Turning Pages Book Club: Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel (Part 1 & 2 of Book)
Join Museum volunteer docents for a discussion that connects the book Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel with work on view in the Museum. Following a group discussion, participants can enjoy a guided tour exploring correlations between the book and the exhibitions.
Complete sections one and two of the book prior to meeting. Sections three and four will be discussed on May 24th.
Arrive early to place a lunch order with the Café! Space is limited and advance registration is recommended. Book available for purchase through the Museum Store.
Part 1 Questions for discussion:
- A major theme of Ninth Street Women is that women have been overlooked in the history of art. What are some reasons for this omission?
- In thinking about how the women in the book began their artistic careers in New York, is there anything they had in common?
- What was the impact of the world wars and the Great Depression on gender roles? How did this shift impact the art world in New York?
- Twice during the period of this book – in the 1930s with the WPA and again after WWII with the GI Bill, the federal government stepped in to support artists and/or art students. What was the impact of this support?
- Hans Hofmann had a huge influence on artists who took his classes, and he insisted that even abstract art should be inspired by a landscape, still life, or figure. How did some of the New York School artists break from this theory?
- Many of the artists who had embraced communism during the 1930s turned to existentialism in the 1940s, particularly after Jean-Paul Sartre arrived in 1946. What was the appeal of this philosophy?
- The author often included the stories of peripheral artists, composers, and writers who worked at the same time as these five women. Did you find these unnecessary digressions, or did these stories contribute to a fuller understanding of the artists and their times?