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Insights From A Scholar


What is modernism?, Digital ID 495241, New York Public LibraryThe Library is home to the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Every year, a new group comes in with fascinating projects, and work extensively with the Research Library’s collections. This year, we were privileged to have well-known art critic and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mark Stevens as a fellow. Mark, who has written about Willem De Kooning, is working on a biography of the famous twentieth century English painter Francis Bacon. 

During my research into the Art Deco years, I ran across the fact that Bacon was a furniture and rug designer from 1929 to 1933, and had been influenced by travel to Berlin (1926) and Paris (1927). He lived and breathed the artistic atmosphere of that fascinating era, only to break off his design work and turn to figurative oil painting fulltime. Knowing that Mark has been working away downstairs, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to question him about Bacon’s early years. The next several posts, on April 29 and May 1, brief interviews with Mark Stevens, will recount what I learned from him.


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Mark Stevens

Dear Paula, I read with intereset your interviews with Mark Stevens. I am a PhD candidate in modern art working on a thesis on influences on the biographical image making of artists. Francis Bacon is one of my case studies and I discuss several biographies that have been written about Bacon. Do you know if and how I might contact Mr. Stevens about the new biography he is writing? Thank you very much for your help.

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