This memoir tells how love of visual art led me to defy my parents. They forbade me to become an artist, warning I would starve as an art historian. Mother taught me to paint, yet feared for me as an artist. She and my father, culturally influenced by both the South and poor immigrant Eastern European Jews, could imagine me only as a wife and mother. He read literature and history, including Edmund Wilson, but viewed artists as outsiders and did not want his daughter to become one. He tolerated my mother’s painting only as a hobby to decorate the home. As for becoming an art historian, my second career choice, I had absorbed the visual aesthetics of modern art from my mother’s paintings although I did not yet realize that she was often making unacknowledged copies of famous originals. How I found my way might help others still searching.


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pp. 125-136
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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