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Description: Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society
PublisherYale University Press
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The origins of this book go back to my lectures at Yale University in the early 1960s, but I began writing it only in 1982. Its genesis was slow because of my teaching duties and other publications that I had undertaken in the intervening years. Thanks to a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972 I was able to devote a year to extensive reading in the history of Paris and its environs, material that entered my courses long before I was able to work on this book. In 1978 I took the occasion of the Slade Lectures at the University of Oxford to divide the subject into manageable units, substantially as they now appear. Finally, thanks to Yale University’s generous leave policy and to a Humanities Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, I was able to complete most of the writing in 1986. I am truly grateful to Yale, the Guggenheim Foundation, my hosts at Oxford (particularly Francis Haskell), and the Rockefeller Foundation for their support.
I want to give special thanks to the many students who offered their skepticism as well as their encouragement when they heard my lectures or shared in seminars and informal discussions. These include the advanced readers at Oxford when I was there in 1978, and the graduate students at Yale over the past twenty-five years or more. I cannot here name them individually, but I wish to record a collective debt that mingles affection with admiration.
Among colleagues from whom I have learned so much over the years I must single out Susanna Barrows, George Heard Hamilton, Anne Hanson, John McCoubrey, John Merriman, Daniel Robbins, Vincent Scully, and Richard Shiff. My manuscript was read in its entirety by Eugenia Herbert and Richard Shiff, and portions by Moshe Barasch, Michael Burns, and Judith Metro; I greatly appreciate their advice. My editor John Nicoll took an interest in the book in 1978 and ever since has been unfailingly generous. Gillian Malpass designed this book and watched over its every detail with wonderful efficiency, and Juliet Thorp collected photographs with unflagging zeal; they both share largely in whatever merits this book has.
For various arrangements, photographs, and information, I am grateful to the Acquavella Galleries, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ruth Berson, François Caradec, Jacques Caumont, Philip Conisbee, Anne Distel, Sarah Faunce, Dick Fish, Henrietta Gough, Jennifer Gough-Cooper, Anne Higonnet, John House, the Lefevre Gallery, Stefanie Maison, Mark Murray, Dr. Peter Nathan, Elizabeth Peterkin, Lord Poltimore, David Richards, George Shackelford, Polly J. Sartori, Robert Schmit, Richard Thomson, Paul Tucker, Kirk Varnedoe, and Wildenstein & Co.
I have used many libraries and museums and wish to give warm thanks to the following: Helen Chillman, Librarian of Slides and Photographs, and Nancy Lambert, Art Librarian, at Yale University; Karen Harvey, Librarian of the Hillyer Library, Smith College; Elizabeth Jones, Conservator, and Alexandra Murphy, Curator, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts when I consulted them; Philip S. Vainker, at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow; Daniel Rosenfeld and Lora Urbanelli, at the Rhode Island School of Design.
For the history and interpretation of Impressionism my most substantial debts are owed to the many authors I acknowledge in my bibliography. Among earlier writers I should mention particularly Meyer Schapiro, Georg Simmel, and Siegfried Kracauer. Among more recent writers, I am especially beholden to Françoise Cachin, Timothy J. Clark, John House, Joel Isaacson, Linda Nochlin, Theodore Reff, John Rewald, Richard Shiff, Paul Tucker, and Raymond Williams.
For her historian’s perspectives, her wisdom, her patience, and her companionship, Eugenia W. Herbert is the person to whom I owe the most.
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