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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Farewell to May Alcott Nieriker

I have finally finished Caroline Ticknor's memoir of May (I told you I was a slow reader!) and although it is pretty romanticized, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Being able to blog about it as I read made it far more enjoyable. I will reiterate that May must have been a delight to know and that …

May knew how to make good luck happen

Caroline Ticknor pointed out something key to May Alcott Nieriker's success in life, both as a person and an artist - "It was characteristic of the aspiring artist form Concord to make the most of her opportunities and much of May's so-called 'good luck' was traceable to the alacrity with which she seized upon each …

An Artist without the Temperament: How Rare!

In reading May's accounts of her travels and adventures, and hearing how other family members saw her, it occurs to me that May Alcott Nieriker is the first artist I've ever 'met' that didn't have the artist temperament. How do I know? I should know, I've been 'blessed' with one. 🙂 My art teacher in …

May Alcott Nieriker was a bargain shopper!

When Louisa sent May back to Europe on her own, I found it amusing to read in May's letters (from Ticknor's memoir) how she would bargain shop. A woman after my own heart! She often mentioned in her letters how she did this, from shopping for clothes out of fashion season, to taking free art …

Day 3 May Alcott a Memoir – Opposites Attract

I get it now why Louisa became so close to her sister, May, and it's because they were opposites. An obvious thought to be sure, but Ticknor's memoir made that all the clearer to me. Louisa was complex, conflicted, duty bound, guilt-ridden . . . a rather typical 19th century New Englander from all appearances. …

Where are the current relatives of the Alcott Family?

Reading about May and Louisa's European tour in 1870-71 in Caroline Ticknor's book, May Alcott A Memoir reminds me again of how strong the creative life force was in that family. There was such a sense of adventure in those two women, expressed through colorful stories and informative sketches and drawings. Was such talent and …