May 2011

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play in your free time Art Throb A fitting tribute By Pete Lundberg H appy May (and Mother’s Day) dear readers. What painting exemplifies motherhood more than James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s portrait of his mom? Though Whistler was an interesting character with a checkered career, this painting still stands as a testament to his talent. After flunking out of U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he took a job making etchings for a survey project before traveling to Europe in 1855 to study art. He became highly respected in France; master impressionist Camille Pissarro even said, “Whistler is the only artist that America can be justly proud.” These accolades may have come more from the personality than actual ability. He was entertaining, flashy and overly self-confident; qualities that got him into trouble with patrons and critics. After a libel lawsuit he initiated against a critic left him financially ruined, Whistler pawned the portrait of his mother he painted in London in 1871. It ended up in Paris’ Luxembourg Museum, where Painted in 1871, “Whistler’s Mother” is the artist’s most famous work. Although he pawned it during financial difficulties, the artist would live to see it become one of the most recognizable paintings in the world. it was widely acclaimed. Whistler died in 1903, leaving a substan- tial breadth of work now enjoyed worldwide. If you happen to be Paris-bound in the future, stop by the Musée d’Orsay to see it! Pete Lundberg is not only an art lover but also the owner of Janus Galleries in Madison. Book Club Get lost in fantasy worlds with these guilty pleasures Twilight By Stephenie Meyer By now, you’ve heard—and maybe scoffed—at the hype surround- ing this teen vampire-love saga. Set your feminist sensibilities aside and sink your teeth into the first book of the four-tome series to see what all the fuss is all about. Warning: They’re like drugs, you’ll be addicted. Published by Little, Brown and Company, $20 Mockingjay By Suzanne Collins They take place in a grim, dystopian future, but despite fear, death and suspense, the emotion and imaginative plots of this trilogy will have you curled under your covers with a flashlight into the wee hours. If you finish this last book in the trilogy and want more, don’t fret. The movies start filming soon! Published by Scholastic Press, $18 The Witching Hour By Anne Rice In the first book of Anne Rice’s classic series, the dark family histo- ry of a band of witches is unveiled. Long, engrossing and boasting several soap opera-esque love scenes (think Twilight’s predeces- sor, for adults), you might as well call in sick to finish them all. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, $35 72 BRAVA Magazine May 2011 The Mists of Avalon By Marion Zimmer Bradley A book that set many high schooler’s brains buzzing with a female perspective on Arthurian legends of Camelot—with a sci-fi/fantasy twist—the vivid characters of this epic novel become like the good friends you can’t wait to visit again and again. Published by Ballantine Books, $18

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