborately arranged in flowing gowns. These works of art have gained Alexander greater acclaim than his international career of painting portraits of men, women and children.

The artist had an exceptional talent for expressing sentiment through movement and gesture, capturing the essence of the female form in the process.  Goley pinpoints the fact that Alexander found his own unique style when he encountered Juliette Very, the Parisian model who became his muse.

Goley’s focus on Alexander began in 1973 when she had early access to historical materials she found in the untouched Alexander estate.  Three years later, she organized the first exhibit of Alexander’s work at the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

As the sole art historian at the Federal Reserve Board, 1975 – 2006, Goley held responsibilities similar to those involved in running a small museum, collecting, fundraising and organizing exhibitions, including everything from New York Graffiti artists to the first American exhibition of the Scottish architect, designer and artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and built the Federal Reserve’s recognized permanent collection.  In 1982, her landmark exhibition, The Hague School and Its American Legacy caught the attention of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who knighted Goley.

The summer 2019 series of fourteen Tea & Talks are sponsored by Ventfort Hall board member Lucille Landa and William Landa.

Tickets for the Goley Tea & Talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For reservations call us at 413-637-3206.  The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.