Author's Forum Archives

March 16, 2015

In 1973, the young writer Carol Merrill wrote a letter of introduction to Georgia O’Keeffe, asking if she might meet her, and the artist, then eighty-six, invited Merrill to visit her at Abiquiu. For the following seven years, Merrill spent most weekends with O’Keeffe, serving as librarian, secretary, cook, nurse, companion, confidante, reader, and caregiver. Though O’Keeffe was still able to function well at that point in her life, her blindness and increasing frailty meant that it was important for someone to be with her at all times; in addition, she appreciated the companionship of

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December 30, 2014

At the end of our current feature, "David Levine: Rendering the Essence," you will find reproductions of 24 rarely before published works of art by David Levine, mostly watercolors from early in his career. These early works show his lifelong interest and great facility in distilling the essence of a visual experience. Like so many great artists of the past, Levine returned to familiar subjects, simplifying, clarifying, communicating, sharing. If in his caricatures he revealed himself a penetrating judge, in his paintings, he is the compassionate witness to the fleeting beauty of the

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August 26, 2014

It is perhaps not well known that Edgar Degas painted some of his most influential and successful works of art while nearly blind from macular degeneration. As early as in his mid-40s, he had been writing to family and friends about the fear and suffering he faced as a painter with failing vision — this well before the height of his career. How can an artist such as Degas, deeply trained in and devoted to working with his faculties of visual perception, though working with severely compromised sight, play such an instrumental role in shaping the history of visual arts? Macular degeneration

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