Stella Waitzkin 1920-2003

One Woman Exhibitions


2018    Lost Library: Stella Waitzkin, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI

2017    Volumes: Stella Waitzkin, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan

2014    Reflections from Another Life: Stella Waitzkin, A Gallery Contemporary, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

2009    Stella Waitzkin: Selected Works, Martha’s Vineyard Museum

2008    Atea Ring Gallery, Westport, New York

2005    Stella Waitzkin: A Retrospective, Robert Steele Gallery, New York, NY

2005    Stella Waitzkin: Vineyard Sculptures, Carol Craven Gallery, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

1989    Environments, Gay Head Gallery, Martha's Vineyard, MA

1988    Stella Waitzkin: The French Collection, Galerie Caroline Corre, Paris, France

1984    Creiger Sesen Gallery, Boston, MA

1983    Stella Waitzkin: Selected Work 1973-1983, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

1978    Stella Waitzkin: Works of Art, E.P. Gurewitsch, New York, NY

1977    A Library–Sculpture, James Yu Gallery, New York, NY

1976    Donnell Library Center, New York Public Library, New York, NY

1975    Stella Waitzkin: Sculpture and Wall Works, James Yu Gallery, NY

1974    An Essay on Sobriety, Lowenstein Library, Fordham University, New York, NY

Rare Books, James Yu Gallery, New York, NY

1973    Stella Waitzkin: Serious Literature, Yale University Calhoun College At Gallery, New Haven, CT

1973    Iris Clert, Paris, France

1972    Exhibition Closed (Performance), Battiliem Gallery, New York, NY


Selected Group Exhibitions


2019   National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

CONFRONTATION: NO!art Group, Janco-Dada Museum, Ein Hod, Israel

Seeing the Light of Day, Selections by the Registrar from the Syracuse University Art Collection, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

2018   Silent Music: Alison Weld and Stella Waitzkin, Homer Center for the Arts, Homer, NY

AAM@60: The Diamond Exhibition, Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD

Recent Acquisitions, The Art Museum at the State University of New York, Potsdam

Selections from the Permanent Collection, Radford University Art Museum, Radford, VA

2017    Portable Magic: Reading and Writing in the Visual Arts, Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY

[dis]functional: Products of Conceptual Design, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ

Selections from the Collection, University of Maine, Machais

2016   Women! Women! (Of the ‘50s), Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

A Gallery Contemporary, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Home Sweet Home, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

2015   Recent Acquisitions 2007-2015, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

Livin’ Large: Works from the 1980s, Tucson Museum of Art

Testing Testing: Painting and Sculpture from the Permanent Collection, Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC

Asheville Art Museum

A Gallery Contemporary, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

2014   X, Y + Z: Dimensions in Sculpture, Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

Looking Back Six Years: Part Two: Selected New Acquisitions, University of MaineMuseum of Art, Bangor, ME

Its Surreal Thing: The Temptation of Objects, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska

2013   Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN

Material World, Springfield Museum, Springfield, OH

(M)other Natures, Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY

Permanent Collection Galleries, Delaware Art Museum (2013-present)

Still Life from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, Butler Institute of American Art,Youngstown, OH

2012   Piece by Piece: Quilts, Collages, and Constructions, Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill NC

Size Matters: Small Works from the Fine Art Collection, New Jersey State Museum,Trenton

2011   BOOK-ISH, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA

Atea Ring Gallery, Westport, NY

Works from the Permanent Collection, University of Maine Museum of Art

Selections from the Collection, Allentown Museum of Art

3D: Focus on Abstraction, Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI

W. Carl Burger: Artist as Curator, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

2010   American Art 11: 1960 to the Present, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC

Better Half, Better Twelfth: Women Artists in the Collection, Sheldon Museum of art, Lincoln, NB (2010-2011)

Atea Ring Gallery, Westport, NY

Selections from the Collection, American Sculpture Gallery, Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University (2010-present)

American Perspectives: The Fine Art Collection, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ, (2010-present)

University of Memphis Museum of Art: a Waitzkin work in the collection exhibited in conjunction with the exhibition: Alison Weld: Art is My Natural World, 1980- 2009

2009   Etherington Fine Art, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Cool, Collected, and in Context, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC

The Kresge Art Collection: Celebrating the 50th, [Kresge Art Museum] Edythe and Eli Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI

Collection in Progress, William Paterson University Galleries, Wayne, NJ

2008   American Masterpieces, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI

Form as Content: The Book as Object and Design, Works from the Collection of Cranbrook Art Museum. Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Recent Acquisitions, Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI

The World Around Us, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

Etherington Fine Art, Martha’s Vineyard, MA         

2007   Sublime Spaces and Visionary Worlds, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI

Selections from the Permanent Collection, Radford University Museum of Art

Selections from the Collection, Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University (2007-2010)

Inside and Out, Porterfield Gallery, Radford University, Radford, VA

2006   Smithsonian American Art Museum's Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Recent Acquisitions, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

2005   Selections from the Collection, Everson Museum of Art

Etherington Fine Art, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

2004   Corcoran Gallery of Art

2003   Words on Fire, New Center for Arts and Culture, Boston, MA

A Decade of Collecting: Fine Art & Cultural History, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

2002   Designing the Future, Queens Museum of Art, NY

Women’s Work: Fine Art from the Museum’s Collection, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

1999   Memories of the Past-Intimations of the Future: New Works, Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, New Brunswick, NJ

Glorious Prints: A Celebration fo Twentieth Century Prints, Japanese Prints and Artists; Books from the Colelciton of the Newark Public Library, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ

1998   Earthly Delights, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

Details of a Lost Library, extended exhibition, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton

Collecting for Queens: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Queens Museum of Art, NY

1997   Artists of the 1950s, Part 2, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

1994-1996 Still Working, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.;

Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL;

IBM Gallery, New York, NY;

Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, Virginia;

Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles;

Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

1995   Animals, Animals, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

No Art!, Berlin, Germany

1994   Fantasy and Myth, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

1993   United States Exhibition Agency, Africa, Traveling Book Show

Recent Acquisitions, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton

Artists’ Books and Art about Books, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY

Gallery Artists and Guests, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

1992   Traveling Show: Portugal:

Salon du Livre de Lisbonne

Casa das Artes a Porto

A La Galeria da Biblioteca Municipal, Guimaraes

Centre Culturel de Sines

Palais de Galdeias, Lisbon

Renée Fotouhi Fine Art East Gallery, East Hampton, NY

Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Bi-National Center in Bogota, Columbia

Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Skirball Museum

1991   Drôles de Livres, Centre Culturel “La Nacelle,” Auberginville, France

Livres d'Artistes, Livres Objets, Espace Marquelet de La Noue, Meaux, France

1990   Fox, Ley, Leech, Carrega Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Book Arts in the U.S.A., Center for Book Arts, New York, NY

The Expanding Figurative Imagination, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

Twentieth Anniversary Show, Peter M. David Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

The Book as Art/The Book in Art, Barbara Fendrick Gallery, New York, NY

Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbutten, Germany

Le Chateau de Vascoeuil, France

Médiathèque D'Elbeuf, France

Hotel de La Région, Rouen, France

Livres Delivrés, Fonds Regional D'Art Contemporain, Normandie, Rouen, France

1989   A Density of Passions, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

délires de livres: 100 créateurs contemporains, Centre Culturel de Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, France

Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

1988   Le Livre dans tous ses États, Galerie Caroline Corre

Off The Shelf: A New Look at Book Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, IN

Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

1987   The Self Portrait: Tangible Consciousness, Robeson Center Gallery, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

The Chair, Witkin Gallery, New York, NY

Unique Books by Unique Artists, Patricia Carrega Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Art Encounter, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY

Off The Shelf: A New Look at Book Art, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA, Rutgers, University, New Brunswick, NJ

 1986   Jewish Themes/Contemporary American Artists II, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY

A Survey of Book Arts, Queens Museum of Art, New York

Artists Make Books, Lynn Plotkin’s Brentwood Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA

Galerie Caroline Corre, Paris

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

1985   Book ARTchitecture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Discotheque Faidherde, Paris, France

Books as Sculpture, Robeson Center Gallery, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

1984   Books Artists Have Made, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Center for Books Arts: The First Decade, Center for Book Arts, New York, NY; The New York Public Library, New York, NY

Nakhmkin Osterwell Fine Arts Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1983   Centre d’art contemporain, Rouen, France

Les États du Livre, Tome I Livres d’Artistes Americains, Galerie Caroline Corre, Paris

Canadian Arts Council, New Brunswick, Canada

You Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover, Thorpe Intermedia Gallery, Sparkill, NY

1982   La Bibliothèque Publique du Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris (traveling exhibition)

Artists’ Books, Ben Shahn Gallery, William Paterson College, Wayne, NJ

1981   Franklin Furnace, New York, NY

1980   Grand Palais, La Première Foire, Institute de Livres, Paris, France

Artists’ Books, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

1979   Book Forms, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH

Women Artists in Washington Collections, The University of Maryland, College Park

Illusions, Summit Art Center, Summit, NJ

1978   Artists’ Books, USA, Independent Curators Inc., Traveling exhibit, 1978-1980

E. P. Gurewitsch Works of Art, Inc., New York, NY

Sez Who? Language and Image, Peter M. David Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

1977   The Object as Poet, Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

The Book as Art II, Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Peter M. David Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

Franklin Furnace, New York, NY

1976   The Year of the Woman: Reprise, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York

The Presence and Absence in Realism, State University of New York College at Potsdam

Franklin Furnace, New York, NY

1975   Potsdam Plastics, State University of New York College at Potsdam

Lowenstein Library, Fordham University, New York, NY

1974   Recent Acquisitions, Finch College Museum, New York, NY

Contemporary American Sculpture, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond

1973   Recent Acquisitions, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond

25th Annual Ohio Ceramic and Sculpture Show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

1972   University of Wisconsin, Center for 20th Century Studies, Milwaukee, WI

Iris Clert, Paris, France

American Women Artist Show, Gedok Kunsthaus, Hamburg, Germany

1971   Projected Art: Artists at Work, Finch College Museum, New York, NY

1970   Light, Motion and Sound, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY

1968   Destruction Art: Destroy to Create, Finch College Museum of Art, New York, NY


Art Colonies 1974-1985



Ossabaw Island

Blue Mountain

Virginia Center for Creative Arts


    All visual works of art are silent. But Stella Waitzkin’s closed, impenetrable books impose a heavy silence upon us. Humanity’s cumulative knowledge–our ceaseless effort to make sense of existence through our words–seems trapped within her sumptuous, emotional libraries. But perhaps it’s merely suspended, a latent wisdom speaking to us in another voice–the voice of art.

    Waitzkin began as an abstract expressionist. She studied painting with Hans Hofmann and life drawing with Willem de Kooning. In the 1960s and early 1970s, she expanded beyond painting to work first in sculpture, then performance art and film. Her early sculptures were made out of melted glass, but soon she discovered her signature medium, polyester resin.

    After the sixties, her primary subject was the book. She cast old, leather-bound books as single objects and as elements of larger installations, including free-standing shelves, small book cases, or entire “library” walls. These constructions are composed almost entirely of cast resin tomes yet, on occasion, she included actual books. Often, she inserted other cast objects within her libraries: clocks, birds, fruit, human faces.

    These are beautiful art works, colorful, translucent, luminous. The artist would suspend color within the resin and was especially sensitive to the visual play of hue, light, and shadow within each sculpture and installation. In them, we realize that Waitzkin never strayed far from her origins as an expressionist painter. Indeed, throughout her life she continued to paint, creating intensely expressive works on paper that extended the themes and imagery of her sculpture.

    Stella Waitzkin’s sculpted libraries and individual books are powerful art works, both spiritually and emotionally affecting.  There is an over-arching aura of mystery about them; yet they assert an intense physicality. Her use of leather-bound books for her molds calls up a distant past; her cast faces resemble cameos of another era. But we feel most immediately the embodied passion of the artist’s life, her deep understanding of human longing and loss, of personal desire and achievement.

    Stella Waitzkin exhibited widely in Europe and America and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Her works are in many public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, The Jewish Museum, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and The Newark Museum, as well as the collections of Phillip Morris, Becton Dickinson, Dow Jones, and J.P. Morgan Chase.

Charles Russell is a Trustee of the Waitzkin Memorial Library Trust and Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies at Rutgers University, Newark.

Rebuke, Paradox and Genius in the Art of Stella Waitzkin

I fell in love with fishing at thirteen in 1952, when my artist mother, Stella Waitzkin, handed me a copy of Life Magazine featuring Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. Before I was half way through that genius novel, I knew I wanted to spend stretches of my life hunting the ocean for giant game fish. But also, while witnessing the death struggle between a larger-than-life blue marlin and an old man, I became intoxicated by the rhythm of Hemingway’s short sentences and some strange fusion took place deep inside me–great writing and fishing became bonded.

That same year, I began struggling to write little stories, which my mother scribbled on in India ink, offering lush near illegible phrases and insights, and I got my first boat and began fishing for eels in the Long Island Sound. Whenever I took off on one of these afternoon fishing adventures with one of my buddies or occasionally with my salesman dad, whom my mother abhorred, Stella made a distasteful face to say, “Fishing? Why fishing, Fred? Fishing is so banal.”

Meanwhile Mother spent her days painting dark canvases in her studio, usually beginning with recognizable forms and faces that devolved into storms of passion and madness. But in one large abstract canvas, a red devil emerged from the chaos. “Who is that?” I asked pointing to the Satan. “It’s your father,” she said, walking away without another word. My salesman father, whom I worshipped.

For Stella anything even vaguely normal, salesmanship, fishing, baseball, religion, was pitifully banal or worse.

Over the decades of our stormy love, It probably never occurred to Stella that she’d initiated my life as a fisherman, or if it had, she would have brushed it aside as trivial. My mom operated in a world of near inscrutable paradox. The discrete elements of life and art never interested her so much as the fusion that might take place when contrary elements were introduced to one another like a meeting of the most unlikely lovers. That’s when life, when ART excited her. I recall standing with her on a bluff on the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, looking out at the gorgeous Gulf Stream. I was dreaming of marlin. “That’s art,” she said to me pointing at a fetid pile of garbage, a broken rusting car, rotting conch shells, old cartons, that had been heaped on the beach in front of the cobalt blue water. I didn’t get it. Garbage? Art? She turned away from me shaking her head and repeating, “That’s art,” meaning the sky, the blue deep water, the broken car and conch shells in relation to the sea–juxtaposition. I couldn’t see it then. It took me years to see it.

Back in those Great Neck days mother blasted the jazz of Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk through the rooms of our house. This bedlam she called music drove me crazy. But she laughed at my taste and turned up the sound until the walls were shaking. “Some day I’d get it,” she offered. These smug remarks from Stella infuriated me, along with her abstractions, which my dad despised. But Stella was right. By the time I was 18 years old, I was in love with Monk, Coltrane, and many other progressive jazz greats.

When I was a boy growing up in Great Neck, and very much in the sway of my lighting salesman father, whom I adored, Stella was taking the train into the city to study painting with the renowned abstract painter and teacher, Hans Hoffman. One might imagine Stella would have taken the guidance of perhaps the greatest teacher of modern art as gospel, but apparently not. Hoffman admired her roiling textures and dark soul, but repeatedly, when a recognizable image would appear at the edge of her abstraction, the great master would exclaim, “Vas ist Das?” For him Stella was making a blunder, ruining the purity of a vision. But Stella stifled a laugh at his critique and went her own way, even with the great Hoffman. The paradox of marlin and poetry, the pristine ocean and garbage, abstraction with traces of realism, yin and yang, intrigued her throughout her personal and artistic life.

After her divorce from Abe, Stella moved into New York City, quickly forging personal relationships with some of the greatest American painters: Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Malcolm Morley, Larry Rivers, Louise Nevelson, among others. One evening she invited de Kooning for dinner. He came with drips and smears of dried paint on his pants. Observing the immortal painter through my father’s eyes, I decided de Kooning was a loser, a bum.

By the 60’s Mother was doing more sculpture than painting, sometimes melting glass into unusual forms in a kiln but soon discovering a passion for casting painterly books from polyester resin, books without words. Occasionally she showed her work in galleries, but often she spurned the politics of the art world and offended admirers, gallery owners and art critics. Several times Mother had been offered solo exhibitions in galleries, and she would comment acidly of the director, “He’s a bullshit artist. What is he trying to get from me?” I recall one time she was scheduled to have a one-man show at the prestigious Lee Witkin Gallery on West Broadway. This was a huge opportunity for Stella–surely her exhibition would receive notices in all of the top magazines and newspapers. But two weeks before the opening she called an incredulous Witkin to tell him that the opening date for the show was not advantageous to her in terms of numerology. She demanded he re-schedule. Witkin was enraged and never spoke with her again. But Stella didn’t care. She believed Lee Witkin was trying to take advantage of her in some dark manner.

Making art meant the world to my mom. But making it in the art world meant very little.

Later on, Mother bought a house on Music Street on Martha’s Vineyard with uncanny architectural twists and turns, mysterious stairways, interior nooks and secret crannies, like an off-beat ocean-going yacht. Over the years mother filled her Music Street house with art and rebuke and also with the jazz that she loved. In front of her door there was a mat with the words, “Go Away.” Often Stella didn’t want to see anyone including me. By then Stella was full time making sculptures of books without words from polyester resin. She worked long hours and often brought her sculptures indoors and placed them at the foot of her bed so that when she woke in the morning she could see them with fresh eyes. The fumes from her resin sculptures were toxic but she didn’t care. For her, art had become everything she cared about in life.  

In the fall I came to the island for two or three weeks, staying in a Chilmark house owned by my wife’s parents. I was usually working on a magazine article but mainly I came to visit my mother. In the evening I’d come by the Music Street house for dinner, and usually when she heard my knock on the door she screamed at me to go away. She was mostly living as a hermit then, living with jazz and the smells of damp resin mixing with the aroma of beef stew or chicken soup simmering on the stove. “Go away, Freddy,” she shrieked, but I’d always force myself into her her kitchen that was crammed with art and found objects. Her entire place was a bedlam of sculpture and old books and wood, garbage, anything that she might make into art. Stella put everything imaginable inside her books without words, religious icons, baby shoes, faces of animals. She once embedded a dead bird in one of her sculptures. I’d edge myself through the art and junk to where she was standing beside the stove, give her a big hug. While she pushed me away I kissed her chubby cheeks until she began to relax, soften and giggle…. Loving Stella was always a battle.

After her delicious dinner I might show her an article of mine that had just appeared in the New York Times Magazine. She’d look vaguely interested but was mostly dismissive. Stella shook her head to say, this isn’t the real writing, Fred. When are you going to do the real writing? Journalism meant little to Stella. Fiction and poetry was what really counted if you were a serious writer.

Stella’s rejections hurt, to be sure, often sent me reeling, but she taught me so much. Stella taught me about color and juxtaposition, uncanny juxtaposition, to search for the loving elements in an essentially evil protagonist or to find evil predisposition in an admirable fellow—that’s when a story becomes interesting. Stella was derisive about saints and curious about sinners. She taught me to reach very high, to do better than I could even imagine… Sadly, Stella never lived to see much of my best work, the novels she’d been pushing me to write.

During the last year of her life the Music Street house was so crammed with art and garbage that it was near impossible to walk through the rooms. Stella counseled me sternly that when she passed she wanted me to pile her sculptures and paintings into my fishing boat, the Ebb Tide, take the art out to sea and throw it over the side—throw her life’s work into the fishing waters that I loved. She ordered me to do this many times. This would be the ultimate irony, the piece de resistance of a paradoxical life vision.

But I didn’t listen.

At the time of her death in 2003, Stella Waitzkin was admired by artists who knew her work but certainly not a prominent figure in the art world. In the ensuing sixteen years, Charles Russell, a dedicated admirer of Stella and an accomplished art writer, and myself, operated an art trust with the sole mandate to help Stella’s art gain the exposure it deserved. The trust has been more successful than we could reasonably have imagined.

Since her death Mom’s work has been acquired and periodically exhibited by seventy-five public museums across the country. Her work is in the collections of some of the great art museums in the world including MOMA, The Jewish Museum, the Smithsonian and and The National Gallery where her sculpture is presently being exhibited. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, has hundreds of individual works that they periodically exhibit in a very large installation space mirroring Mom’s living room in the Chelsea Hotel where she lived in New York for many years. On Martha’s Vineyard Stella has had a retrospective exhibition at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and has shown many times at Tanya Agostino’s marvelous A Gallery. This summer Stella’s work will be featured in an exhibition in the Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod, Israel

Sixteen years ago my brilliant difficult iconoclast mother ordered me to dump her life’s work into the sea. Would she be pleased that I hadn’t done it? Would she be pleased with her considerable posthumous success?

 I’m really not sure.

Coming into Her Own


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