1. Salome Dancer (1909). Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929). Oil on canvas. Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

    Broad, slashing strokes give powerful shape to this defiant female figure standing with parted legs, a pose more athletic—even pugilistic—than seductive. Her oppositional posturing matched the painter’s contrary aesthetic sensibilities. The gleam of amusement that enhances Salome’s haughty expression slyly evokes her complicity in constructing Henri’s own reputation as a radical painter.

  2. Woman Reading by Window. Jessie Wilcox Smith (American, 1863-1935).

    Smith was a US illustrator famous for her magazine work in Ladies Home Journal and children’s book illustrations. In 1884, she attended the School of Design for Women and later studied under Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After finishing school, she worked in the production department of the Ladies Home Journal for five years. She furthered her education by taking classes under Howard Pyle and also attending the Brandywine School.

  3. Lettura Interrotta, a.k.a. le Baiser (Interrupted Reading, a.k.a. The Kiss), (1893). Federico Zandomeneghi (Italian, 1841-1917). Oil on canvas.

    Zandomeneghi was the son and pupil of the sculptor Pietro Zandomeneghi. From about 1862-1866 he worked in Florence, and in Venice from 1866-1874, before going to Paris where he joined the Impressionists group and exhibited at the Salon des Independants.

  4. Juju Ivanyuk reads among books. Kolejli ve Soylu, Vogue Turkey, September 2011. Photography: Ellen von Unwerth.

    Ellen von Unwerth (born 1954 in Frankfurt, Germany) is a photographer and director. She worked as a fashion model for ten years herself before moving behind the camera, and now makes fashion, editorial, and advertising photographs.

  5. Une Belle. Jules Louis Machard (French, 1839-1900). Oil on canvas.

    Machard, known for his portraiture and his allegorical paintings, was a pupil of Picot and Signal, and in 1865 captured the Prix de Rome. 

  6. Looking Backward 2000-1887. Edward Bellamy. Boston: Ticknor & Company, 1888. First edition.

    Edward Bellamy wrote his utopian novel largely in response to the growing crisis he recognized between workers and bosses that resulted in bloodletting such as the 1886 Haymarket Riot. Like most social reformers of his day, he warned that ‘man’s inhumanity toward man’ would lead to social collapse. He rejected the notion that social inequity is innate to the human condition.

  7. The Annunciation. Francesco Albani (Italian, 1578-1660). Oil on copper. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

    Albani studied in Bologna with the Mannerist Denijs Calvaert before joining the Carracci Academy. Albani painted many versions of this subject. One of the best is the large altarpiece in the church of San Bartolomeo in Bologna, to which this painting is closely related.

  8. Principal dancer Lesley Rausch, Pacific Northwest Ballet, in George Balanchine’s Agon. Photo © Angela Sterling, 2013.

    The night started with Agon. It is the Aston Martin of ballets. Everyone has their favorite luxury car, most prefer other cars but the ones that love an Aston Martin will really love it. Agon was cutting edge and progressive when it debuted in 1957, but now will seems a little dated. It is a dancer’s ballet. The viewer must already be initiated in the ballet world to fully appreciate it.

  9. A Young Painter and His Model (c.1788-1792). Louis Léopold Boilly (French, 1761-1845). Oil on canvas. Smith College Museum of Art.

    The model is placed in a provocative context, framed between the painting of a boudoir seduction and a sculpture by Falconet of the “Sleeping Bacchante” on the table next to her. This flirtatious scene is set within the more general subject of the artist in his studio. Visible are the artist’s tools as well as references to visual art: painting, sculpture, drawing, textile design, and architecture.

  10. Three Hundred & One Things a Bright Girl Can Do. Jean Stewart. The Musson Book Company, Toronto, 1911.

    The book begins with a ringing endorsement of women’s “carriage, health and intellect,” and offers as proof the example of bicycle riding: “How gracefully and well does a woman ride a bicycle usually; how hump-backed and ungainly do most men appear upon the same machine!” Stewart has great faith in the abilities of girls: later on, she writes that “Almost every cultivated girl, at some period of her life, finds herself interested in Gothic architecture.”

  11. Fair Reader (1947). Henry Lamb (Australian-born British, 1883-1960). Oil on canvas. Kirklees Museums and Galleries.

    Lamb is noted for his unusual portraits. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1940 and was made a full Member in 1949. He was a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery from 1942 and of the Tate Gallery from 1944 to 1951.

  12. Veronica Lake with magazines in a tailored suit and hat.

    Lake’s breakthrough role was in the 1941 war drama I Wanted Wings. The film was a major hit in which Lake played the second female lead. It was during the filming of I Wanted Wings that Lake developed her signature look. Lake’s long blonde hair accidentally fell over her right eye during a take and created a “peek-a-boo” effect. The hairstyle became Lake’s trademark and was widely copied by women.

  13. A Symphony (1852). Moritz von Schwind (Austrian, 1804-1871). Oil on canvas. Neue Pinakothek, Munich.

    Schwind “composed” A Symphony in oils and said that the individual zones of his painting, into which he wove a love story, correspond to the four movements of Beethoven’s Fantasia in C for Piano, Orchestra and Choir. At the bottom we see a chamber music rehearsal (Introduction), in which one of the young listeners falls in love with the singer; later they meet in a wood (Andante); above this again we see the young man declaring his feelings at a ball (Adagio); and finally, in the little castle, the happy husband and his bride are setting off for their honeymoon in the stronghold of bliss (Rondo).

  14. Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein (1885-1960) in role of San Sebastian, in Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien by Claude-Achille Debussy (1862-1918). From Le Theatre in June 1911.

    The Martyr of Saint Sebastian is a five-act musical play by Debussy in collaboration with Gabriele d’Annunzio. It was written in 1911 and was designed as a vehicle for Rubinstein. The work was not successful when first presented and it was attended by scandal. “The Archbishop of Paris requested Catholics not attend because the dancer playing St. Sebastian was a woman and a Jew.”

  15. A Letter from Home. Peter Paul Marshall (Scottish, 1830-1900). Oil on board.

    Marshall was influenced (clearly here) by the Pre-Raphaelites. It is thought the sitter was a Governess and the black edges to the letter suggest a death. Marshall painted in the window irises, a symbol of death.