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1. Subjectivity, generally, is the condition of being a subject; the subject is understood to be multiple, always positioned in relation to and regulated by particular discourses and practices and produced by these. (See the development of this concept in the text to follow.) Discourses are those ensembles of beliefs, concepts, and specialized terms through which disciplines, media, institutions, and ideologies organize, understand, and produce their objects of study. [BACK]

2. See J.R.R. Christie and Fred Orton, “Writing on a Text of the Life,” Art History 11 (December 1988): 558–60. [BACK]

3. Griselda Pollock, “Artists, Mythologies and Media Genius, Madness and Art History,” Screen 21, no. 3 (1980): 58–59, 95. In 1989, in revising her position somewhat to reflect the intervening debate regarding the issue of subjectivity and agency, Pollock acknowledged Christie and Orton's theoretical distinction between biographical narrative and monographical narrative, a distinction she had not made in 1980. See Griselda Pollock, “Agency and the Avant-Garde: Studies in Authorship and History by Way of Van Gogh,” Block 15 (1989): 4–15. The Christie/Orton article and the Pollock Block article are reprinted in Fred Orton and Griselda Pollock, Avant-Gardes and Partisans Reviewed (New York: Manchester University Press, 1996), 295–314 and 315–42, respectively. [BACK]

4. Karen A. Bearor, Irene Rice Pereira: Her Paintings and Philosophy (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993). [BACK]

5. In this joint exhibition, Pereira and Loren MacIver shared the distinction of being the first living women artists honored with a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. For a detailed chronology of Pereira's life and a record of her most significant exhibitions, see the appendices in Bearor, Irene Rice Pereira. [BACK]

6. “Eastward Journey,” Irene Rice Pereira Papers, microfilm roll D223, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Most of Pereira's philosophical writings were self-published. The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., reprinted two, The Nature of Space, a Metaphysical and Aesthetic Inquiry (1956) and The Lapis (1957), in 1968 and 1970, respectively. (For a list of her published and unpublished manuscripts, see Bearor, Irene Rice Pereira, 302–3.) Surviving correspondence suggests that the desired number of costly reproductions for “Eastward Journey” formed a major obstacle to securing a press, although there also appears to have been little editorial interest in negotiating the matter. [BACK]

7. On spiritual autobiography, see Linda H. Peterson, Victorian Autobiography: The Tradition of Self-Interpretation (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986), 125, and Peter A. Dorsey, Sacred Estrangement: The Rhetoric of Conversion in Modern American Autobiography (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993), 9. On Puritanism, see Kathleen M. Swaim, “‘Come and Hear’: Women's Puritan Evidences,” in American Women's Autobiography: Fea(s)ts of Memory, ed. Margo Culley (Madison:

University of Wisconsin Press, 1992), 32–56; and Jacqueline Rose, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992), 2. On the artist as spectator, see “Eastward Journey,” frame 52. Many scholars have commented upon the rhetorical connections between travel writing and conversion narratives. See, for example, Dorsey, Sacred Estrangement, 30; and Casey Blanton, Travel Writing: The Self and the World (New York: Twayne, 1997), 3. There has been relatively little scholarship devoted to reputationbuilding strategies by artists or their estates. See, however, Rose, Haunting of Sylvia Plath; Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang, Etched in Memory: The Building and Survival of Artistic Reputation (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990); and Carol M. Zemel, The Formation of a Legend: Van Gogh Criticism, 1890–1920 (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1980). For additional information on women in the United States, see Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang, “Etched in Memory: An Essay on Rescuing Reputations,” in Etched in Memory: Women Printmakers from the Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang Collection, ed. Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang (Seattle: Frye Art Museum, 2001), 1–11. [BACK]

8. Horace Gregory, Dorothy Richardson: An Adventure in Self-Discovery (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967), viii. Pilgrimage was published in eleven chapter-volumes between 1915 and 1935. These were collected and published with an additional chapter in 1938, and a thirteenth chapter was added posthumously to the four-volume 1967 edition. Dorothy Richardson, Pilgrimage, 4 vols. (New York: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1938; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967). [BACK]

9. The Künstlerroman is typically defined as the novel of the artist's aesthetic education, although this is generally understood to include the development of the entire personality. The form often overlaps with the Bildungsroman, the so-called apprenticeship novel, although the Künstlerroman does not necessarily concern itself with youthful protagonists. Both these forms have affinities with the more generalized “development novel,” the Entwincklungsroman, and the more narrowly focused Erziehungsroman, which generally concerns the impact of schools or teachers on the central character. Like the autobiography itself, these fictional forms emerged in the eighteenth century from confession narratives. Although literary critics have devoted much ink to defining these elusive and much abused terms in more concrete ways, as a literary nonspecialist I am not invested in that debate and depend only upon common usage.

The early-twentieth-century form of the artist biography is heavily dependent upon the overall development of modern biography in Victorian England, particularly as it fell under the spell of Thomas Carlyle's so-called Great Man theory of history. Carlyle (1795–1881) popularized German romanticism in England, particularly through his translations of Goethe's Faust and Wilhelm Meister, his Life of Schiller (1825), and his On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841). Hence the artist biography, understood here as the monographical narrative, was already heavily informed by German romanticism before Jungianism and Otto Rank's Art and Artist: Creative Urge and Personality

Development (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1932) helped incorporate the aspects of inner development central to the Künstlerroman into the genre and provided the critical basis for the “heroic” phase of abstract expressionism.

Although Pereira was associated with leftist causes during the 1930s, her use of the conversion narrative is unrelated in purpose to the so-called proletarian Bildungsroman, whereby non–class-conscious workers develop into fighters for the proletariat. However, these examples do indicate the continued vitality of the genre, broadly conceived. See Barbara Foley, “Generic and Doctrinal Politics in the Proletarian Bildungsroman,” in Understanding Narrative, ed. James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1994), 43–64. [BACK]

10. Peterson, Victorian Autobiography, 130–32; Linda H. Peterson, “Gender and Autobiographical Form: The Case of the Spiritual Autobiography,” in Studies in Autobiography, ed. James Olney (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 211–22; Sally Robinson, Engendering the Subject: Gender and Self-Representation in Contemporary Women's Fiction (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 191. [BACK]

11. This term originated with Elizabeth Bruss in her Autobiographical Acts: The Changing Situation of a Literary Genre (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976). It is now widely used to refer to any of a number of autobiographical practices manifested in diverse forms, including not only the traditional literary form but also poetry, photography, essays, performance art, dreams, visions, and so forth. See Sidonie Smith, “Autobiography,” in Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States, ed. Cathy N. Davidson and Linda Wagner-Martin (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 85–90. [BACK]

12. I refer here, of course, to the position left to the “author” by Roland Barthes's “The Death of the Author” and the countless writings it inspired. See Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” in Image Music Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), 142–48. [BACK]

13. As Felicity Nussbaum wrote, “One consequence of the subject's entering into the culture's language and symbol system is a subjectivity placed in contradiction among dominant ideologies while those ideologies simultaneously work to produce and hold in place a unified subject. In order to preserve the existing subject positions, individual subjects are discouraged from attending to the ways in which the discourses are incongruent. We believe that the different positions make an autonomous whole, but the feeling that we are constant and consistent occurs because of ideological pressures for subjects to make order and coherence. Though we have confidence that the conflicting positions will add up to a whole, it is partially that we attend to the particular memories that match the available codes and make us believe in a fundamental unity. If human subjects give heed instead to inconsistencies, the reformulated ‘self,’ an intersection of competing discourses, may seem less obviously continuous and explicable.” Felicity A. Nussbaum, The Autobiographical Subject: Gender and Ideology in Eighteenth-Century England (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 33. [BACK]


14. Wendy Hollway, “Gender Difference and the Production of Subjectivity,” in Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity, ed. Julian Henriques et al. (New York: Methuen, 1984), 236–37. Hollway chooses the term investments, despite reservations, to theorize forces for people's actions that cannot be reduced to biology or the social, without resorting to the model of the humanist rational subject or to terminology overloaded with meaning from psychoanalytic theory (238). There is extensive literature on the body as a site of meaning. For an examination of the discursive relationship between the female body and autobiography, see Sidonie Smith, “Identity's Body,” in Autobiography and Postmodernism, ed. Kathleen Ashley, Leigh Gilmore, and Gerald Peters (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994), 266–92. [BACK]

15. Hollway, “Gender Difference,” 238, 228, 260. Griselda Pollock came to similar conclusions regarding agency in part by following Raymond Williams's idea of art as practice. See Pollock, “Agency and the Avant-Garde,” 14–15. [BACK]

16. Anthony Paul Kerby, Narrative and the Self (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 6. See also Smith, “Autobiography,” 85, and Christi and Orton, “Writing on a Text,” 559. [BACK]

17. John I.H. Baur, Loren MacIver; I. Rice Pereira (New York: Macmillan and the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1953), 40–41. [BACK]

18. For an excellent study of the difficulties associated with being an intellectual woman during this era, and a model of what a “postmodern” biography might be, see Toril Moi's Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1994). [BACK]

19. Clinton Machann, The Genre of Autobiography in Victorian Literature (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994), 6; Timothy Dow Adams, Telling Lies in Modern American Autobiography (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), ix, 3. For interesting developments in the ways our notions of our selves are changing with new technologies, see Debra Grodin and Thomas R. Lindlof, eds., Constructing the Self in a Mediated World (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1996). I have addressed some of these new developments, and how they intersect with feminist pedagogies, in a paper entitled “Situated Knowledges: Bodies, Politics, and Technology in the Feminist Art History Classroom,” presented at the annual meeting of the College Art Association, Chicago, March 2001. [BACK]

20. Pereira, “Eastward Journey,” n.p. Pereira's attempt to teach students technical skills as well as aesthetic appreciation was a key aspect of Design Laboratory pedagogy in that the school endeavored to bring “good design” to the industrial arts. However, this raises broader issues concerning how the “artist” and the “craftsperson” are distinguished. For a discussion of the role of professional and liberal arts schools, including the Bauhaus under Walter Gropius, in making these distinctions clear, see Howard Singerman, Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999). For more on the construction of the identity of the professional artist, see Caroline A. Jones, Machine in the Studio: Constructing the

Postwar American Artist (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996); and Kirsten Swinth, Painting Professionals: Women Artists and the Development of Modern Art, 1870–1930 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001). [BACK]

21. Martin Swales, The German Bildungsroman from Wieland to Hesse (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978), 29, 32; Franco Moretti, “The Comfort of Civilization,” Representations 12 (Fall 1985): 139, n. 31. There has been much recent writing on women and the Bildungsroman. See in particular Esther Kleinbord Labovitz, The Myth of the Heroine: The Female Bildungsroman in the Twentieth Century (New York: P. Lang, 1986); Bonnie Braendlin, “Bildung and the Role of Women in the Edwardian Bildungsroman: Maugham, Bennett, and Wells” (Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1978), and “New Directions in the Contemporary Bildungsroman: Lisa Alther's Kinflicks,Women and Literature n.s. 1 (1980): 160–71; Laura Sue Fuderer, The Female Bildungsroman in English: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1990); and Annis Pratt, “Bildungsroman and Künstlerroman,” in Davidson and Wagner-Martin, Oxford Companion to Women's Writing, 104–6. The subject of autobiography is a rich one, with many scholars making it their life's work. Apart from sources already cited, those most useful to me have included Estelle C. Jelinek, The Tradition of Women's Autobiography: From Antiquity to the Present (Boston: Twayne, 1986); Paul John Eakin, Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of Self-Invention (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985); Sidonie Smith, Subjectivity, Identity, and the Body: Women's Autobiographical Practices in the Twentieth Century (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993); Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, eds., Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998); Françoise Lionnet, Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989); Deborah E. Reed-Danahay, ed., Auto/Ethnography: Rewriting the Self and the Social (New York: Berg, 1997); and James Clifford and George E. Marcus, eds., Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986). [BACK]

22. Gerald Jay Goldberg, “The Artist-Novel in Transition,” English Fiction in Transition 4, no. 3 (1961): 25; Marc Redfield, Phantom Formations: Aesthetic Ideology and the Bildungsroman (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996), 21–22. [BACK]

23. See Bearor, Irene Rice Pereira, 298, nn. 12, 14; Carl G. Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology, trans. H.G. Baynes and Cary F. Baynes (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1928), 187–88. [BACK]

24. See Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man, in a Series of Letters, trans. Reginald Snell (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1954). See also Bearor, Irene Rice Pereira, 298, n. 13, and 138–77, and Karen A. Bearor, Irene Rice Pereira's Early Work: Embarking on an Eastward Journey (Coral Gables, Fla.: Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 1994), 12–17. [BACK]


25. In “Eastward Journey,” in the only statement of which I am aware that Pereira explicitly tied the physicality of her triplanar glass pieces to her philosophical concerns, she wrote that these paintings had taught her that there are “three systems in operation; one positive, one negative, the other neuter. The neuter system unites the opposites making multiplicity a unity” (“Eastward Journey,” frame 76). [BACK]

26. Diane Long Hoeveler, Romantic Androgyny: The Woman Within (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990), 7; Carl G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, vol. 12, The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, trans. R.F.C. Hull (New York: Bollingen Foundation, 1953), originally published as Psychologie und Alchemie (Zurich: Rascher, 1944); Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1957), 108. See the excellent discussions of the problems inherent in woman's seeking transcendence using romantic models in Rose, Haunting of Sylvia Plath, 148–64, and Judith Butler, “Sex and Gender in Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex,” in Simone de Beauvoir: A Critical Reader, ed. Elizabeth Fallaize (New York: Routledge, 1998), 29–42. See also the discussion of the mind-body split in Enlightenment discourses and its impact upon women's autobiographical writing in Sidonie Smith, “Resisting the Gaze of Embodiment: Women's Autobiography in the Nineteenth Century,” in Culley, American Women's Autobiography, 75–85. [BACK]

27. Regarding Pereira's sexual orientation, there is documentary evidence of relationships with a number of men within her archive at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. So far, I am aware only of anecdotal evidence of her lesbian relationships, although this evidence is sufficiently extensive and corroborative to have convinced many people, including myself, of her bisexuality. [BACK]

28. Orton and Pollock, Avant-Gardes and Partisans, iii–iv. [BACK]

29. See note 18. Excerpts from this biography appear under the title “‘Independent Women’ and ‘Narratives of Liberation,’” in Fallaize, ed., Simone de Beauvoir, 72–92. [BACK]

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