Monumental Dreams: The Life and Sculpture of Ann Norton

Monumental Dreams: The Life and Sculpture of Ann Norton

by Caroline Seebohm

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In 1929, the Museum of Modern Art opened its doors, showing the astonishing paintings of Picasso, Matisse, and other avant garde artists. Young American artists quickly responded by experimenting with impressionism, cubism, and abstraction.

In Monumental Dreams, author Caroline Seebohm tells the riveting story of how Ann Norton (1905–1982)—a child of the South who had eschewed her Alabama roots to become a sculptor in New York City—joined this new guard. She studied with John Hovannes and Jose de Creeft and was studio assistant to Alexander Archipenko. Her work was well received, and by age 35, she had already participated in group shows at MOMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Despite her burgeoning career, Norton found New York a difficult place to live. In search of paying work, she moved to Florida, where she became a teacher at the Norton Gallery and School of Art, founded by retired Acme Steel president Ralph Hubbard Norton. The two built a relationship based on love as well as common aesthetic values, and after his death, she built her finest and lasting work. Today, her monolithic sculptures—in the spirit of Stonehenge, Henry Moore, and Buddhist temple art—can be admired in the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813047607
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 479,433
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Caroline Seebohm is the author of several books, including Under Live Oaks: The Last Great Houses of the Old South and Boca Rococo: How Addison Mizner Invented Florida's Gold Coast. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other publications.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part I Southern Roots: Selma, Alabama, 1905-1930

1 The Origins of a Great Alabama Family 7

2 Childhood in Selma 13

3 Early Success 22

Part II The Art World in Turmoil: New York, 1930-1942

4 A Tumultuous Education 33

5 The Emergence of an Artist 40

6 A Rare Friendship 47

7 Career Challenges 59

8 A Turning Point 70

Part III From Annie Vaughan Weaver to Ann Norton: Florida, 1943-1953

9 The Savior from Chicago 83

10 A Reticent Romance 96

11 Marriage and a New Life 103

12 A Growing Confidence 114

Part IV The Journey to the Source: Florida, 1954-1982

13 New Freedom, New Work 127

14 Figures in the Landscape 133

15 East and West, New Relationships 140

16 Dreams of Selma 151

17 Time Runs Out 158

18 The Garden as Legacy 166

List of Exhibitions 175

Notes 177

Acknowledgments 191

Index 195

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