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Pictures of People
Alice Neel’s American Portrait Gallery
Pamela Allara

2014 • 360 pp. 182 illus. 6 x 9"
American Art / Biography - Artists / Women's Studies

$35.00 Paperback, 978-1-61168-513-8

“The book is not only a study of Neel’s portraiture, but a social history of her time, and an exploration of the portrait genre with art-historical breadth. Allara is a good scholar and poses important questions about the genre itself, at the same time that she writes for a general readership.”—Dore Ashton

An intimate look at the breadth of Neel’s oeuvre

In this vibrant chronicle of the life and work of the prolific painter and bohemian eccentric Alice Neel, whose career spanned the decades from the 1920s to the 1970s, Pamela Allara highlights portraits that constitute a virtual gallery of American cultural history. While some of Neel’s portraits graced the covers of publications like Ms. and Time, most of her subjects were unknowns—the marginalized, the disenfranchised, the oppressed. Neel, influenced by left-wing politics and modernism, did more than infuse portraiture with a new energy and relevance. By recording the visages of her sitters, she rescued them for history and rendered them witnesses to their time.

PAMELA ALLARA is associate professor emerita of Brandeis University and a visiting researcher at the African Studies Center at Boston University.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:24 -0500