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West Margin Press

Sisters in Art: The Biography of Margaret, Esther, and Helen Bruton

Sisters in Art: The Biography of Margaret, Esther, and Helen Bruton

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With color photographs and artwork, Sisters in Art is the first biography to capture the lives and works of Margaret, Esther, and Helen Bruton, three exceptionally talented sisters whose mark on the California modernist art scene still impacts our world.

"Great stories abound in this book, including the goings-on of the 'Monterey Group' of painters and an encounter with a teetotaling Henri Matisse at a North Beach cocktail party. If California had a Belle Époque, this was it. From their chubby-cheeked 'Gibson Girl' childhood through their sunlit dotage, the Brutons were exemplars of many aspects of California history and, in recent years, overlooked. Good's book corrects this."
--Library Journal

"Both beautiful and substantial, Sisters in Art: The Biography of Margaret, Esther, and Helen Bruton. . . would make a great gift for the art lover in your life [...] The book contains detailed-but-lively accounts of the sisters' lives and work, and is filled with black-and-white and color plates of their art."
--The Carmel Pine Cone

"An illuminating and heroic work... [Good] writes vividly about how all three Brutons continued to make art until the very end of their lives."
--Jasmin Darznik, New York Times-bestselling author of The Bohemians

"For decades, Margaret, Esther and Helen Bruton have been relegated to a side note in California art history. Yet their work has found new appreciation in the 21st century, and their fascinating lives and impressive artistic achievements are finally coming back into the light."
--Carmel Magazine

Educated at art schools in New York and Paris, the Brutons ran in elite artistic circles and often found themselves in the company of luminaries including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Henri Matisse, Armin Hansen, Maynard Dixon, Imogen Cunningham, and Ansel Adams. Their contemporaries described the sisters as geniuses, for they were bold experimenters who excelled in a wide variety of mediums and styles, each eventually finding a specialization that expressed her best: Margaret turned to oil paintings, watercolors, and terrazzo tabletops; Esther became known for her murals, etchings, fashion illustrations, and decorative screens; and Helen lost herself in large-scale mosaics.

Although celebrated for their achievements during the 1920s and 1930s, the Brutons cared little about fame, failing to promote themselves or their work. Over time, the "famous Bruton sisters" and their impressive art careers were nearly forgotten. Now for the first time, Sisters in Art reveals the contributions of Margaret, Esther, and Helen Bruton as their works continue to inspire and find new appreciation today.

Author: Wendy Van Wyck Good
Publisher: West Margin Press
Published: 10/26/2021
Pages: 232
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 2.15lbs
Size: 7.42h x 9.54w x 0.91d
ISBN: 9781513289519

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal 10/01/2021 pg. 80
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