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In Passionate Pursuit

In Passionate Pursuit

by Alessandra Comini

Overflowing with passion for her work as a scholar and teacher, Alessandra Comini reminisces and romps through six decades as an unconventional art historian in this illustrated memoir. The author of award-winning books on Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Ludwig van Beethoven, Comini draws on her lifelong daily journals and shares uniquely personal research-related anecdotes as she reflects on the formation and flowering of her distinguished career. Beginning with her own colorful background as a refugee from Franco's Spain, then Mussolini's Italy, she describes her music-loving family's sometimes humorous, sometimes painful, adjustment to World War II Texas. Her fortuitous experiences at Interlochen's National Music camp, Barnard College, Berkeley, and Columbia University led to what would ultimately be a turning point in both her life as well as in Schiele scholarship: the discovery, half a century after Schiele's incarceration in a provincial Austrian jail, of the actual cell in which he had been imprisoned. Throughout this book, Comini invites readers to join her in the same zestful pursuit of cultural history that has repeatedly earned her the honor of being voted "outstanding professor, " first by her students at Columbia University in the 1960s and 1970s, then later at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Focusing on three major areas--nineteenth-and twentieth-century art ranging from Spain to Finland, revisionist work in the history of women artists past and present, and musical iconography--Comini's research and quests take the reader around the world and back. From the islands of Corfu, Corsica, and Madeira to Martinique, Rugen, and Tahiti, and from the cities of Lisbon,Istanbul, Barcelona, Rome, and Athens to Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg, Comini pursues such diverse and distinctive personalities as Rosa Bonheur, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimt, Vaslav Nijinsky, Egon Schiele, Isadora Duncan, Schopenhauer, and Kathe Kollwitz. For those who wonder what academics do besides teach and publish, Alessandra Comini's joyous, and occasionally heart-wrenching, memoir will inspire readers with its sincere and compelling account of an extraordinary life and career still passionately in progress.

Hardcover
224 Pages
George Braziller; First Edition edition (July 15, 2004)
6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
ISBN 9780807615232

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