Madame(s) X: Muses, Makers, & Shifting Identities

Ted Barrow at Strand Bookstore

Tue, Apr 9 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Behind some of the defining works of early modernism lie the remarkable biographies of the women who inspired the art. What did it mean to toe that line between art and life in an age when women’s rights were strictly curtailed?

Exploring the different ways that female artistic identity constructed through creation, negotiation, and collaboration in an era when women did not have the right to vote, this Olio revises modernist myths of artistic creation to underscore the central role of female muses in self-fashioning and myth-making.

Behind some of the defining works of early modernism, from Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu to John Singer Sargent’s notoriously shape-shifting portrait of Madame X, lies the lesser known biographies of the late 19th century women who inspired them. What did it mean to toe that line between art and life in an age when women’s rights were strictly curtailed? This Olio focuses on the multivalent roles of women in the arts in the 19th century, highlighting the remarkable biographies of Sarah Bernhardt, Virginie-Amelie Avegno, and Helena de Kay. What can we learn from the indelible mark left by these women at the turn of the 19th century?


Join art historian Ted Barrow at Strand's Rare Book Room to explore these questions and more.

Teacher: Ted Barrow

Ted Barrow teaches in Barnard College's Pre-College Program over the summer, focusing on the relationship between art and film in New York City, and has taught art history courses at Baruch, City College, the College of Staten Island, and Brooklyn College. Barrow currently teaches at Cooper Union, and runs a popular satirical Instagram account about skateboarding (@feedback_ts).


Venue: Strand Bookstore
Add to Calendar April 9, 20197 p.m. April 9, 2019 America/New_York Think Olio | Madame(s) X: Muses, Makers, & Shifting Identities Behind some of the defining works of early modernism lie the remarkable biographies of the women who inspired the art. What did it mean to toe that line between art and life in an age when women’s rights were strictly curtailed? None

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Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.