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Revolutionary artist Mary Rogers Williams (1857—1907), a baker’s daughter from Hartford, Connecticut, biked and hiked from the Arctic Circle to Naples, exhibited from Paris to Indianapolis, trained at the Art Students League, chafed against art world rules that favored men, wrote thousands of pages about her travels and work, taught at Smith College for nearly two decades, but sadly ended up almost totally obscure.
The book, Forever Seeing New Beauties, reproduces her unpublished artworks that capture pensive gowned women, Norwegian slopes reflected in icy waters, saw-tooth rooflines on French chateaux, and incense hazes in Italian chapels, and it offers a vivid portrayal of an adventurer, defying her era’s expectations.
Author Eve M. Kahn is an independent scholar specializing in art and architectural history, design and preservation, and was weekly Antiques columnist at The New York Times, 2008—2016. She contributes regularly to the Times, The Magazine Antiques, Apollo, and Atlas Obscura.