September 10 Visualizing Literature
Book Club for Art Lovers
10:30 am - noon


Visualizing Literature: Book Club for Art Lovers
explores connections between the literary and visual arts through moderated book discussions and guided gallery tours led by experienced Joslyn docents. All book discussions begin in the Museum's Omaha Steaks Conference Room and conclude in the galleries where participants discover thematic links between the selected book and Joslyn's rich works of art on display. In addition to special guests from The Nebraska Medical Center's Health and Wellness Club, everyone is welcome to participate in this stimulating program.
 

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough

The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work. 

After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. Most had never left home, never experienced a different culture. None had any guarantee of success. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history. As David McCullough writes, “Not all pioneers went west.” Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne because of a burning desire to know more about everything. There he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate, almost at the cost of his life...

Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all “discovering” Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the city’s boulevards and gardens. “At last I have come into a dreamland,” wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom’s Cabin had brought her. Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris and even more atrocious nightmare of the Commune. His vivid account in his diary of the starvation and suffering endured by the people of Paris (drawn on here for the first time) is one readers will never forget. The genius of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the son of an immigrant shoemaker, and of painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, three of the greatest American artists ever, would flourish in Paris, inspired by the examples of brilliant French masters, and by Paris itself.

Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles learning French, their spells of homesickness, and their suffering in the raw cold winters by the Seine, spent many of the happiest days and nights of their lives in Paris. McCullough tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing us into the lives of remarkable men and women who, in Saint-Gaudens’s phrase, longed “to soar into the blue.” The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece. 

Source: Simon & Schuster 
http://books.simonandschuster.com/Greater-Journey/David-McCullough/9781416571766



Presented in partnership with The Nebraska Medical Center's Health and Wellness Club, Visualizing Literature is open to anyone interested in art and literature. Book discussions are free to Joslyn Members and members of The Nebraska Medical Center's Health and Wellness Club; the general public may attend for regular Museum admission. No reservations are required. Books may be available for purchase in Joslyn's Hitchcock Museum Shop. For details, please contact Joslyn's Director of Adult Programs at (402) 661.3862 or sseverson@joslyn.org.

Can't come during the day? A Late 'til 8 encore presentation of Visualizing Literature is scheduled on Thursday, September 12 at 6:00 pm.

The November Book Club selection is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. As always, books may be purchased from Joslyn's Hitchcock Museum Shop.