Members Book Club—A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley
September 21, 2019 | 10:30 am–noon|
by Jane Kamensky
Registration is open to Saint Louis Art Museum Members.
The Members Book Club in September will explore the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of painter John Singleton Copley. Born in Boston in the 1740s, John Singleton Copley became colonial America’s premier painter by the 1760s, capturing the faces of his neighbors—ordinary men like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams—who would become the revolutionary heroes of a new United States.
The artist, however, did not share his subjects’ politics. Copley’s nation was Britain; his capital, London. An intimate portrait of the artist and his extraordinary times, Jane Kamensky’s A Revolution in Color masterfully reveals the world of the American Revolution, a place in time riven by divided loyalties and tangled sympathies. Much like the world in which he lived, Copley’s life and career were marked by spectacular rises and devastating falls. But though his ambivalence cost him dearly, the painter’s achievements in both Britain and America made him a towering figure of both nations’ artistic legacies.
Amy Torbert, assistant curator of American art, will join us for this session of the Members Book Club.