Meet the artist to whom May Alcott acted as mentor: Daniel Chester French

Before May Alcott left for Europe to study and become a professional artist, she gave lessons from a studio at Orchard House which her father Bronson made for her. A student of hers created one of the most iconic pieces of sculpture in America: One of his first commissioned works is in Concord: That artist …

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Louisa May Alcott’s inspiration of sculptor Frank Edwin Elwell — one of “her boys”

I am pleased to present this guest post by Lorraine Tosiello. With the May Alcott Nieriker conference coming up, it seemed appropriate to share this with you. In 1878, Louisa May Alcott, overwhelmed with grief over her dear Marmee’s death and burdened with her own poor health and responsibilities at home, gave up what would …

Don’t miss the special exhibit of rare artifacts at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House

On Thursday I toured Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. I was anxious to see the artifacts pictured in The Annotated Little Women, edited by John Matteson and took a vacation day to see them as November can get swallowed up in holiday preparations. If you live anywhere near Concord and can get to this exhibit, …

Peeks into May Alcott’s Paris

Jeannine Atkins’ historical novel on May Alcott called Little Woman in Blue: A Novel of May Alcott is now available from Amazon. She posted a wonderful write-up on May’s time in Paris with artist peers such as Mary Cassatt through books she used to research her book. Be sure and order Jeannine’s book on Amazon and remind yourself to write a review—it will give her book a great boost on Amazon and let others know about it.

Gabrielle Donnelly, author of The Little Women Letters is writing a review as we speak and I will add my thoughts too. Let’s just say we are really excited! In the meantime, enjoy this peak into May’s past in Gay Paree!

Views from a Window Seat

During the years of writing Little Woman in Blue: A Novel of May Alcott, I was delighted to catch sight of May wherever I could. Most often this was in biographies that focused on her sister Louisa May Alcott and sometimes their parents, Abigail and Bronson. I also came to know May from memoirs of nineteenth century neighbors, such as novelist Julian Hawthorne and sculptor Daniel Chester French. I was delighted to find May in two novels by contemporary women that feature Mary Cassatt. Both May Alcott and Mary Cassatt were expatriate painters in Paris at the same time and became friends. I liked to imagine walking in on one of the Thursday night soirées at the Cassatt family home in Montmartre, or listening in as May and Mary rode in a horse-drawn carriage through an elegant park.

lydia

One book that gives a fictional peek into their lives in 1870’s…

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May Alcott Nieriker’s True Contribution to Art

I particularly appreciated a paragraph I read in today in May Alcott A Memoir by Caroline Ticknor where she summarized May's true contribution to the art world. Here's what she said: (page 225-226) "These slender links that bind May Alcott to the little group [in Grez, a small French village that proved to be a …