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The work of Judith Barnett 
Friend of the JSS Gallery

Olivia in Kauai
Judith Barnett - American painter
(click on image to Step Closer)

I recommend your website frequently to fellow artists and know they enjoy the fruits of your research. And its nice to know I'm not the only nut about JSS!  I used to walk by his house on Tite St. in Chelsea when visiting my son in London. He lived nearby so it wasn't out of the way but it did qualify me as a "groupie"for Sargent.

The Russian Girl
Judith Barnett - American painter
(click on image to Step Closer)

Briefly, I'm an artist now living in the Seattle area - Bainbridge Island which is across from the city. A great view with a rural lifestyle. My husband and I moved here 6 years ago to be nearer to three of our four sons and grandchildren in San Francisco. Though my husband is retired I am not..I paint portraits on commission and paint still -lifes and landscapes as well. 

Sargent said one needs to paint everything well in to paint portraits, So true . 

Dr. Boat
Judith Barnett - American painter
(click on image to Step Closer)
I have a huge art library and everything printed about JSS, as well as other 19th century painters. I have studied painting and painters of the 19th century for most of 40 years of my 65.

You might like to add the ANDERS ZORN link for your site.  They both painted Isabelle Stewart Gardner.  He was a contemporary of Sargent and handled paint in a similar way. 

Keep up the great work. 

All the best, 

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What's New

What's New Page December 2003

January 31, 2003

A major exhibition of Sargent's art is opening in LA called "Sargent and Italy"

January 30, 2003

In August of 2002 Talkcity, the server where this site was first housed, went under.  Amazingly, I was that close (Natasha holds up her finger and thumb) to losing everything. By pure dumb luck, I had started the the previous summer and had been moving a lot of the pages over to the new server. When Talkcity bit the dust with all those other Dot.coms (I guess there really isn't any free lunch) I had the core pages moved. 

Believe it or not, it's still not completely moved (what's not moved just comes up as a failed link now) but I find that revisiting something I've done once is kind of like pulling teeth. 

Now six months later, I ask myself, what's new?



The thing has been growing organically, but for you long time fans of Sargent and this site, I'm sure it must be about as exciting as watching grass grow. One big thing has changed, at least as it relates to my thinking of  "what's new". I decided, instead of running it like a personal journal of my discovery and pegging day by day what I do, I really needed to work on getting the site into a cohesive body and that meant, at least up until now, stepping away from my announcements. I needed to focus on filling out some of the text on some of the paintings and explaining who these other people are in and around Sargent's life.

Accentually, I've seen the site growing in terms of levels of complexity. The first thing, of course, was to get images of Sargent's work online. That was pretty basic. Secondly, was to connect these paintings within the chronology of his life so a person could understand Sargent's own progression. That is, and remains, the main format of the whole website, and personally I think the most interesting and rather unique way in which to understand the artist. But once I have that in place, and I think it's pretty much in place now (and only continues to grow as I add paintings) I wanted the reader to be able to move horizontally as well as vertically. In other words, I wanted a reader to be able to move around the site in different ways beyond just from the thumbnail pages and depending on the level of complexity that they wanted to explore. The best example of this is my take on Venice -- and all the paintings related to Santa Maria della Salute grouped together -- for example. 

I think you can see how easily these things can develop such as his mural work at the Boston Public Library, or the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and then there is the essay in Harpers magazine by Henry James and more recently the excerpt I've included from W. Graham Robertson autobiography which I find wonderfully fascinating.

That has been my general idea, but its all kind of loosely held together by vague notions. I mean I don't sit down each time and say "this is what I'm going to work on and will keep at it until it's done." Quite honestly I'd get bored, and would have given up a long time ago. 

Another huge evolution in my thinking is in how I approach the forum section. It has become very clear that instead of having a separate section of forum entries, I needed to attach the letters  right under each painting where they apply -- that is for those that are one painting specific. I've also discovered that I needed to get out of the way and let people say what they have to say. By impulse, I felt it was impolite to not respond, but I see more and more that it doesn't work that way from a reader's standpoint - some things I don't need to show a  response from me. The problem with having the letters at the painting page, of course, is in linking them at a forum index -- it's a taxing problem and consumes a lot of time -- that I haven't yet worked out.

Many of my friends who have written find that I haven't responded to some very good input they sent. This has been the most frustrating thing to me. My "to do" list grows longer and I might have alienate some people from wanting to add more -- you got to jump while the iron is hot or they lose interest -- which is understandable. I have items from last August still unresolved -- what can I say, there is only a finite amount of time and the number of balls in the air only grows more numerous.

As I read back over this list of logistics, I realize I'm not doing my "what's new" entry any justice. The thing that propels me forward is the endless fascination of the discovery. Very little time is actually devoted to thinking about logistics,  rather what I hope to find in the next harvest of this amazing artist -- his art and the people apart of his life, as well as where it may take me. It's really a shame I can't bottle the experience, capture it in some way and let you experience it in the same way I have. Each new page uploaded, each new side bar off onto another artist is almost like an epiphany for me -- a "Wow" moment -- a discovery.  It's like a drug and it doesn't really matter what I set my microscope on to get that rush. It's silly, I realize, but there are clearly benefits to being easily entertained. 

I'm trying to think back at some of those more memorable "wow" moments this past six months. Seeing things and how they are interconnected is a big one for me, such as seeing Carolus-Duran's "Danae" to Sargent's Sketch of Cellini's "Perseus"; The sketches of the Queen mother by Sargent and then the paintings by Philip Alexius de Laszlo. There is  Sargent's "At the Forge" and Edwin Austin Abbey's "Men at an Anvil". Another form of a rush for me is when I hear from decedents of one of the people painted by Sargent such as when Fred de Bradeny and his mother wrote about Mrs. George Swinton and then learning she is related to Tilda Swinton (or I suppose it's the other way around); and when Alexandre Tissot Demidoff wrote about  Princess Demidoff and the beautifully rich and colorful family history -- My God, it ties in with Napoleon Bonaparte, those beautiful Italian Villas, and with connections to so many other artists -- those pages aren't completely finished yet.

Some of the things that tickles my fancy are pretty basic, but even in their relative simplicity I find it endlessly fascinating -- You could call them the juxtaposition pages. Instead of just citing another artists work that Sargent copied from or worked with, you can actually see an image of the work -- that always gives me that "Wow" moment, such as Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth after Luca della Robbia; and a  big one was the Duke of Marlborough and Families in Juxtaposition with Joshua Reynolds' painting.

Of some of the single paintings that had a high "Wow" moment were Eleanore Duse both in the story and the power of the painting; Miss Carey Thomas and her life story along with how she related to Mary E. Garrett and The Four Doctors.

Zuleika was a big one because it tied in with Max Beerbohm and I have fun comparing the Bibles version of the story of Joseph and the Qur'an's version and then reading about Max's book (which I haven't explained yet). Sargent's "Tamara Karsavina in the Title Role of 'Thamar'" was another one of those moments because I had always found the drawing odd and as a result really was curious as to who she was.

These are just some of the highlights

Still, the story here is not about what I've been up to as much as it's about what others have done to help. It has been from you, the reader, that has shaped the evolution of this site more than anything else and continues to be the source of an endless pool of inspiration for me.

Matt Davies, an Edwardian aficionado bar none, has stepped out of nowhere and has contributed enormously -- helping me connect dots with many of these images and names. He has certainly defined the standard of a friend of the JSS Gallery and has been very understanding of the glacier speed by which I move.

Let me give you an example of what I think is the coolest thing -- Wings of a butterfly I call them. Back in 1999 (I think) Bert sent me a scan of a "wee fridge magnet" of a painting by Boldini of Lady Decies. In April 2002,  three years later, Nicholas F. Warner wrote about her bing his father's godmother. In the summer of 2002, Matt Davies, got the books Nicholas was talking about, read them, and then wrote a piece on Lady Decies, and then just this last month Andrew Moore followed up with some additional things -- I mean to tell you -- WOW! That is just so cool and it all started by a simple gesture from Bert which had nothing to do with me. Who knew what that gesture would eventually create in the reverberations and waves that came after. . . .

You see, this just doesn't translate as profoundly as it happens in "real time"; but all this shows up unsolicited in my e-mailbox, unannounced -- Bingo -- it's just there one day -- like a present. It's incredibly rewarding to see that other people have embrace what I'm trying to do -- and I got to tell you these people are, quite obviously, bright, educated, sophisticated individuals -- the exact target audience I like to think of myself writing to.

So what's new? . . . . 

A lot.

Back in September Michele Lener, from Italy wrote about a major exhibition of Sargent's art which ran from September through January 6th at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Florence called "Sargent and Italy". The link he sent showed imaged of about a dozen new paintings I hadn't had at my site. The show has more than 75 paintings relating to Sargent's connection to that culturally rich country. Back here in the States, things are gearing up as the show is coming to open at the at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on February 2nd. And a new book is out which companies the exhibition. The show will run from February 2 through May 11 and then travel to the Denver Art Museum: June 28 through September 21, 2003.

So what's new? . . . . . well, the fun, of course, has been letting you find out for yourself -- leaving little presents for you to unwrap. I have written text on more than a dozen paintings (maybe two-dozen), added better and/or larger images on many more, Matt Davies' has submitted a huge number of "mug" drawings and profile bios as well as a section on Philip Alexius de Laszlo which has all kinds of parallels to Sargent. There have been a number of other artists that I continue to work on -- which you can see the list grow from the Thumbnail Index page. There have been a number of people who have sent me links to new paintings or scanned images which I continually find in my mailbox.

I think it's safe to say, that if you haven't been through my site since last August 9th, it's changed a lot. 

To all the friends of the JSS Gallery, I can't thank you enough for your help and support. I haven't fogotten you -- just been very busy trying to make this even better.

Best wishes

Natasha Wallace

From: Maurizio Ruzzi 

Congratulations for the wonderful site. . .  Also, in case you don't know, a link you may find interesting is the Derby museum. The 
site is not that much, but I find Joseph Wright a very interesting artist, and there it is possible to find much more reproductions of his artworks 
than anywhere else. 

In fact I just wanted to collaborate a bit and the comments above where the first things that came to my mind. Congratulations again, 

Maurizio Ruzzi 

What's New Page Spring/Summer 2002