Albany Museum of Art begins Art Lovers Book Club

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Those who love art and good books will have a new opportunity to discuss both at the new AMA Art Lovers Book Club.

The club’s first meeting is at 6 pm on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at the Albany Museum of Art’s Willson Auditorium. There is no cost to participate as AMA staff and fellow book lovers in the area read and talk about books related to art, artists and art museums. 

The first selection is I am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto. Albany Museum of Art Executive Director Paula Williams will lead the discussion.

Diliberto’s novel imagines the story of Virginie Gautreau, subject of the painting Madame X by John Singer Sargent. In writing it, Diliberto draws upon the few historical facts about Gautreau, a New Orleans native who left Civil War America for France, where she married a French banker. Sargent painted the young socialite, known for her beauty and rumored promiscuity. His work Madame X was seen as sexually suggestive, creating a scandal when it was shown at the Paris Salon of 1884. Gautreau was said to have been humiliated by the event. Sargent soon left Paris to establish himself in Britain and America.

“There’s plenty of time to get a copy and read it before the club meeting,” Annie Vanoteghem, director of Education and Public Programming for the AMA, said. “It’s an informal discussion, there’s no cost, and you don’t have to attend every meeting to be a club member.”

RSVPs may be made by emailing or by calling 229.439.8400.

Meeting every other month will give club members, who are expected to obtain their own copies of the books, plenty of time to read the selections scheduled for discussion, she said.  Club members are asked to RSVP by noon on the meeting date so that the meeting space can be prepared.  

Discussion leaders have been scheduled for the first three club meetings. Upcoming dates and selections are: 

n  July 15: Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracey Chevalier. Discussion leader is K.K. Snyder; 

n  Sept 17: The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. Discussion leader is Candice Franklin; 

n  Nov 19: The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton; 

n  Jan 21: An Artist of the Floating World, by Kazuo Ishiguro; 

n  March 17: I, Juan de Pareja, by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino.

“We hope those participating will feel free to make suggestions for future ‘reads’ throughout the year,” Vanoteghem said. 


Memory and Meaning, works by Masud Olufani, continues in the Haley Gallery through June 15, 2019;

Undercurrents, works by Jerushia Graham, continues in the East Gallery through June 15, 2019;

Ghost Yonder Moonscape, works by Zipporah Thompson, continues in the Haley Gallery through June 15, 2019.