John Singer Sargent in the Circle of Annie Adams Fields
Karen Corsano and Daniel Williman
This event is held in collaboration with the Somerset Club.
The lecture will be held at the Boston Athenæum beginning at 6 pm. There will be materials in Vershbow Rare Reading room available to view following the lecture.
John Singer Sargent, the most sought-after portraitist of his age, painted hundreds of women, the rich and famous, noble and artistic. Perhaps the most interesting woman he ever painted was the social reformer, women's-rights advocate, hostess, author and Athenæum member Annie Adams Fields. He painted her in 1890, his crucial American year. Both before and after that, during Sargent’s stays in Boston and Annie’s trips to London, the two fostered a mutual admiration within their overlapping circles of friends. Annie’s portrait has just come home from a big Sargent show in Stockholm. We want to welcome her back by exploring the backstory of this Athenæum treasure.
Karen Corsano was born and educated in Boston. Daniel Williman grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. They met in the Sixties in Toronto, where they both took graduate degrees in Medieval Studies, She recently retired as head programmer for the Nurses Health Study at the Channing Laboratory, Harvard School of Public Health. He is professor emeritus of Latin and History, Binghamton University. They married in 2003, live in Cambridge and Buzzards Bay, and collaborate in research and writing, mostly on 14th-century subjects. But since they discovered the story that they told in John Singer Sargent and His Muse (2014) they have continued their deep study of Sargent’s world, and their talk will focus on 1890, the year he painted the portrait of his Boston friend Annie Adams Fields, the center of another marvelous world, artistic, social, and intellectual.
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