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March 2019 Non-Fiction: Biography & Autobiography

Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Strand, Rebecca Salsbury
By (author): Carolyn Burke
9780307957290 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Artists, Architects, Photographers Mar 05, 2019
$40.00 CAD
Active 6.59 x 9.55 x 1.41 in 432 pages 43 ILL IN TXT; 24 PP 4C IMAGES Alfred A. Knopf Knopf
A captivating, spirited account of the intense relationship among four artists whose strong personalities, passionate feelings, and aesthetic ideals drew them together, pulled them apart, and profoundly influenced the very shape of twentieth-century art.

New York, 1921: Alfred Stieglitz, the most influential figure in early twentieth-century photography, celebrates the success of his latest exhibition—the centerpiece, a series of nude portraits of the young Georgia O’Keeffe, soon to be his wife. It is a turning point for O’Keeffe, poised to make her entrance into the art scene—and for Rebecca Salsbury, the fiancée of Stieglitz’s protégé at the time, Paul Strand. When Strand introduces Salsbury to Stieglitz and O’Keeffe, it is the first moment of a bond between the two couples that will last more than a decade and reverberate throughout their lives. In the years that followed, O’Keeffe and Stieglitz became the preeminent couple in American modern art, spurring each other’s creativity. Observing their relationship led Salsbury to encourage new artistic possibilities for Strand and to rethink her own potential as an artist. In fact, it was Salsbury, the least known of the four, who was the main thread that wove the two couples’ lives together. Carolyn Burke mines the correspondence of the foursome to reveal how each inspired, provoked, and unsettled the others while pursuing seminal modes of artistic innovation. The result is a surprising, illuminating portrait of four extraordinary figures.

AUTHOR: Carolyn Burke is a prominent biographer and essayist, author of Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy (1996); Lee Miller: A Life (2006), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf (2011), which was named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sunday Times (UK).

NEW MATERIAL: While many have written on O’Keeffe and her relationship with Stieglitz, few have had access to the bulk of their correspondence, recently released by Yale. Foursome reevaluates the couple through close readings of this trove of letters.

O’KEEFFE: An iconic American artist whose work still draws crowds today, and whose life and legacy continue to fascinate. She holds the record ($44.4 million in 2014) for the highest price paid for a painting by a woman.

STEIGLITZ AND STRAND: Pioneers of the rise of photography as a legitimate artistic medium, their influence is still felt today. Yet their relationship has never before been explored comprehensively, and Strand has never been the subject of a book-length biography.

CAROLYN BURKE is the author of No Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf, Lee Miller: A Life (finalist for the NBCC), and Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy. Born in Sydney, Australia, she now lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Author Residence: Santa Cruz, CA

Marketing: Facebook and Instagram Advertising Campaign targeting fans of Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, House & Garden, Esquire, Travel + Leisure, Departures, The New York Review of Books, NPR, and major museums

Newsletter Advertising, including The New York Review of Books, Granta, and Bookforum

Postcards for museum bookstores

Extra galleys

Also available as an egalley

Publicity: National Media Attention including NPR and Print Features

Coverage in and on Art Publications and Sites

Online Interviews, Reviews, and Literary Blog Coverage

Outreach to Museums and Galleries (with collections of the artists)

Select Author Appearances

Author Website:

“A fabulous read. A wonderful book.”—Diane Johnson

“Fascinating…compelling…thoroughly researched and capacious.”—Wendy Lesser, The Wall Street Journal

“Deeply researched and richly imagined…Burke focuses on two marriages in a way that amplifies the personal and artistic lives of a quartet of painters and photographers and magnifies their powerful influence on 20th-century art…ingenious.”—The National Book Review

“Expert and enthralling…illuminates key intimate and historical aspects of the lives of four extraordinarily creative, intrepid, and influential artists to profound effect.”—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

“Fascinating, well-told.”—Sarah Boxer, The New York Times Book Review

“[A] sharp-eyed group portrait of two artistic couples…[Burke depicts] in rich detail the complex interactions among four vibrant people during a seminal era in American culture—a task she accomplishes in astute, lucid prose.”—Wendy Smith, The Washington Post

“Seasoned biographer Burke…chronicles the intertwined lives of four 20th-century influencers who propelled American photography and painting through momentous decades…solidly researched.”—Library Journal

“Intimate and exhaustively researched…offers detailed insight into one of the most important periods in American art.”—Publishers Weekly

“A well-researched account of sensual artists.”—Kirkus

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