Inspired Encounters: Women Artists and the Legacies of Modern Art

Copublished with Rockefeller Brothers Fund and National Academy of Design
Edited by Katrina London and Jeremiah William McCarthy
Text by Fritz Horstman, Kimberli Gant, Katrina London, Jeremiah William McCarthy, and Helaine Posner and a conversation between Adrienne L. Childs, Katrina London, Laurence Madeline, Jeremiah William McCarthy, and Maura Reilly
Design by Lisa Naftolin
208 pages, 160 images, softcover, 6 x 8 3/4 inches


Inspired Encounters is an exercise of imagination that takes as its point of departure the art collection at Kykuit—the former home of the Rockefeller family, now a historic house museum. The book asks: if exclusively women-identifying artists remained in this legendary collection of modernist art, what would be revealed? Essentially the product of three people whose lives intertwined within and outside the Museum of Modern Art in New York—Alfred H. Barr, Jr., and Dorothy Canning Miller, and Nelson A. Rockefeller—the Kykuit collection includes work from the years 1950 to 1970 by Anni Albers, Mary Bauermeister, Lee Bontecou, Mary Callery, Valerie Clarebout, Dorothy Dehner, Grace Hartigan, Louise Kruger, Marisol, Louise Nevelson, and Lenore Tawney. Inspired Encounters augments this group with works by Louise Bourgeois, Elizabeth Catlett, Lin Emery, and Fanny Sanín to expand the possibilities of a “closed” collection. Commissioned works by Sonya Clark, Maren Hassinger, Elana Herzog, Melissa Meyer, Barbara Takenaga, and Kay WalkingStick reflect on the collection, engaging with the legacies of these modernists and gesturing to the potential art futures these artists together engender, as well as on the provocations of Kykuit as a site. The invented encounters materialize in diverse quotations, images, and ephemera, brought together in Lisa Naftolin’s lyrical design, to show the period of high modernism as relevant, generative, and open to myriad creative possibilities.

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