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Synopsis

One of America's leading curators, "a woman of resilience and vision, a writer of clarity and ardor" (Chicago Tribune), takes you on a personal tour of the world of modern art. In the Depression-era climate of the 1930s, interest in modern art was at an all-time low. But a courageous and visionary young woman-Katharine Kuh-defied the odds and opened a gallery in Chicago, where she exhibited such relatively unknown artists as Fernand Léger, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, Ansel Adams, Marc Chagall, and Alexander Calder, to name but a few. Not only did Kuh survive these rocky early years but most of the artists became increasingly famous. In 1954, the Art Institute of Chicago named her its first curator of modern painting and sculpture. Kuh's prestigious position at the museum led to friendships with Marcel Duchamp, Mark Rothko, Mies van der Rohe, and Edward Hopper. In writing her memoir, she hoped to offer intimate portraits of these luminaries and contribute to a fuller understanding of their achievements. Her book also reveals how and why America became a major force in the world of contemporary art. After Katharine Kuh's death, Avis Berman-noted art historian and Kuh's close friend and literary executor-selected, edited, and completed her writings for this book.

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