Regina Marler is the author of Bloomsbury Pie: The Making of the Bloomsbury Boom. She edited Queer Beats: How the Beats Turned America on to Sex and Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell. (May 2018)

IN THE REVIEW

Pictures of the Jazz Age

Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography

by Julia Van Haaften

Paris Portraits: 1925–1930

by Berenice Abbott, edited by Ron Kurtz and Hank O’Neal
Berenice Abbott had starved in New York and was starving in Paris when Man Ray hired her for his darkroom. It was Abbott’s idea. He had complained about his latest “know-it-all” studio assistant, and Abbott jumped in: “What about me? I don’t know a thing.” Her rapid learning surprised them both. “I liked photography. Photography liked me,” she recalled. Eventually Ray suggested that she take some portraits with his camera during lunch and after work. Starting with her friends, a glittering roster of Jazz Age Paris sat for Abbott, including Sylvia Beach, Jean Cocteau, Djuna Barnes and her lover Thelma Wood (Abbott’s ex), André Gide, Buddy Gilmore, Max Ernst, Marie Laurencin, and Janet Flanner.

In the Cauldron at Midnight

Leonora Carrington with André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, and Max Ernst, New York City, 1942; photograph by Hermann Landshoff. At center is Morris Hirshfield’s painting Nude at the Window (1941).

Farewell to the Muse: Love, War and the Women of Surrealism

by Whitney Chadwick

Down Below

by Leonora Carrington, with an introduction by Marina Warner
Can a woman be a muse and an artist? In theory, yes. In practice, the roles seldom overlap comfortably. “All that means is you’re someone else’s object,” as Leonora Carrington put it.