Author's Forum Archives

April 16, 2016

Degas was a copious letter writer. Here we look at his correspondence through the lens of his struggle with vision loss, and couple this chronology with examples of the paintings and drawings he produced at each stage of his vision deteriorating.

(with quotes excerpted from Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas Letters, edited by Marcel Guerin)

1870: At the age of 36, Edgar Degas (1834–1917) realizes that the vision in his right eye is severely impaired when he closes his left one during rifle practice in the Franco-Prussian War and more
November 25, 2015

Nearly all of the artists we have encountered in our research have suffered vision loss due to macular degeneration only late in their careers. The many challenges they face in trying to paint with partial or complete vision loss come after many decades of robust painting with optimal vision. Degas had already begun to experience failing vision due to early onset macular degeneration by his late thirties, when he painted several pathos-filled portraits of his cousin, Estelle Musson, who suffered from the same disease. At the time he was painting her, he wrote with uncharacteristic emotion more
October 18, 2015

"Detachment is all about light. When you see something, you're only able to see it because there's light, right? So that's one of the things you're painting with. Light. Some people call it nature, but it's really light. And light is a blessing for everything it touches, really. So I try very consciously to paint the way something looks in that light."

"When I went to Cranbrook and I first started painting, I painted a portrait. I looked at it and I said, you know, there was something that I had never seen before in my work, and it came from the model. So I glommed onto that, and more
October 14, 2015
July 11, 2015

Dahlov Ipcar is an American icon perhaps most well known for the more than 30 children’s books she illustrated, beginning in the 1940s. She is a prolific and accomplished painter as well, though, and a unique sampling of her original paintings can be seen this month at Samsøn Projects, an art gallery in Boston, alongside paintings and sculptures by her parents, the renowned artists Marguerite and William Zorach ( A first glance in Samsøn Project’s modest gallery space, on a quiet, tree-lined pedestrian street in Boston’s more