'Diaghilev: A Life' by Sjeng Scheijen

In 1919, the painter Henri Matisse travelled to London to work on Sergey Diaghilev’s newest ballet. Matisse was reluctant and the work was tiring. He later wrote: Diaghilev is Louis XIV. You’ve no idea what he’s like, that man… He’s charming and maddening at the same time. This paradox of charm and madness comes through… read more

'Grant Wood: A Life' by R. Tripp Evans

One of the most famous paintings of the 20th century is Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.” Since its unveiling in 1930, it has achieved an international status—both admonished and celebrated, dismissed and parodied. The work is a dour portrait of a farmer and his daughter standing in front of a neo-gothic farmhouse in Iowa. The daughter’s sullen… read more