Americans in Paris

After a very successful run at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the blockbuster exhibition Americans in Paris, 1860-1900 will open tomorrow (Oct. 24th) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City.

You will most likely recognize the works of many of the 37 artists represented but I can guarantee that the crowd will huddle around Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) - the highly controversial painting, and not just within the high society in which the artist John Singer Sargent traveled.

I am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto is a fictional biography of Virginie Avegno Gautreau, the exquisite beauty with the waxy white skin, so splendidly depicted, in a rather suggestive black gown.

To get behind the scandal (Strap? No strap?) fueled by this highly problematic but much sought-after commission, check out Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis.

And thanks to the generous gift of the Ladies Library Association, the catalog of the Exhibition, by Kathleen Adler will soon be available.