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Picturing a World

Bouguereau’s Nymphs and Satyr

A painting of Nymphs and Satyrs by William Adolphe Bouguereau lies in one of the oddball overlaps between my research for ANONYMITY and Where the Light Falls. In the published novel, Bouguereau is Jeanette’s teacher at the Académie Julian, and I saw his painting often when I visited the galleries while working in the library at The Clark. What you see here, however, is an image of the picture as it hung in a Men Only saloon at the notorious Hoffman House Hotel in New York City after 1882.

The saloon probably won’t figure into the new novel—after all, my center-of-consciousness heroine, Mattie, can’t go there (except on certain visiting days). As a women’s suffragist and feminist, however, she is fighting the sort of macho culture it represented. In 1942, Robert Sterling Clark bought Nymphs and Satyr, and it now hangs in much more respectable company to be regarded (or laughed at) by women as well as men.

For more about the Hoffman House saloon, click here.
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