What an engaging take on Romaine Brooks by Priscilla Frank in today’s Huffington Post entitled “Meet Romaine Brooks, A 20th Century Artist Who Paved The Way for The 21st Century Lesbian.”
My new book will alert scholars to misinformation in the outdated materials Frank relied on.
That being said, I loved Priscilla Frank’s conclusion:
“Today, the slipperiness of sexual preference and gender identity–and identity in general–often pops up in relevant contemporary art. However, during Brooks’ lifetime, the fact that a woman could be an object of female desire, or that she could be completely uninterested in being the object of male desire, was rarely visualized or communicated. Brooks changed that — and, with those same brushstrokes, helped to change the history of art and gender equality.”
Romaine’s sultry femininity is strikingly evident in her 1908 photograph that perhaps explains her allure for both sexes and her unique style that Frank underscores in her post.
My book will finally be published in September, when readers will discover a Romaine Brooks they never knew. Beyond biography, it’s also a critical study of her work.
Meanwhile, it’s satisfying to see this great American artist finally getting the attention she deserves.