Forgotten Alcott: Essays on the Artistic Legacy and Literary Life of May Alcott Nieriker

Exciting news! Hehmeyer’s book will be out on December 29, 2021. It will be available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

This collection is the first academic study of the captivating life and career of expatriate artist, writer and activist, May Alcott Nieriker. Nieriker is known as the sister of Louisa May Alcott and model for “Amy March” in Alcott’s Little Women. As this book reveals, she was much more than “Amy”–she had a more significant impact on the Concord community than her sister and later became part of the creative expat community in Europe. There, she imbued her painting with the abolitionist activism she was exposed to in childhood and pursued an ideal of artistic genius that opposed her sister’s vision of self-sacrifice. Embarking on a career that took her across London, Paris, and Rome, Nieriker won the acclaim of John Ruskin and forged a network of expatriate female painters who changed the face of nineteenth-century art, creating opportunities for women that lasted well into the twentieth century. A “Renaissance woman,” Nieriker was a travel writer, teacher, and curator. She is recovered here as a transdisciplinary subject who stands between disciplines, networks, and ideologies―stiving to recognize the dignity of others. Contributors include foundational Alcott scholar, Daniel Shealy and Pulitzer Prize winner, John Matteson, as well as Curators, Jan Turnquist (Orchard House) and Amanda Burdan (Brandywine River Museum of Art). In this book, readers will become acquainted with a dynamic feminist thinker who transforms our understanding of the place of women artists in the wider cultural and intellectual life of nineteenth-century Britain, France, and the United States.

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