Peter Selz by Paul J. Karlstrom

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This absorbing biography, often conveyed through Peter Selz’s own words, traces the journey of a Jewish-German immigrant from Hitler’s Munich to the United States and on to an important career as a pioneer historian of modern art. Paul J. Karlstrom illuminates key historical and cultural events of the twentieth-century as he describes Selz’s extraordinary career—from Chicago’s Institute of Design (New Bauhaus), to New York’s Museum of Modern Art during the transformative 1960s, and as founding director of the University Art Museum at UC Berkeley. Karlstrom sheds light on the controversial viewpoints that at times isolated Selz from his colleagues but nonetheless affirmed his conviction that significant art was always an expression of deep human experience. The book also links Selz’s long life story—featuring close relationships with such major art figures as Mark Rothko, Dore Ashton, Willem de Kooning, Sam Francis, and Christo—with his personal commitment to political engagement.
 

About Paul J. Karlstrom

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Paul J. Karlstrom, former West Coast Regional Director of the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, is the editor of On the Edge of America: California Modernist Art, 1900-1950 (UC Press) and a co-editor of Asian American Art: A History, 1860-1970. He is coauthor of Turning the Tide: Early Los Angeles Modernists, 1920-1956 and author of Raimonds Staprans: Art of Tranquility and Turbulence.
 
Published January 2, 2012 by University of California Press. 294 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Throughout his career, when it comes to matters of art, Selz has been guided by intuition, instinct, and emotion. He feels his decisions about art and is guided by those feelings at least as much as

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Peter Selz

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