The Lives of the Muses : Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired


Click the cover image to find on

From Publishers Weekly:

“I have never seen you without thinking that I should like to pray to you,” says the poet Rilke. The object of his devotion is the astonishing Lou Andreas-Salomé—the woman who played muse not only to Rilke, but also to Nietzsche and Freud. The idea of the muse seems an initially quaint, if not flatly sexist charge. Acclaimed novelist Prose (Blue Angel, etc.) confronts that honestly when she asks: “Doesn’t the idea of the Muse reinforce the destructive stereotype of the creative, productive, active male and of the passive female?” Politically incorrect or not, the muses, as Prose presents them, genuinely “illumine and deepen the mysteries of Eros and creativity, as each Muse redraws the border between the human and the divine.” In nine biographical narratives, Prose examines a range of relationships between artists and the women who gave them their divine spark. Though the artists, among them Lewis Carroll, Salvador Dalí and John Lennon, can easily be viewed through the lens of obsessional pathology, Prose makes a remarkable case for the exceptionality of these women in their own right. Lee Miller for example was not merely the muse to Man Ray, but an accomplished photographer, and Suzanne Farrell, Balanchine’s muse, a virtuosic ballerina. Prose’s project is to probe the mystery of inspiration, not to solve it once and for all: “one difference between magic and art is that magic can be explained.” From Samuel Johnson’s caretaker and trusted friend Hester Thrale to Dalí’s wife, Gala, Prose demonstrates the strength and unique quality of influence each muse had on her artist.


Deadline extended: Become a student Artstor Ambassador!

OCAC students: This is a great opportunity to add to your skill set and represent a really cool art resource. We love Artstor; if you haven’t used it yet, don’t worry — you will. For help with this database or for more information, come on by! If you’d like to learn more, look here or go to

The Artstor Blog

Hans Holbein the Younger | Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve ('The Ambassadors') | 1533 | The National Gallery, London | Photograph ©The National Gallery, London Hans Holbein the Younger | Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (‘The Ambassadors’) | 1533 | The National Gallery, London | Photograph ©The National Gallery, London

We are looking for students in all concentrations to become the voice of Artstor on their campus for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters, and we’ve extended the deadline until June 30th!

The selected participants will get to work with professionals from Artstor’s New York office to develop valuable business skills; learn how to create effective social media campaigns with campus-wide and international exposure; network at Artstor events with peers from institutions across the country; and add Artstor to their resume and receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. Plus they get to take part in special events and win prizes!

To apply, fill out this questionnaire by June 30, 2015. We will reach out to selected candidates for…

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Featured Periodical: PAJ


PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art (formerly called Performing Arts Journal) is a triannual periodical now in its 34th year, under the editorship of Bonnie Marranca. PAJ offers expanded coverage of performance, video, dance, drama, film, music, photography, installations and media. Issues feature artists’ writings, critical essays, historical documentation, interviews, performance texts and plays, reports on international festivals and events, and book reviews. A special section entitled “Art & Performance Notes” includes articles and reviews of current performance and museum/gallery shows. The journal is published for PAJ by special arrangement with MIT Press Journals and is distributed worldwide in a print version and online in color on this web site. Back volumes 1-26 can be accessed online from JSTOR for an additional annual fee.

Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design


Focusing on some of the most interesting conceptual technical trends in wood working today, Against the Grain includes approximately 65 vessels, sculptures, furniture, and installations, created since 2000, which provocatively defy categories and celebrate the visual dynamics of wood. The book demonstrates how contemporary creators have engaged the medium of wood in strategies that might be described as “postmodern,” employing mimicry, assemblage, virtuosity, and whimsy (with a serious purpose). Environmental issues also are prominently addressed. Artists represented include Derek Bencomo, Gary Carsley, Hunt Clark, Piet Hein Eek, David Ellsworth, Sebastian Errazuriz, Bud Latven, Mark Lindquist, Thomas Loeser, Sarah Oppenheimer, William Pope.L, Martin Puryear, Marc Andre Robinson, Laurel Roth, Betye Saar, Courtney Smith, Elisa Strozyk, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. (

Click the cover image above to find this title on, or come into the library to find it on our New Books shelf!

OCAC Undergraduate Info Session: Saturday!


June 13, 2015 2:00 PM
OCAC Campus 8245 SW Barnes Road

Held during select Saturdays, Information Sessions provide an opportunity to learn about OCAC’s undergraduate programs including the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Each session is led by an knowledgeable admissions staff member in an informal group setting. Ask questions, learn about admissions requirements and scholarships, and join a student led tour of campus. Applications for fall 2015 or spring 2016 may be submitted at this event with an application fee waiver applied that day. Session date: Saturday, June 13th, 2pm.


Undergraduate programs in Craft include: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Post Bacc Certificate, and the Certificate program. Areas of Study include: Book Arts, Ceramics, Drawing/Painting, Fibers, Metals, Photography and Wood.

QUESTIONS: Contact the Admissions Office 971-255-4192

Monday Book Review: A Box of Sun

Hi folks!

In honor of Portland’s warm warm weather, I thought I’d feature a title from our collection that fits quite nicely. Come to the library (which is air conditioned!) and check out Joseph Pintauro’s book of poetry titled “A Box of Sun”. This book has some delightful designs by Norman Laliberte. So, if you are into some 1970’s style, summer-time poetry, come on down! At a glance, my favorite line has to be: “And the child asleep in a hammock yawning strung between giant maples is king”. Mmmm-hmmm!

Did I mention that the library has air conditioning?? –Elsa

photo (17) A Box of Sun, by Joseph Pintauro. Call # PS 3566 .I56 R3 1970 V.3

Dylan Beck’s Cloud Sourcing opens tonight!


About Cloud Sourcing

Eutectic partnered with Dylan Beck, recently appointed onsite liaison for NCECA 2017, to conceptualize and curate this show. Much of Dylan’s recent work has reflected on cloud imagery and how artists translate the theme into clay. He’s selected work from Samuel Chung, Julia Galloway, Kyungmin Park and Joe Page to be shown in Cloud Sourcing, along with a few of his own pieces.

Show Statement from Dylan Beck
The cloud, a motif that has appeared in ceramics for thousands of years, continues to proliferate in all genres of contemporary ceramics. From as early as the 12th century B.C. the cloud motif appeared in Chinese ceramic objects, and has been interpreted to represent the heavens, immortality, transformation, the cosmos, etc. Though historical uses of cloud imagery are attributed with these grandiose themes, the use of cloud imagery still holds its place in ceramics as dynamic decorative imagery. You need not look very far to find the cloud in contemporary ceramics. This enduring symbol remains a source of inspiration for ceramists.

The exhibition Cloud Sourcing is a sample of contemporary works in ceramics that draw from the deep history of the cloud imagery and form for decoration, design, environmental commentary, ephemerality, and identity. Clouds are found throughout the gradient of contemporary ceramics, from utilitarian wares to interactive installation. Cloud Sourcing provides a snapshot of the elemental attraction to the cloud in contemporary American ceramics.

The act of sculpting or drawing a cloud is futile. The cloud is the ultimate ephemeral object. In a constant state of change, one could never capture the image of an individual cloud, especially in a material that is dense, heavy, and opaque. This challenge continually draws ceramists to attempt the impossible.