nection between Frida Kahlo and Jacqueline
Lamba Breton, the intricate alliance between
Leonor Fini and Leonora Carrington, and
the healing relationship between poet Valentine Boué Penrose and war photographer Lee
Miller, the sequential wives of Roland Penrose, the surrealists’ steadfast patron. And
then there’s the staggering tale of the Resistance heroes Claude Cahun, photographer
and writer, and illustrator Suzanne Malherbe.
Set within a vividly realized historical context, steeped in psychological perceptions,
and richly illustrated, Chadwick’s unique
look at the women of surrealism deepens
our understanding of the movement and the
lives of women artists in a time of chaos and
catastrophic war. —Donna Seaman
Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside
Story of Television’s Most Influential
By Jeff Fager.
Oct. 2017. 400p. Simon & Schuster, $35
It’s the only television series to have run
for 50 years in prime time, and at the end of
its first season it ranked a disastrous seventy-fifth out of 81 series. It was the faith of its
network, CBS, and of its creator, veteran
newsman Don Hewitt, that kept it on the
air. Hewitt, who in 1967 “wanted to create
Life magazine on television,” is one of many
journalists, producers, and writers who are
profiled in this history of the multiple-award-winning 60 Minutes. As an executive
producer on the show (he joined the team
in 1989), the author is ideally positioned to
give readers the inside scoop, and he doesn’t
disappoint. His loyalty to the show, however,
doesn’t keep him from telling what appears
to be the unvarnished story: we learn, for
example, that Mike Wallace had a reputation of being a habitual story-stealer, taking
other people’s ideas and using them himself
(he thought it was his right as the senior correspondent to have the best stories). There
have been other books about the show,
including Hewitt’s own autobiography, published in 2001, but Fager’s might be the most
comprehensive. It’s certainly entertaining
and frequently surprising. —David Pitt
First Time Ever.
By Peggy Seeger.
Nov. 2017. 416p. illus. Faber and Faber, $29.95
The half-sister of Pete Seeger, the muse of
English folksinger, activist, and writer Ewan
MacColl, Peggy Seeger is also a force to be
reckoned with in her own right. Headstrong
and determined, curious and adroit, Seeger
has been the perfect vessel for sharing and
keeping vital the vast catalog of folk music
indigenous to various cultures. Her peripatetic life took her from the home of her
famed musical family in America around the
globe, singing and studying her way through
Holland, Russia, Germany, and China, ultimately settling in Britain. Meeting MacColl
These 10 exemplary titles, reviewed in Booklist from November 1, 2016, to October 1, 2017, cover the arts spectrum, from an early
celebrity photographer to a cherished TV character, an architect, a
designer, a master jazz artist, a visionary director, and a risk-addicted
curator, along with offering deep dives into pop music and a classic
Hollywood film. —Donna Seaman
The Dream Colony: A Life in Art. By Walter Hopps. Ed. by Deborah
Treisman. 2017. Bloomsbury, $30 (9781632865298).
Daring and influential curator Hopps (1932–2005) recorded more
than 100 hours of wittily recounted stories that Treisman turned into a
Frasier: A Cultural History. By Joseph J. Darowski and Kate Darowski.
2017. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (9781442277960).
Kelsey Grammer played Frasier Crane in Cheers and Frasier for 20
years, an indelible character the Darowskis astutely analyze in this
solidly researched and entertaining inquiry.
George Lucas. By Brian Jay Jones. 2016. Little, Brown, $32
Jones’ in-depth and gripping exploration reveals that renowned director George Lucas is much more than the genius behind the iconic
Star Wars franchise.
Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black & White, Body and Soul in
American Music. By Ann Powers. 2017. Morrow/Dey St., $26.99
In her exciting analysis of the roots of sex and race in American
popular music, critic Powers tracks the connections between the original sounds of New
Orleans’ Congo Square, blues queens, rockers, and Beyoncé.
The Great Nadar: The Man behind the Camera. By Adam Begley. 2017. Crown/Tim Duggan, $30 (9781101902608).
Begley vividly chronicles the achievements of creative whirlwind Félix Tournachon
(1820–1910), known as Nadar and renowned for his photographs of arts luminaries and
The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America. By B. Alexandra Szerlip. 2017. Melville, $28.99 (9781612195629).
Szerlip portrays the brilliant industrial designer Bel Geddes, examining his visionary
designs for everything from radios to refrigerators, cars, cocktail shakers, and theaters.
The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan. By Patricia Bosworth. 2017. Harper, $27.99 (9780062287908).
Bosworth looks back to her life-shaping experiences as a model, a member of the
famed Actors Studio, and an actor on Broadway and in soap operas and film.
Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan. By Elaine M. Hayes. 2017. Ecco,
Music-historian Hayes elucidates Sarah Vaughan’s artistic mastery and roller-coaster life
in jazz as she faced virulent racism and ultimately conquered the world.
We’ll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie. By Noah Isenberg. 2017. Norton, $27.95 (9780393243123).
Isenberg tells the full Casablanca story in this nonfiction thriller, delving into the film’s
production and cultural significance while performing exciting detective work.
You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn. By Wendy Lesser. 2017. Farrar, $27
Lesser tracks each demanding phase in Louis Kahn’s evolution as an ardent, internationally
revered architect preternaturally attuned to materials and how we relate to our surroundings.
TOP 10 ARTS BOOKS