Wednesdays@2: Marie Laurencin’s Sapphic Circles of Influence

July 10, 2024
2:00–3:00 PM

Location: CMA

Art historian Tara Keny will present the lecture, "Marie Laurencin’s Sapphic Circles of Influence." Lesbian artistic and literary circles thrived in early-twentieth-century Paris. One key figure was the writer and socialite Natalie Clifford Barney. Known as "the Amazon" among Parisians, she was a Dayton, Ohio native and heiress to a railroad fortune. A close friend of Laurencin, Barney served as an inspiration for her poetry and her coded equestrian imagery. In her intimate garden, tucked away on 20 rue Jacob, Barney hosted the city’s brightest artists and intellectuals, encouraging all who came to treat their life as an art form, to be true to themselves and open about their sexuality. Regulars included the writers Colette, Gertrude Stein, and Djuna Barnes as well as Marie Laurencin, the publisher Sylvia Beach, and the artist Romaine Brooks. Jean Cocteau, Marcel Proust, T.S. Eliot, and Etienne Mallarmé were also attendees. She declared in her memoire “…anything difficult to say must be shouted from the rooftops.” During this lecture Keny will explore how the artistic lives of Laurencin, Barney, Stein, and Beach intertwined and influenced subsequent generations of artists.

Tickets are free for members, $10 for nonmembers.


About Tara R. Keny

Tara R. Keny is an art historian and independent curator. She holds the position of French translator for the Easton Foundation in New York, translating the archives of Louise Bourgeois, and gives regular lectures at the Museo Amedeo Lia in La Spezia, Italy where she currently resides. Keny received her Master's Degree in the History of Art and Architecture from Boston University, her Bachelor's Degree from DePaul University (Chicago), and a specialization in 20th century art from the Ecole du Louvre (Paris). She has held positions in curatorial departments at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Recent projects include the exhibition In a New Light: Alice Schille and The American Watercolor Movement, which she co-curated with Jim Keny at the Columbus Museum of Art (2019) and coordinating the Public Space Artist Commissions (2019) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Currently, she is working on a research project focused on the lives of the artists Ethel Mars and Maud Squire in Pre-WWI Paris (1906–1914).
Installation image featuring: Marie Laurencin, Les Deux soeurs au Violoncelle, 1913–1914. Oil on canvas. Musée Marie Laurencin, Tokyo. © Fondation Foujita / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2023
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