Tirza Latimer discusses her book Eccentric Modernisms: Making Differences in the History of American Art with Jim Voorhies, Dean of Fine Arts at California College of the Arts.
Her new book traces the relational and artistic networks connecting the cosmopolitan eccentrics who made space in America of the 1930s and 1940s for what we call ”queer culture” today. Building on the author’s earlier studies of Gertrude Stein and other lesbians who participated in transatlantic exchanges between the world wars, this book moves in a different direction, it focuses on the gay men who formed Stein’s support circle and whose careets, in turn, she helped to launch. This entourage included the neo-romantic painter Pavel Tchelitchew, composer Vigil Thomson, and writer-editor Charles Henri Ford. These artists and others of their milieu collaborated across natural, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries to form supportive artistic/intellectual communities and to sustain one another emotionally.
Tirza True Latimer is Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Visual & Critical Studies, California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Her published work, teaching, and curatorial projects reflect on visual culture and visual politics from queer feminist perspectives. Her latest book, Eccentric Modernisms: Making Differences in the History of American Art, was recently released by University of California Press.