The only thing that makes a good story better is if the story happens to be about one of the greatest social scandals in history.
A well-told art history story is such a rare and delicious treat that when you come across one, it's worth talking about non-stop to anyone who will tolerate you.
Enter Strapless, the story of how painter John Singer Sargent ruined a young woman's entire life by omitting from her portrait a dab of black paint roughly the size of a dime.
This isn't just the story of a painting, though. This is a peek into the lives of high society Parisians and the birth of high society in New Orleans. It's also a historical look at the fashion industry, which was largely responsible for keeping France afloat during the war. Who knew?
You'll want to keep you iPad nearby so you can paintings the author references, and look up notable characters on Wikipedia. Good companions for this book are Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends and Sargent's Daughters: The Biography of a Painting.
And, if you insist, plane tickets to New York City and tickets to The Met where you can see the scandalous portrait of Madame X for yourself. Otherwise, come see us this weekend in between chapters. We have amazing new art for fall, and we'd love to help you find your new favorite. Promise, no scandals.
We're excited to introduce you to another new face at Art Mecca, Cara O'Leary. Cara is our new sales associate, and she got started with a bang by helping sandbag the doors to protect the gallery from tropical storm Irma. (We had a little damage to our sign, but that's it!)
Cara is also an artist, so she is passionate about local art. A Charleston native and graduate of the College of Charleston, she graduated last May with a B.A. in Arts Management and a minor in Art History and Studio Art. Cara has a lovely family at home, including her 9 month old son, Dre.
Welcome to Art Mecca, Cara! We're so glad you joined our family.
If you were in the Art Mecca in the last year or so you probably met Kyra Rice, our powerhouse gallery manager. Kyra said "yes" to a lovely Navy gentleman and is leaving Charleston to follow him on his deployment. We couldn't be happier for her, and we will miss her very much.
However, we are delighted to introduce you to Tracy Swygert, Art Mecca's new gallery manager. Tracy has a passion for art and for the Charleston art scene and has a background in art, design, and architecture. When not working at the gallery, she is managing a formidable household, including six kids! Though Tracy's education is vast and diverse, we just know that if she can manage six kids she can easily manage all of the moving parts in the gallery.
Welcome, Tracy, we are delighted you're part of our family!