RaveThe East Hampton Star... the New York City of the Abstract Expressionist era explodes into a series of vivid canvases. Each paragraph offers a colorful phrase or observation that captures the moment. In her always entertaining stories, Schloss conjures up its iconic artists, composers, and poets while chiseling their legends down to human scale ... it\'s the New York of her reckoning, with its delightful side trips to New England watering holes, that bristles with energy. Like Schloss herself, the Italian years seem a little forlorn ... The Loft Generation, however, turns the reader into a co-conspirator. You are there at the Club, where the gang met on weekends and danced...or at the Automat on 23rd Street ... While she brought fresh candor to her subjects, Schloss held her own cards close to the vest. Who was Edith Schloss outside of art? What was the true nature of her intimate relationships? Still, it\'s the book\'s central idea that carries the day: \'This was us, and this was New York, and this was where it was at.\'
RaveThe East Hampton StarHistory doesn’t typically link art to politics. But when a masterpiece becomes the protagonist of a story, art transcends prescribed movements, canvas, and paint, and the circumstances of its creation and provenance. In her new book, Cynthia Saltzman traces a High Renaissance work—Paolo Veronese’s The Wedding Feast at Cana—from its inception to its role in the rise of the French Republic, uncovering it as a symbol of victory and cultural entitlement . . . She uses art, sometimes a single masterpiece, as a springboard to examine the time, place, and the people it touched and motivated . . . In Ms. Saltzman’s fresh perspective, Napoleon, the quick-thinking tactician, had a driving ambition to ‘prove himself an intellectual and a scientist’ . . . In the spare details Ms. Saltzman chooses, the characters come alive . . . Gripping narrative.
PositiveThe East Hampton StarAll Happy Families is essentially a memoir of loss ... Curiously, [McCulloch] floats above her narrative as if in a dream, unable and perhaps unwilling to affect the outcome at the time. [McCulloch\'s husband] Dean is little more than a shadowy figure, a onetime college roommate who morphed into marriage material. When, later, the author refers to her broken heart, it’s hard to believe that such an absence of passion amounted to more than a scratch. No gnashing of teeth or broken crockery here ... Ms. McCulloch...deploys an impressive knack for characterization when boring into her subject, an instinct for summoning up personality with precise details. Those powers are particularly reserved for her mother ... There is much wisdom in this memoir ... Spare phrases stand out for the larger stories they tell.